Monday, November 16, 2009

The Art of Please and Thank You

With the holidays fast approaching, I find myself out and about quite a bit more. Between grocery shopping for all of those holiday functions, Target runs for anything and everything, and all of the gift shopping, I am in the stores and on the road quite often. I guess I am not surprised, but I find myself quite angered by the rudeness and general disregard for others. As I drive down the road and people pull out in front of me, refuse to get into the left lane to allow other cars to merge, or fail to use their turn signals, my road rage tends to get the best of me. When I am shopping, I am just amazed at the number of people who stand on one side of the grocery aisle while perusing the shelves on the other side of the aisle, therefore taking up the entire aisle with just them and their cart. I guess they think that if they just pretend not to see you then it's okay and they don't have to move.

The other day in Target, my mom, my sister, Layla, and I were shopping and just minding our own business. I stopped at the end of an aisle to reach down in Layla's stroller to put her shoe back on. This took all of 30 seconds, and when I stood up, there was a woman and her cart standing there giving me the evil eye and trying to push her cart through a space that was all of 6 inches wide. Rather than saying "Excuse me," she just stood there and stared at us. Finally, I said, "Oh, excuse me," and stepped out of the way. She barrelled her way through, and for the remaining 45 minutes that we were in the store, this same woman purposely came down the aisles we were in to stand and take up the whole space so that we would have to turn around, and cut us off ever time we tried to turn down an aisle. This woman had to be in her mid to late fifties and was acting like a child. I could not believe her behavior.

While shopping at the Five Oaks Shops in Sevierville last week, I was so angered by the number of customers and employees sitting outside on all of the benches puffing away on their cigarettes and forcing me, Layla, and my parents to breathe in their disgusting second-hand smoke. Today, I e-mailed the manager of the mall, and just brought to her attention how unfair this is to all of us non-smokers, and how much I hated that my 10 month old baby had to breathe in this disgusting smoke. Her reply to me :

Dear Mrs. Blankenship,

We are sorry that smoking has caused you to have unpleasant experiences in our center. However, we have met the Nonsmoking Criteria set by State Law and are in compliance. We have also asked all store employees to abide by our No Smoking Policy and to smoke outside in the back of their store.Our customers are special to us and we would like to send you a gift card as a form of apology. Please forward your address to us.Again we are sorry and wish you and your family Happy Holidays.

Seriously? A gift card? That is supposed to make my second-hand smoke exposure better? Really? I was shocked. Just because it meets state criteria does not mean that is best. I could not believe that a gift card was her solution to this problem. I promptly responded to her, and I told her that a gift card was not the solution. I did not want a gift card, and would just choose to do my holiday shopping elsewhere this year.

Enough with my rant. I have said all of this just to say that this holiday season, I am making it my purpose in life just to be a nice person. I am going to smile at people, say please and thank you, keep myself and my cart on one side of the grocery aisle, say "excuse me" to people when I need to get around them or if I am in their way, hold doors open for people, and if someone has a problem, I am going to try my hardest to come up with an intelligent and accommodating solution. I am doing all of this not only to make myself a better person, but also to set an example for my little blue-eyes. She is watching every move I make and hearing every word I say. I want her to be a good person. I want her to have respect for others, and I want her to have good manners. Respect and manners are so rarely exhibited any more, and it saddens me. We are all human and are all deserving of both of these. I am so excited to teach my little lady the art of "please" and "thank you."

Friday, November 6, 2009

Sweet Surprise

So, I am about to fall over because I am so tired, but I have to write about this while it is still fresh in my mind. I don't want to forget how it felt. I don't want to forget the way my heart skipped a beat. I just want to remember how happy I was, and the smile that came across Layla's face when it happened.

Yesterday, I was awakened at about 7:15 to the beautiful sounds of my sweet girl. The ma ma ma ma ma's and the ba ba ba ba ba's, and Layla riding her motorcycle (what most people call motorboat) are the most wonderful alarm clock. I love to wake up to that. I stumbled into her room, and looked in her crib. She just laid there, looking up at me and smiling. It was so sweet.

I reached into her crib and lifted her out. I always hold her close and hug her and kiss her. She has started resting her head on my shoulder and patting me when I do this, but yesterday, it was different. I pulled her close, kissed her, and hugged her. As I hugged her, she leaned in, put her lips to my cheek, and pop! She kissed me. My eyes filled with tears, and my heart melted.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Confessions of an Angry Housewife

In the midst of tears and a knot in my stomach, I came to understand a lot about myself last week. As Chris and I laid down to go to sleep, a wave of emotion rushed over me. I began to cry and all I could do was say "I'm sorry." He did not understand at first, but as we laid there, so much understanding came to me. I had been so angry at him all week. Everything he did made me mad. I snapped at him for every little thing. I know he had been on egg shells all week. I could not understand why I was so angry and why he was on my nerves so badly. It was at that moment on Thursday night that I understood. He had not done anything wrong. As a matter of fact, he had been nothing but wonderful to me all week, going out of his way to help me. But at that moment, I understood why I was so angry. He was leaving, and with every moment that passed, the time of his departure was getting closer. As I cried, I realized how I cope with Chris leaving. I push him away. If I am angry with him, I don't miss him as much. If I don't like him, then the sadness and loneliness don't hit quite as hard. Or so I thought. What was I doing? Pushing away the person I love most in this world. He is such a good husband and a good father. I love him so much, and he works so hard to provide for our family and to help make our family strong and happy. He deserves a week out of the year to do something he loves. I want him to be happy, and I don't want to be angry any more. Once I finally came to this realization, it didn't make him leaving any easier, but it has made our relationship better. Not being angry with your husband is a wonderful thing! I miss him like crazy, and when he's not here, I still get sad, but I am not angry. I feel like a 100 pound weight has been lifted from my shoulders. Shedding that anger feels amazing, but figuring out why I was so angry feels even better. Taking a step back and re-evaluating who I am is necessary every day, and this time, I am glad I did that before he left. We had a wonderful Friday and Saturday together, and I can't wait for him to get home! I love that guy with all of my heart, and I miss him like crazy. And that little blue-eyed girl, I'm sure, is having sweet dreams about her sweet daddy as she sleeps the night away. I can't wait for Saturday... I can't wait to hug him and kiss him and tell him how much I love him. I hope he is having a great week doing what he loves, but I hope he misses me the whole time!