My birthday landed on Mother's Day this year. I told my family (mi Amor) that I wouldn't accept a 2 for 1, meaning I expected both events to be celebrated separately--so bossy and assumptive of me, I know. My family was wonderful. They went the extra mile and made me feel like a bazillion bucks. I needed that, thank you.
I don't know if it's the fact that I'm one year wiser, or that I was extra observant this weekend, but I experienced 3 epiphanies. My discoveries may be the 3 best birthday presents ever.
1. One of my favorite gospel doctrine teachers--ever, began her class, fielding responses to the following scenario:
Tell me which man is the better tithe payer:
a. One man pays 10 percent of his increase at the end of each year. Throughout that year, he puts his increase into a bank account, where it can accrue interest. He then takes out the increase, sans interest, and pays it to the church.
b. The other man pays his tithing throughout the year, as he receive his increase.
I snapped closed my D&C because I knew the next 30 minutes was going to be spent routing through a bag full of opinions. A member of the stake presidency was there, and he read straight from the church handbook. His words settled the masses, including me: "It's really between the tithe payer and the Lord."
The teacher went on to say, "Tithing is the one commandment we can get right 100% of the time. It's one of the only commandments that allows us to be 100% obedient. It's possible to pay a perfect tithe."
I had never thought of it that way.
2. If you're a White girl, working at the MAC counter, and you're helping your Black customer (whom you DO NOT know) DO NOT. I repeat. DO NOT take a stab at incorporating BEV (Black English Vernacular) into your vocabulary while talking to her.
The MAC girl kept calling her customer, "girl." Every time she said it, she'd add vocal inflection and a head shake. It was embarrassing and made me feel uncomfortable. I wanted to say, "Stop doing that; you're ignorant." But I refrained because I could see her customer was already filtering the situation.
I began wondering how many times I assume people want to be treated a certain way. The MAC girl meant well. She was just trying to let the customer know, in a codeish way, that she understood where her customer was coming from. The reality is: We can't even began to assume, based on casual conversation, how our life events have shaped who we are. We don't "treat each other how we'd like to be treated" because we're all too different for that. The whole situation reminded me to be guarded in my assumptions about others and to keep my BEV to myself--always. (Heaven knows I have a thing for BEV. I even wrote a paper on it, while attending BYU.)
3. Always make your homegurl feel like she's worth a bazillion bucks. She tried to make me feel so special this weekend. She wrote me notes, made me treats, and told me, to my face, how much she adored me. I thought to myself, "I should cherish these moments because in 2 years she won't be able to stand the sight of this hunchback," (I have horrible posture). Every time she sent a kind gesture my way, I'd deflect it with my, "I'm too busy right now" shield. It was crushing her thoughtful heart, and mi Amor told me to cut-it-out.
On Sunday morning, I made these headbands for the two of us. (When I die, I'll be in purgatory picking glue dotes with my nose for making these on the Sabbath.) I thought together we could celebrate our motherhood/girlhood. I knew the headband wouldn't make up for my insensitivity, but it was a start. Except, at dinnertime, I accidently said I hated fudge brownie ice cream (the exact ice cream she had picked for dessert). And that Trader Joe's makes the best carrot cake (she had purchased my carrot cake from Fresh and Easy). I had B-L-O-W-N it, and I knew it. I'll be better next year, if there is a next year. She may just dump me in between now and then, and I won't blame her for it. Until then, I'm going to kiss her cheeks, write her notes, and tell her how wonderful she is. Maybe she'll keep me.