Home > Humor, Parenting, Personal > Laughing at myself

Laughing at myself

“Would you like to buy some Girl Scout cookies?” a small, bespectacled girl asked me as I left the grocery store.

“No, thank you!” I said as I cruised past.

“Good job being brave!” I heard her mom encouraging her.

Her mom’s words bounced around my brain as I crossed the lot toward my car.

Brave? I guess it is, huh?

I turned around and returned to the girl’s table.

“Tell you what!” I said as I handed her five dollars.
“How about you give a box to the next person who stops to buy some?”

“Thank you!” exclaimed mom and daughter together.

I smiled as I walked back to my car, wondering who would get that box of cookies and whether they’d pay it forward.

It was fun both to wonder and to remain faceless.

At my car, I reached into my purse for my keys. I couldn’t find them.

They weren’t in my grocery bag, either.

I bet myself I’d set them on the table in order to fish my wallet out of my purse.

But I didn’t want that! I wanted to be a mysterious, kindly passerby!

Wishing wasn’t moving me closer to my keys, so I returned to the young Scout’s table.

“You’re sure to see her any moment–” I heard the mom saying.

Yep, I told myself. “Her” sure can’t go far without her keys!

“That’s the one!” she said, nodding in my direction to the young man assessing his cookie options.

I snagged my keys and jogged off, feeling remiss.

“Thank you!” the young man shouted after me.

“Enjoy!” I shouted back before disappearing into my car.

I felt mortified many times over when I thought of how I’d failed to do even this one simple thing right. That feels like much of my life right now: as many missed shots as good intentions.

Of course, a few days later, I’m chuckling over the whole thing.

Take things seriously much?

It might not have turned out as I hoped, but it’s not as if it turned out badly.

It’s like that with most things that don’t go according to my plan, I think.

So maybe, just maybe, now is a great time to stop judging myself on peripheral mishaps and looking at the whole picture instead.

‘Cause let’s face it: If I judge myself a failure every time I misplace my keys, I’ll spend a lot of time weeping.

I have bigger mistakes to worry about, and so much to laugh about in between … if only I actually remember to laugh!

  1. February 17, 2015 at 2:07 pm

    Oh goodness gracious, dear-y me. That’s life all right. You still did pay it forward in an unexpected and fun way.

    • February 17, 2015 at 7:55 pm

      In retrospect, I should have been clued in by how he shouted “thank you” (not “loser”), huh? ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. February 17, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    I think it turned out very well indeed. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. February 17, 2015 at 2:25 pm

    Don’t be mortified that your attempt to pay it forward didn’t go as planned! Be proud that you initiated such a movement! As “they” always say – Be the reason someone else smiles today! Mission Accomplished!

    • February 17, 2015 at 8:00 pm

      I love how you phrased this, thank you! I’ve been turning this over in my mind this evening. It wasn’t as I expected, but that doesn’t make it bad.

      As time becomes scarcer on the weekdays, it’s easy for me to fall in the trap of thinking everything must go exactly as I’ve outlined it at all times, and that all order will cease if it doesn’t. Not so, not so. I’m glad for misplaced keys giving me a chance to piece this together. (Now if only I can remember … !)

  4. February 17, 2015 at 2:45 pm

    What a message… thanks for sharing this. For a while I thought you might have given the key to the girl ;-). I always try to be as organized as possible but I can never find anything right away in my purse… and I honestly never understand why…

    • February 17, 2015 at 8:01 pm

      It wouldn’t have surprised me if I had given them to her, honestly! I couldn’t even remember setting them on the table. It just seemed like the kind of thing I would do. :p

      I’m getting more and more organized by the day, but there are a few items I think I’ll forever be looking for:

      * Glasses
      * Laptop
      * Keys

      Good thing they’re items I hardly ever use, right?!

  5. February 17, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    That was too, too funny! It is crazy what we do to ourselves. You were awesome. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • February 17, 2015 at 8:02 pm

      It really is crazy! I’m not sure why understanding this particular piece of that whacked me over the head today, but I’m sure glad it did. ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. February 17, 2015 at 3:04 pm

    “that’s the one” should have been “there’s the strong one”… I mean really… passing on GS cookies…. that’s some strength! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • February 17, 2015 at 8:04 pm

      Hee. Anthony brings all kinds of sweets home, then admonishes me when I eat copious amounts in one sitting: “Willpower, Deb, willpower.” I do have it, though! I have it in the not-buying stage, because once it comes home … it’s alll over.

  7. February 17, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    Cute! You were a hero to that little girl, and you also gave someone a box of cookies in the process! You will forever be known as the lady who gave away a box of cookies!

