Two unrelated stories today:
It’s been a heck of a week. I’m on spring break, which has an entirely different meaning as a professor than it did when I was a college student. I’ve spent the week grading, drinking large amounts of caffeine, and cleaning my closet. And when faced with no real schedule but still stuff to accomplish, I procrastinate by going shopping. (This has NOT helped the closet-cleaning situation since I’m filling it back up as quickly as I’m eliminating the junk.)
Yesterday I went to campus for a few hours. Afterward I took the long way home. I saw a housewares store that I hadn’t been in for a long time, and I jumped across three lanes to pull into the lot. (I’m a sucker for off-the-wall kitchen gadgets, so I love this particular store.)
I walked through the aisles, just browsing. Killing time. No real purpose.
I came to an end cap near the dishes and stopped.
I stood there, staring at the display, for five minutes. Not moving. Barely breathing. Eyes starting to water. Forcing people to find a way around me because I couldn’t move.
I walked closer to the display, touching the dishes.
When the first tear fell, I knew I needed to walk away. But I kept looking back.
The dishes were the same as the ones Mike and I registered for when we got married. We used those dishes for 10 years. I sold them in a yard sale last spring.
Selling them didn’t phase me but for some reason, seeing the same pattern, the same brand, (even though the colors are different now), took me back to a happier time. And the pit in my stomach grew as my eyes continued to water.
I loved those dishes. I fought to have those dishes as our “everyday” pattern. So many meals served. So many family celebrations. So many happy times (and some sad ones).
I left the store, without buying anything, and finished the drive home. I just can’t stop thinking about those dishes. Funny what brings you back, and how emotions can be tied to almost anything.
My ex-sister-in-law (T) messaged me this week with a story.
T divorced Mike’s brother about four years ago. She’s now happily married, and she and her husband own a well-known bar in Mike’s hometown.
So, T and her husband were walking hand-in-hand through the parking lot of a local “taste of” festival. Their bar was one of the participants, and they were going to make sure things were going well.
It was in the parking lot where she was confronted by a crazy woman, who appeared out of nowhere.
She started wagging her finger in T’s face. “I hope you’re happy! You girls ruined my life!”
T wished the woman well, and kept walking. Her husband was confused (and probably a little scared) by this crazy person confronting his wife.
The crazy woman? Mike’s mom.
Thinking about that confrontation – and T’s perfectly calm reaction (I probably wouldn’t have been so nice) – has made me smile all week.
Still blaming T and I for ruining her life. Yep, it’s our faults that your sons turned out like they did. And, just like always, it’s about her. I REALLY don’t miss the in-laws…
You’re right – it is amazing what can trigger such strong memories… I think it’s those things that remind you of the mundane normal moments that are probably the most surprising and toughest… because those were the simple and good moments. And WOW – amazing how Mike’s mom continues to blame others and not look at the source of the issues. WOW. *hugs!*