nurturing thursdays: “you’re a sweetheart!”

Reading that phrase, didn’t you get a warm fuzzy feeling in your navel?

I know I get a lift when someone compliments me. Not so much with how I’m dressed. I’ve gotten beyond outer appearances since becoming a senior. After all, clothes don’t make a person. Thank goodness! 

And yet, I must confess to still getting a boost when someone notices that I’ve been to my hairdresser. I look perkier after a henna rinse and a haircut. After all, a woman’s hair is her crowning glory, and if she needs a little outside help now and then, I say “What the hey! Go for it!”

However, such vain glory is nothing in comparison to being warmly acknowledged for something I’ve done for someone else.

Think of it.

A compliment is so easily spoken. If it’s on the tip of your tongue..don’t hold back. What’s the worse that could happen? You get a strange look?

In all my years of handing out compliments left, right, and in-between…I’ve never ever had the recipient look at me as if to say “Are you nuts?”

Quite the contrary! My words of praise or empathy have always been met with surprised happiness. It’s as though I’ve lit a rocket under the person’s feet, lifting him skywards into the clouds.

My husband and daughter are so use to my telling complete strangers…”You’re beautiful!”…or “You’re  such a sweetheart!”…or “Thank you so much! You just made my day!”

Whatever’s appropriate to the occasion, I never hesitate to put my feelings out there. 

The reaction to my compliments are so worth any effort. Although there’s really no effort to letting folks know how swell they are. 

Their smiles and sparkling eyes let me know I’ve made their day, whether it’s a waiter…a receptionist…a customer service rep…a salesperson…a store manager…a bank teller.  

Think of it as gift-giving year round. 

We needn’t wait until a special occasion to give the gift of ourselves. It’s more precious than a store bought one, no matter how beautifully wrapped.

Santa really does reside in each and every one of us.

A gift of fellowship is at our fingertips…to give away as often as we wish.

So, go ahead…compliment someone!

…make their day…and yours!

………hugmamma.

 

 

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friday fictioneers: seeing is believing…or is it?

Copyright - Adam Ickes

I was 7 when I learned Uncle Noah’s secret.

I’d come down to the dock to be alone. Time to myself during a family reunion that could suffocate.

Uncle Noah and I were loners. Perhaps that’s why he never married.

Although he fathered no children, they were always drawn to my uncle, myself included.

That fateful day I wandered off, hoping to catch some fish about which I could later boast.

Rounding the hedge of giant spruces, I gasped at what my eyes beheld.

Uncle Noah’s boots stood empty.

A sleigh drawn by reindeer was pirating him away.

Ho, ho, ho!!!

Letter to Santa Claus

I know this is a month early. However, it touched me instantly. I hope it does you as well…and ushers in a holiday filled with peace among all mankind…believers and those who believe differently.

………hugmamma.

Maxim Sense

santa_gifSanta Claus is very much alive, and to think this way out from a Muslim’s perspective, is doubly amazing, I think. I can’t speak for the Christians and those who likewise celebrate Christmas with Santa as the other prominent figure in addition to the Nativity. But for our Christian neighbors here I have not seen any difficulty in the way they hold  the religious Christmas from the fantasy and celebrate them both, and in doing so they both give and receive.

I have my own bias for this post which was originally posted in my blog last year at about the same time as now.  Just as Santa Claus seems to be seen as more of an immortal being now, or at least in the eyes of the innocent children, so is his memory and the way we fantasize him still, bring a lot of wonderful experience every Christmas. I…

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voice over…ho…ho…ho…

Andie Duncan’s Mum’s the Word at http://andieduncan.wordpress.com included the following video in her post…Aaaaand…We’re Rolling. 

Andie is a voice actor and a humorist. Previously she’d been a…

singer/songwriter and commercial composer, having had the privilege of opening for artists such as Joe Cocker, k.d. Lang, Jann Arden, and for Sarah McLachlan’s Estrofest, to namedrop a few.  If you’re curious, by all means check out this  Lilith Fair video

I don’t know about you, but I’m impressed.

Only on Word Press could I meet someone like Andie. And although we don’t travel in the same circles…professionally or socially…we can still reveal our innermost thoughts to one another…and millions of others. While those who think they know us best…will never be the wiser.

One thing Andie and I do have in common it seems…is loving to laugh. And we’d like to invite you to get into the spirit. with some holiday laughter…

…jingle bells…jingle bells… 

………hugmamma.

attitude adjustment

One day I had occasion to visit a beautiful, upscale mall in sunny southern California, The Costa Mesa Mall. Sprawling over several acres, it was a shopper’s paradise. A favorite phrase,”eye candy,” coined while strolling the cobblestone streets of Venice, seemed just as applicable at this retail complex. Anchoring this shopping mecca, were giants Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom’s, Sak’s, and Sear’s. Sprinkled in and around them were other name stores, Gap, BCBG, MaxMara, Mango, Barney’s New York, Abercrombie & Fitch, and a seemingly endless list of other brands. Rolex caught my eye. I’d not seen it in any other mall I’ve visited. In fact, I’ve never seen its storefront before.

