Wednesday, November 16, 2011
if you need anything...
you know how people like to say, "if you need anything, let me know"? and they always say it with a gentle smile, perhaps with a compassionate nod of the head. they sound like they mean it, but do you think they really do? and does anyone ever take someone up on one of those open ended offers of help?
i would like to propose that we start making specific requests whenever someone is kind enough to make one of those statements. we should make our needs known to our kind hearted well wishers.
next time you're at church and a polite lady with a southern accent asks how you're doing, tell the truth. tell her that you've been feeling pretty crummy lately and more tired than you usually admit. tell her that the bags under your eyes look like football makeup, but thank the kind Lord for some concealer so you can show your face in public. she'll likely pat your hand and say something like, "if there's anything i can do to help, you just let me know." generally we'd thank her and go on our cranky way, but not this time. the truth has started flowing and we're on a new path now.
this time you need to say, "well, since you asked.... i sure could use some help with the kids. is there a time next week when you might be able to keep them? what days are good for you?" or perhaps you don't have kids. so instead you might say, "i sure do hate grocery shopping and since you offered, would you mind picking some things up for me? here's my list and i don't like generics."
next time you walk into a store and an artificially perky sales associate greets you and asks if she can help you with anything, the answer is yes. you should pick out an armload of stuff that looks like it might be good, preferably in at least 2 sizes each because you need to be prepared. she'll help you carry it. she offered, right? then i think you should invite her into the dressing room with you. it's always great to get a second opinion, plus since she's available, you should have her hang up all your rejects and return them to the proper racks.
when you're at the bank, making a deposit or withdrawal, the teller always ends it with, "is there anything else i can do for you today?" i think that's the right time to turn your back to him and point to that pesky spot between your shoulder blades and tell him about the itch you just can't seem to reach. you might clumsily demonstrate with the chained down counter pen how you can't ever seem to contort your arms enough to get it really well. ask him to please scratch it for you. if he doesn't make a solid effort the first time, you should lift up the back of your shirt and ask him to please not be shy because this itchy mamajama's been bugging you all day.
when next you go out to eat at one of those restaurants where they leave you with a little treat at the end, like a little cookie or a mint, watch closely. you want to be paying attention when your server pulls it out of her apron pocket and places it on the table or check. right before she walks away, she'll always ask, "is there anything else i can get for you?" that's your cue to say, "actually, i'd like a mint that you haven't been carrying around for a few hours in your apron. because (and here is where you pick it up and mush it flat between your fingers) i have an issue with eating snacks that have been melted by your pubic heat."
and with that my friends, i leave you with the hope that you'll make your needs known. don't be shy, don't hold back. they offer, you accept. the world will be a better place for us all.