Friday, September 19, 2008

What's Hot, What's Not

He had style that's for sure. At one point he reached to an upper shelf and his hoodie rode up displaying six pack abs, I thought the clerk would swoon. His girlfriend was one of those bright bubbly women that is hard not to love on sight. She was having a great time shopping. He, strong of jaw, was not. She did everything to try to keep him entertained and enjoying himself. She had a riff of material, most of it really funny. He didn't even so much as smile.

You could tell that she was running low on energy, low on fun and low on self-esteem. He may look good in a mirror, but in real life, his disposition slowly transformed him into something much less than handsome. I felt for her. Even as I rolled away I tried sending the message - dump the grump, dump the grump, to her. But I don't think she recieved. I mean, what's the good of a six pack, when the contents are stale.

A while later I've got my purchases, two gifts for two friends, tucked into my wheelchair bag waiting for the cash out. In front of me were an elderly couple, I had seen them in the same area as the hottie and the nottie, shopping for shirts. He had the stroke walk. She still walked briskly, still had to remind herself to slow down, still had to keep him focused on the task at hand. Now they were in front of me, he was struggling to ask a couple of questions of the cashier. His wife actually put her hand to her mouth, holding it shut. She hadn't given in to the urge to speak for him. Good for her.

Satisfied with the clerk's answer he decided to buy the shirt. He turned to his wife, a sparkle lit the eyes but did not untie the tongue which worked hard to get his thoughts out. "When I was younger, I bought clothes to impress the girls, now I buy shirts that hide my dribble." Then the two of them howled with laughter. He hung on to her for balance. Both the clerk and I started laughing with them.

Shirt in the package, they moved away and I edged closer to the counter, I heard her whisper, "Let's go home sexy."

And he was.

I saw the young woman watching the elderly couple leave. I think, for a moment, she was envious. I hope, for her sake, that she comes to realize that the content is much more important than the container.

11 comments:

Caroline said...

We should all have that last statement taped to our bathroom mirror

Heike said...

We have a wise old Flemish saying that, very loosely translated goes "Those that marry a bitch for her looks lose the looks but are stuck with the bitch" except that it rhymes, and sounds much cheekier in Dutch. But the meaning is clear. Even if we don't get a stroke, we all get older and those super bodies just don't compensate for a yuk personality...

Brenda said...

I've only recently discovered your blog, and I'm so glad I did. You have such a wonderful way with words! Today's post summed up one of the most important lessons I've tried to teach my children; that the wrapping is the stuff that gets thrown away - the inside is what you keep and treasure. I hope that young woman figures this out before too long. Keep sharing your wit and wisdom!

little.birdy said...

What a wonderful story! Thanks so much for sharing. I am going to be working with stroke victims someday and I hope I am blessed to work with a couple as lovely as the one you describe.

Shan said...

Oh, well said Dave! And well said everybody else, too...

sonkind said...

I loved reading here and I like your blog a lot. Have a magnificent week-end - from sunny South Africa :-)

gracie1956 said...

What a sweet story! Beauty is only skin deep but ugly (attitudes) goes all the way to the bone.

Belinda said...

I loved, "the hottie and the nottie!" :)

I think that there is not a thing more beautiful in all the world than a couple whose hearts still beat for each other regardless of the changing packaging.

abby said...

you are a master at gleaning beauty from observation and eavesdropping. Thank you for sharing, and putting tear prickles in the corners of my eyes once again.

All 4 My Gals said...

You have such a gift Dave. And I know those around you are blessed by your presence. I only wish I could run into you in the store. That would make my day!

Stephanie said...

I have sprung a leak! ;) This story floods me with emotion. I have my reasons....some other time maybe. This was a beautiful post and I thank you so much for sharing it! Love heike's comment also!!

We really need to work with our kids on self-esteem and whats on the inside that matters!