My first stop had to be Bloomingdale’s. Our first “introduction” was at 53rd and Lex in NYC in 1976. Several years ago, my daughter and I visited a branch in Soho, New York. There’s a distinct vibe to the retail icon. It’s upscale with a contemporary, youthful flavor. New York is culturally diverse, with Chinatown and Little Italy as neighbors, deli workers commuting alongside doctors on subways, and homeless setting up house across the street from Trump Tower. As a result, Manhattan’s Bloomingdale’s caters to customers from all walks of life. Everyone is treated equally. When you enter the store, whether you browse or buy, you’re a BFF (best friend forever).

As I wandered through Costa Mesa’s Bloomingdale’s, the mood was the exact opposite of its “sister” in the east. I felt invisible as I made my way through different areas of women’s wear. Several of the saleswomen were young and Asian. None approached to assist me, instead greeting and speaking with Caucasian shoppers. I took notice because I’m half-Chinese. Perhaps I didn’t appear to have the money to spend. No matter I thought, I’m just browsing. If something “grabbed” my attention, I would’ve made myself known.

In lingerie, I looked at a selection of bras displayed on a table. While fingering one in particular, a lovely, black, young saleslady approached saying “Isn”t that nice!” I replied that it was, but couldn’t find the price. She checked one like it nearby. It too had no price, so she left to make inquiries, indicating she’d be right back. Upon returning with the price, she pointed to another bra that was on sale. Following her to the “sale” rack, I explained that I had been searching for one that I had seen more than a year ago at Free People. The saleslady quickly informed me that the store had a branch in the mall. I was pleasantly surprised that she referred me to a competitor. Her recommendation reminded me of the Santa Claus in “It’s A Wonderful Life.” If an item was not in stock, he sent customers from Gimbel’s, where he worked, to Macy’s where he thought they’d find exactly what they were looking for.

Leaving Bloomingdale’s I pondered what had just happened to me. I was ignored by my own ethnic “sisters”, and treated kindly by a black woman, who reached out in true sisterhood. On my way out of the store, I saw BCBG, a retailer of expensive, designer wear. Stepping inside, I strolled about, stopping to more closely inspect items that were of interest. The 3 young, Asian, sales help never acknowledged my presence. Interesting, I thought. As I made my way from the back towards the exit at the front, I stopped to allow one of the sales women to pass. I noticed a half-smile on her lips as she walked by. Continuing towards the door, I saw a Caucasian customer enter and heard one of the sales ladies call out “Hi! How are you?”

In my 20’s I perceived such affronts as there being something wrong with me. Almost 40 years later, I find such experiences curious. On its face it might seem that the Asian women thought I was “beneath” them and their Caucasian clientele. I was dressed well, but not anything like their regular customers. By contrast, the young, Black woman treated me as an equal or better, since I was a potential consumer. But setting aside what might seem like the obvious, it may be that the Asians were behaving according to stereotype, quiet and shy. And the black woman was, perhaps, more outgoing by nature. Murmuring to myself, I continued on my way.

My next encounter, more pleasant than those previously, added another dimension to the racial question. Sylvia, in DKNY, greeted me with a pleasant smile and “Hi! How are you?” As I wandered from table to rack, looking at Donna Karin designer digs, Sylvia’s eyes followed me. Stepping closer, she commented that I should let her know if I needed any help. I thanked her. When I finally spied a long, grey, sleeveless dress that might fit my daughter nicely, I asked for Sylvia’s assistance. We talked a little about the details of the dress, its fit, its color, its multiple use. I shared a picture of my daughter. Sylvia complimented my daughter’s beauty and her pursuit of dancing as a career. I learned that Sylvia was of Korean-Polish ancestry. I expressed my feeling that marriages between easterners and westerners, can produce attractive offspring. My husband and daughter who are Hawaiian-Chinese-Portuguese are proof-positive. I left in a very good mood, promising to return later that day, my daughter in tow.

Before heading off to get a bite to eat, I stopped in at Free People. Immediately inside the doorway, Ashley greeted me with a huge smile and friendly manner that wrapped around me like a warm blanket. We chatted continually while I moved hangers aside to better inspect each piece of clothing. I couldn’t stop staring at her, wondering who she looked like. After a few moments playing charades, we arrived at the conclusion that she bore a close resemblance to the youngest of the 3 protagonists fighting the “good fight” against the witches in “Hocus Pocus,” a Halloween favorite on the small screen. Throughout the boutique, Ashley met up with me to comment on an item that I’d hold up for a better look. A native Californian, she was the friendliest I’d ever met, and I told her so. She laughed, and thanked me for the compliment. To better explain myself I told her of my experience in Bloomingdale’s. “Oh!” she exclaimed, eyes rolling, “They need an attitude adjustment!” Well, I just loved her absolute candidness. She was too precious, I thought.

It was so refreshing to make small talk with a young person, so totally unimpressed with outward trappings. She was Caucasian, but it didn’t matter. She was a resounding reminder that it’s what a person is like on the “inside” that matters, not skin color, or social status, or age. Because of her innate skills for serving customers, Free People made a tidy sum when I returned with my daughter to make a number of purchases. I felt like Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman. I wanted to return to Bloomingdale’s and BCBG to say “I was the one you wouldn’t help. Big mistake! Huge mistake! Huge!”

best not judge a book by its cover…hugmamma