Friday, June 3, 2011

Of Trifles, Bells, and Being Asked Out

I must admit that the last few weeks of work (at Wal*Mart, in the bakery, in case some of you don't know) have not been easy. I've been scheduled primarily for closing, which includes all of the pan-up (pulling all the boxes out of the freezer and getting everything ready for the next day's baking) and all of the cleaning. There is little to no interaction with other people, since the other bakery people escape by mid-afternoon.

I thrive on human interaction. It was not always this way, but it is now. So, I've been feeling more and more burned out as I work each evening in solitude. As I was putting the Italian bread dough on the pans tonight, I prayed these words to Whomever cared to be listening to my griping: "God, I can't take this for very much longer! Please do something."

And He did, although I didn't put the pieces together until a little later. Sit back and let me tell you about the three separate incidents that put a smile on my face.

1. A man called the bakery phone tonight, and I picked up, thinking that he wanted to place a cake order. Well, he thought he'd reached the bank, and so while we were chuckling about the mistake and I was rummaging about for the correct number to give him, he decided to make a move. "So, what do you do in the bakery?" I told him I bake bread and I answer phones. He laughed. Then he lowered his voice to what he apparently believes to be a seductive tone and said "What are you doing when you get off work tonight?" Now, I could have taken this the wrong way and gotten offended, but quite honestly, it cracked me up. I told him that I was going to go home and eat supper with my family. "Oh, you have a family?" There is acute disappointment ringing in his voice, and I realize he's assumed I meant my husband and children, but I just cheerfully respond that I do, in fact, have a family. "Well," he says, undeterred, "You should invite me over for dinner sometime. I'll even make the meal. I will wine and dine you!" I just laughed and said that sounded like fun, gave him the number he needed for the bank, wished him a fine evening, and hung up before I lost it completely. I was laughing so hard that tears were rolling down my face, but it sure improved my evening! (Come to think of it, does it count as being asked out if the guy invites himself over? Oh well, I don't feel like changing the title of the post.)

2. I am doing something in the backroom, trying to get everything done before it's time to go, and I hear the bell ring on the counter out front. I walk to the doorway to see what the customer needs and no one is there. I'm a bit confused, but I can't rule out that I'd simply imagined the bell, so I go back to my work. Soon, I hear it again. I poke my head out the door, and this time I see a young boy, probably about 10 or 11, standing across the room looking at me. He waves and then darts off to follow his mother. I just shake my head and laugh, and get back to work. Before too long, there's another *ding* and I go to investigate. There he is again, but he motions me over and starts nervously mumbling and gesturing towards our display of pies and cookies. As I'm trying to make sense of his words, I watch his face, and I notice that he is absolutely beautiful. I think he's Indian. He has flawless dark skin, shiny black curls, and gorgeous brown eyes. I realize that he's asking if we have cookies to give as free samples (as we often do) and I say, teasingly "Oh! You want cookies!" He breaks into this huge, relieved grin and nods vigorously. Well, he got his cookies while his mother gives me an embarrassed, apologetic look over his head. She had nothing to be embarrassed or apologetic about. :) Kids will be kids.

3. A woman came along and asked if we had any angel food cake in the back, since there was none left on the shelf. Digging through the freezer for an elusive box of cake was just about the last thing for which I had time, but I looked anyway. And sure enough, I found a box or two in the farthest stack of boxes. I brought some out to her. "Bless your heart! You're a life-saver! I'm making trifles and I really needed these."
I could tell she was in the mood to chat, and I needed a break anyway, so I said "Oh? I'm making trifles later this month too!" (For those of you who don't know, trifles are a yummy dessert with layered cake pieces, pudding, whipped cream, and usually a fruit). We ended up chattering away for about 5 minutes about the different recipes we were planning on making, and the benefits of using brownies instead of cake pieces, or raspberries in place of cherries. It was wonderful.

I will never cease to be amazed at what God does for us. It was such a little detail to attend to; unnecessary in the grand scheme of things, but He still reached down and placed those people in my evening to cheer me up.
How often to do I overlook these moments, or just attribute them to normal life?

How often do I miss the chance to laugh?

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