So there she was, with coupon sorter in hand. Looking fresh as the morning dew.
And there I was, black yoga pants with piling wear patterns between my upper thigh, covered in 3lbs of white dog hair. I was wearing my new sneakers, indicating a moment of promise that had occurred earlier when I intended to work out but then the baby had other ideas.
She smiled warmly, sunlight beaming from her lovely face. Her cart full of fresh produce and items that she had the foresight to a.) know that her family needed and b.) know would be on sale.
Contents of my cart:
- one tube of cookie dough (which I planned to eat as a candy bar on the way home)
- two box cakes and icing (which I wouldn't be able to make b/c I had no eggs)
- three containers of FULL FAT- FULL SUGAR - FULL FLAVOR coffee creamer (which I might later forget I purchased and leave in the car to go bad)
- four doughnuts (which I had bribed the Monkeys with)
- and a Miracle Monkey who was wearing a diaper that needed to be changed two aisles ago
I see this me all the time. Everyday at work when I pop my head into my dear friends office to say good morning. There she is....the me that I meant to be.
Seated at her desk, neat stacks of prioritized paperwork surround her. Occasionally eating organic oatmeal or yogurt made by Greek Gods...some shit like that. Her Outlook calendar indicates appointments that she has made with herself to keep her on track and prevent productivity breakdown. Photos of her beautiful tow-headed children adorn her desk, in matching frames.
Our hectic schedules allow us approximately 15 minutes of daily friendship during which we do the Readers Digest version of "How is your life?" and occasionally dream of someday living side by side in a beach adjacent retirement village where we would finally get to really enjoy our friendship.
Each afternoon I stand in her doorway, a haggard version of the mess I was earlier that morning. This daily ritual most often finds me carrying at least three travel mugs, forgotten from previous days and two over sized "work bags" stuffed with grading and lesson planning materials that will take the nightly field trip in the car but never actually get worked on at home.
She straightens a few papers and dons one of her three stylish seasonal coats, cinching the waist. (PS - she has a waist) I never wear a coat because I am so overheated and sweaty by the time I drag my ass to the car in the morning that Arctic winter air is a welcome guest.
Each afternoon we walk to our respective cars, hers clean and carefully detailed, and we talk and laugh. As I slide into my vehicle and brush pistachio shells off the seat I silently promise myself with renewed fervor that tomorrow I will try again to be the me that I meant to be. But in the meantime, I'm just very thankful that she is the "she" that she was meant to be.
**For my dear friend - you inspire me to try to be a better me.