Friday, August 20, 2010

I'm a cracked pot and I'm proud!

How many times have you received those chain emails?  You know the ones.  They've got a cute story or some kind of neat saying and if you forward it to so many friends then good luck will beat down your door.  I tend to receive a lot of such emails.  I don't mind.  Sometimes, they're pretty cute but I rarely take the time to send them on.

However, the other day my daughter sent one that I found particularly touching.  She called me a cracked pot and I was honored. The following is the parable the "crack pot" email held.  If you've already seen it, I think it's worth repeating.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

An elderly woman had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which she balanced across her shoulders.  One of the pots contained a crack while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.  At the end of the long walks from the stream to her house, the cracked pot only arrived half full.  For two full years, the woman fetched water daily, bringing home only one and a half pots of water.

Of course, the perfect pot swelled with pride, boasting of its perfect performance.  The poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection and miserable that it could only do half of what it had been intended to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be bitter failure, one day by the stream, it spoke to the woman.  "I am ashamed of myself, because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house."

The old woman smiled.  "Did you notice there are flowers on your side of the path, but nothing grows on the other pot's side?  That's because I've always known about your flaw.  I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you water them.  For two years, I've been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my simple table.  Without you being just the way you are, there would be no beauty to grace my house."

Then the email explained the obvious moral of the story: Each of us has our own unique flaws.  But it's the cracks and flaws that makes our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.  Accept each person for what they are and look for the good to be found within them.

So, I'm proud to be a cracked pot creating a path of beauty in this world.  How about you?

Saturday, August 14, 2010

We came. We conquered. We bought.

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned OR a bride-to-be stalking a sale at a bridal shop. With the wedding mere weeks away, we had to find the perfect gown. And guess what? The local bridal shop just happened to be having a fantastic sale. Armed with my checkbook and having no idea of the imminent danger I faced, I accompanied both daughters to the store.

She’d done her research. Surfed the net and decided on just what type of gown she wanted. The store’s website provided a sneak preview of the lovely dresses crowding the racks. I never realized until we stepped through the doors just how many people shop for wedding apparel. Yes, I know it’s summer, the season of love. But GEEZ, the store brimmed with future brides and their muscle.

We spied the section marked “SALE” and made a bee-line for it. Daughter #1 started at one end, Daughter-to-be-married headed for the other. I dove into the middle of the fray, prying dresses free of their protective plastic and holding them up for my children to rate.

Daughter-to-be-married perked with interest at about the third dress I’d fished out of the over-stuffed wall of silk and tulle. Daughter #1 came up behind me, leaned in close and whispered, “Mama, whatever you do, don’t let go of that dress.”

The tiny hairs on the back of my neck immediately stood on end. Hackles raised, I glanced to the right. Three women glared at me as if I stood between them and their last meal. My survival hearing picked up the desperate hiss the young girl in the middle whispered.

“Momma, I want THAT dress.”

I locked my arms around the waist of the gown and through bared teeth instructed my daughter. “Get your sister over here now.”

We stood as one. The coveted dress locked in my arms and marched victoriously to the dressing room to try on the prize.

The dressing room assistant asked my daughter her size. After all, one must have the proper undergarments to fully appreciate if the dress will work. She returned with a bustier and one of those smoothing half slips that squeezes everything into all the right spots and then slicks it down so the faintest dimple doesn’t show.

I didn’t really understand why daughter needed such a contraption. She’s quite a petite young thing. But what do I know of high fashion? My idea of dressing up is ironing my jeans. So, she stepped into the suction cup slip and we started pulling it into place. After considerable hopping and expelling of breath, the torture chamber finally locked and loaded.

And then came the bustier. A frustrating contraption with fifty-bazillion hook and eye closures running up the back. I eyed the thing and asked, “I’ve got to fasten EVERY one of them?”

Daughter nodded, holding it in place, she gave me her back and said, “Go for it.”

The bustier was as bad as the peel-and-breathe slip. It was like stuffing ten pounds of sugar into a five pound bag. “Exhale more,” I instructed as I yanked it tighter around her.

“If I exhale any more, I’m going to pass out.”

She reddened a bit from lack of oxygen but we finally clamped it into place. Then I slid the dress down over her head and zipped it.

She stepped out of the dressing room to examine the results in the triple mirrors. The glaring enemy dress stalkers stood nearby but when I viewed my daughter, I felt no fear. I felt only pride at the lovely young woman on the pedestal.

We bought the dress and emerged unscathed from the shop. I’m just hoping when my other daughter decides to marry, I’m given enough time for a few preparation workouts at the gym.