Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Pay It Forward

*Or the “Who would look a gift horse in the mouth? Me. That’s who.” Post

My home is very open. Always has been. Growing up, our house was where all the girls hung out. Day in & day out. After school and random weekends. They were here so much that they all knew to stick their hands into the mail slot to unlock the screen door so they could let themselves in (because if we were home, the key was in the door. Don’t get any funny ideas about robbing me.) Same with The Man…he & his friends could be found if not cruising Crenshaw (damn, I’m old!), then they were at the house.

Know what happens when you have two people who are used to having company? A house full of people, that’s what. Since I’ve been married, I don’t remember a time when there wasn’t SOMEBODY over. And just about everybody was welcome. Except for that one guy who ran around on his wife all the time, and tried to make The Man his partner in crime. HE – couldn’t even look in my house’s direction. Who me, bitter? ANYWAYS… my point is that my home has always been open. You’re coming to LA/Arizona/Boston/Hawaii? Stay here! Always wanted to go to LA? Not only will we show you around (and Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles in not out of the question), you can come stay with us at the folks’ house...because they are used to us inviting people over. The Holidays were a mixture of family, friends, and Marines who didn’t go home for the holidays.

I never really thought of as being generous, it just was. The same way my eyes are brown, I expected that there would be extra people at the house for Christmas. The point? (I bet you didn’t think there was one, did you?) A very close friend offered me a gift. Because she and her husband wanted us to have it. And I refused. Because I never want my friends to think that I love them for the things they give me, instead of who they are. But I did ask why. The response gave me something to think about: we give so much of ourselves to others, that they would like to do something generous for us. It was a surprise, to say the least.

And what she said stayed with me. The things that I do for other people, I do because I want to, because I CAN. The things that I do for my friends I do with an open heart, and that’s the way it should be. The gift…? Is being offered because they wants to. And they can. Am I the only one in our relationship allowed to give a gift, be generous? After all, I'm pretty damn sure that their friendship is not based on all the my awesome apple cobbler. Heh.

So I said all that to say that she changed my mind. I’m choosing to accept their gift with the open heart in which it was offered. So I guess maybe instead of looking the gift horse in the mouth, I'll look down at his shoes. After all, I like shoes. Although, I don't know that I want somebody welding or nailing or doing whatever the hell it is they do to horse ummm... feet? That's bound to fuck up my pedicure.


Kori said...

I totally want to know what the gift is. Really.

But it is always so mcuh easier to give than to get; and there are maybe a lot of reasons in our own tiny little minds why that is the way it should be, but oyu know what? Sometimes people just love us as much as we love them, and that's enough.


Anonymous said...

I always feel welcome in your home and life. I wish you could air maile me some R Ckn & Wffls!
I do know when to take my bum home too! HUGS