I have procured the provisions for the Dahlgiving on Saturday, to celebrate Steve’s birthday.
I hit up Trader Joe’s for the brined bird, 19#, pre-made gravy, potatoes, and stuffing makings. Somehow Trader Jo-Jo’s vanilla sandwich cookies and peppermint chocolate sandwich cookies, leapt into my cart, along with shortbread cookies with chocolate sea caramel toppings.
I experienced my first Unhappy holiday moment.
I fell in the produce section of the store- a cherry tomato had been liberated from its packaging, and a graceless ME managed to find it with my shoe. I went down like the Titanic. On to my titanium and silicone knee. It was a) embarrassing, and b) scary and c) painful.
The fall was followed by a very ridiculous return to the upright position that involved making a tent shape and walking myself back toward my feet. I have to say that I was afraid to put weight on the knee- it is, after all re-constituted with screws and glue. It is already a clunker, requiring some sort of revision. Truth told- I was afraid that it might have popped apart. But I am okay. Battered, not broken.
What made me sad was that my co-shoppers, and the Trader managers sitting in the elevated office did not make one move- to help, express concern, or even to clean up the smeared tomato. People were thick in that little corner of the store. I made eye contact with several women as I wobbled to my feet, and people actually looked away. I guess they were embarrassed FOR me. I wiped away the tomato so no other person would suffer indignity and pain. Then I went right to the check out.
I have tried to justify this insular response by thinking that I look fit, and did not seem incapacitated. But a word costs nothing, and takes just a second.
It created a reflective moment. Would I show concern for someone similarly injured?
I hope so.
Indifference diminishes our humanity. If the hustle of shopping and cooking insulates us from kindness, or in holiday parlance, keeps us from goodwill toward mankind- our eyes are on the wrong goal.
Hot baths have been just the ticket- for my aches and pains, and for some contemplative time. I am about to embark on a month of pin-point focus on little kindnesses I can do. “Can I help you?” is a good start. Holding a door, liberating a shopping cart, grabbing a top shelf item for a shortie, letting a tiny order skip in front of a big one- there are many opportunities for spreading cheer in the most basic daily routine. No humbug for me.
I am going to hustle less, celebrate more, and most of all- avoid Joe’s. Not the store, the cookies. I am already fluffy in addition to clumsy.
I think I will return to my native stores, Dominick’s and Jewel, where the wider aisles allow me to annex my body to a cart, and the produce managers wrangle migratory tomatoes in the interests of public safety. My orthopedic constitution will not be sacrificed for a brined bird.
And all of you: be careful out there. And kind.
More tomorrow on my upcoming Dahlgiving Day. BIG stuff is happening!!! Stay tuned.