Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Terrible, Horrible, Very Bad Mess

This funny thing happened today over a span of about 10 seconds.  It was like a gentle cool breeze blowing through my bangs on a hot summer day.  The tiniest of mini-vacations.  A joy break.

I had just enjoyed a long lunch with friends who are interesting, funny, and easy-to-be-with.  I stepped out of the restaurant onto the sidewalk and headed towards my car.  About 20 feet  away was a group of ladies lingering in the shade still enjoying their lunchtime conversation.*  

At 20 feet away, I could only hear the soft mumbles of a conversation.  Lady talk.  

At 10 feet away, the conversation exploded with empathic outbursts.  "Oh, my!"  "Oh, my goodness!"  "Oh, no!!"

Just as I walked past the group, the "poor dear" put the cherry on top of the anecdote.

"And, we liked to NEVER got it all cleaned up!"

This declaration was followed by a chorus.  "Well, my goodness."  "Mm.  Mm.  Mm."  "I can't imagine!"

I almost stopped dead in my tracks.  So intriguing was this snippet of conversation that it was all I could do not to turn on my heel to join the friendship circle so that I could learn more about the terrible, horrible, very bad mess.  That would not have been an unusual thing for me to do.  I strike up conversations with strangers in national park bathrooms and in the produce section of the grocery store.

In the 11th second, I decided that not knowing was better.  Without hearing the cause that produced the unfortunate effect which produced the cloud of empathy, I could enjoy the conversation for the rest of the afternoon.  It was a tiny jewel in the palm of my hand.  My imaginaries took hold and began to weave scenarios from multicolored threads of possibilities.  And, I've been thinking about it ever since.  

A frozen turkey had carelessly been dropped from 10 feet above a turkey fryer filled with boiling oil.

Someone started to blend a strawberry smoothie without putting the lid on the blender.  (This came to mind because my youngest son actually did that...one Mother's Day.)

A pack of rambunctious armadillos broke into the house and ransacked the place.

Multiple cats with furball-clogged gullets and diarrhea were left alone in the basement for a weekend.

Twenty-five bored teenaged boys were left alone in a house for 10 minutes.

Red Koolaid spills.  Fingerpaint fiascos.  Playdoh wars.  Millions of legos.  Millions.

Oh, oh!!  It was a party!  A party in which buckets of confetti were showered down upon people that danced in muddy shoes while holding red solo cups filled with red Koolaid.

I didn't even get a good look at the ladies.  They might have been red-headed sisters or nurses in matching scrubs or supermodels in bikinis.  No, wait.  If they had been supermodels in bikinis, I wouldn't have heard a word that was said.  I would have been listening to the loud, insecure dialog raging in my own head.  They were definitely not supermodels in bikinis.  But, this I do know.  The conversation piqued my curiosity and then played with my thoughts for the rest of the afternoon.

Thank you, red-headed sisters.  Or, nurses.  Or, circus trapeze artists.  The pleasure was all mine.



*The best conversations are had in parking lots immediately following 2-hour lunches.  That is a proven fact.