    • February 21, 2015 at 8:57 am

      That is an uplifting thought indeed, regardless of the then existing state of my keys. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  8. February 17, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    Every silly,goofy moment in my life (and I have them quite regularly as I age!), I remind myself: “Lucie, God put you on this Earth to make others laugh! ” (And like the over-achiever I am with everything, I do one thing goofier than the other most every day!) Welcome to the circus we call, LIFE! (So, did you get a “little breather”, Kiddo, from writing????) ๐Ÿ™‚ โค

    • February 21, 2015 at 8:59 am

      I feel much better when I make people laugh than when I make them cry, but goodness knows I’m better at the latter! I think this just means I need to learn from the people around me and practice more. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      • February 21, 2015 at 4:15 pm

        Don’t we all (feel better when we make people laugh, rather than CRY?), but so often I find the “tears” are just below the surface of the “laughter”…..Have a good weekend, Deborah!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. February 17, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    I’ve bought coffee a few times for the car behind me in the drive-through, and always scurry off at top speed so they can’t actually LOOK at me. It’s fun! But the other day I was on the receiving end, and I have to tell you, it absolutely made my day. A stranger bought me coffee AND a cookie – it was just the BEST!

    • February 21, 2015 at 9:04 am

      I was part of a pay-it-forward coffee chain once! The barrista gave me sweeter that made my coffee undrinkable (due to my sensitivities), which made me grumpy for a few minutes. Then I thought about how I’d gotten that coffee through someone else’s kindness, and passed it on to someone else. Grumpiness: gone!

      (I wish I didn’t have to keep learning the same lessons over and over again! I do think I pick up a few up permanently along the way, tho’ …)

      • February 21, 2015 at 1:54 pm

        Oh my word, yes, wouldn’t it be wonderful if lessons learned would just stay LEARNED!

  10. February 17, 2015 at 6:53 pm

    Perfection makes us slightly crazed. Let go, dance and have fun. It is the accidental ridiculous that makes it all worth it.


    • February 21, 2015 at 9:07 am

      “Perfection makes us slightly crazed.” IT DOES! No need to be perfect as long as we’re enjoying as much as possible the little bit of time we get to have here.

      I was getting all frantic about getting something right–quickly–at my new job. I crave perfection there. My manager smiled calmly right before reminding me lives will not begin or end due to anything I’m doing there. That gentle, amused reminder gave me the perspective to once again strive for learning instead of perfection now.


  11. lishawrites
    February 17, 2015 at 7:23 pm

    But the stranger got to see and hear your joy, and that would certainly be contagious.

    • February 21, 2015 at 9:08 am

      I have to admit … I was uplifted by the guy’s bemused, thrilled incredulity: “Are you pulling my leg?!” I didn’t have the experience I expected, but the one that transpired was (at least) equally sweet. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. February 18, 2015 at 12:32 am

    You did brilliantly! It’s those kind gestures that make you smile for hours. Who cares if it wasn’t ‘the plan’? A plan can take the colour out of your day. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • February 21, 2015 at 9:09 am

      “A plan can take the colour out of your day.” Truth! Now, having benefited from the experience and other folks’ wisdom here, I’m glad this happened not according to my plan. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • February 21, 2015 at 9:44 am

        Ah, that’s good! ‘All’s well that ends well!’ ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. February 18, 2015 at 7:18 am

    I would say that you paid it forward just right! lol it went exactly as it was supposed to go ๐Ÿ˜‰

  14. February 19, 2015 at 5:48 pm

    I know you didn’t do it for the “thank you” but at least you got to hear it, which is always nice. That was kind of you. I tend to be too hard on myself when it comes to things like this too, actually everything. It is a good lesson to think bigger. I have to say though, I cannot pass up the girl guide cookies here if they are the mint ones… oh they are just the best thing ever!

    • February 21, 2015 at 9:16 am

      It really is nice to hear “thank you.” (Almost as nice as to say it!)

      The words “think bigger” really jump out at me here. They’re the kind of thing I need to remember when panicking about something not going according to my plan, or “perfectly.” I need short, sweet remedies to get me grounded again. “Think bigger” is exactly what I need to remind myself that this moment, this not-quite-right is part of something much grander in all senses of the world … and much less stressful when seen as such. Thank you!

  15. February 20, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    Gah! We’re always beating ourselves up, aren’t we? The important thing was that you went back and acknowledged that little girl’s efforts. Nice story, Deb!

    • February 21, 2015 at 9:19 am

      I’m so, so glad her mom said what she did! In my own life, I’m trying to move toward heavily favoring positive over negative reinforcement, so hearing those words felt like a great opportunity to strengthen that commitment … to say, you know, this is scary, but you’re doing just great. (“Keep doing it!”)

  16. February 23, 2015 at 5:11 am

    My personal weakness is leaving my walking stick behind. fortunately, it’s not a bag or I would have triggered several bomb scares by now!!
    I also find many handbags make it hard to be organised and everything piles up inside in the blackness where you can’t find it. When you are disorganised like me, sometimes you end up building so much scaffolding to sort yourself out that you become super-organised. That’s what I have achieved with a couple of handbags which have good compartments and a spot for my phone and a spot for my keys. They also need to be big enough for a novel and a small notepad. I know a really good charity shop in an upmarket area and I wrote this post about the bag I bought there and I thought you might like it: https://beyondtheflow.wordpress.com/2014/01/23/the-bag-lady/
    By the way, well done for byuing the cookies and showing some compassion and thoughtfulness! xx Rowena.

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