Countdown to Valentine’s Day: Day 5!I’m what you call a big reminiscer. Yes, that’s really a word. I checked. But, I’m that type that keeps track of certain dates on the calendar & years later says, “On this day, 10 years ago, we were leaving for vacation and I was wearing my red sweater and you were wearing…”, okay, that’s an exaggeration. I can’t remember that kind of stuff. My husband will argue that I can’t remember the plot of a movie we watched two nights ago. He’s actually right about that, but the important stuff? I remember. And just the other day I was thinking back to different Valentine’s Days & I remembered one that made me laugh. And then I stopped laughing because it reminded me of something I didn’t want to be reminded of. So here’s what happened:It was Valentine’s night. My husband had gotten us reservations at a great restaurant we loved. When we got there, the place was packed with couples & the whole restaurant had been rearranged & pretty much every table had been divided into about a hundred “tables for two”. When they led us to our table, we soon discovered that we were going to be quite cozy…with everyone around us. Our table was literally about 12 inches from the table beside us. But, so far, there was no one at that table, so, we weren’t worried. I don’t know how many minutes of quiet, romantic atmosphere we enjoyed, but it had to be somewhere in the neighborhood of five. Then, the hostess brought a man to the table beside us, seating him directly beside me. The 12-inch gap began to feel more like 3 inches. My husband & I immediately glanced at each other. I gave him that wifely look that said, “Umm… can you help me at all? I’m close enough to smell this guy’s shampoo!” He replied with that look that says, “Well, Dear, what do you suggest I do? Tell him to get lost?” And with that, we began our awkward, small-talk-infused romantic dinner. I knew there was really nothing that could be done. The entire restaurant was full of people whose personal space was being invaded. So we just smiled, trying to pretend everything was normal. It was obvious that my new neighbor was waiting for someone by the way he was arranging things on the table, checking his pocket to see if the something he was looking for was still there, looking over his shoulder, etc. I saw all of this through peripheral vision, of course. He was way too close to me for me to look directly at his face. And within a few more minutes, our telepathicly-conveyed suspicions were confirmed & She showed up. She blustered in like a gust of wind, greeting her date & bumping into things as she tried to squeeze into her seat and become my husband’s new neighbor. And even without ever looking at her, I knew the type. Older than me, dressed a little flamboyantly, quite possibly an owner of 3 to 5 cats, and clamorous. Not to be confused with glamorous. Clamorous is the louder, annoying cousin to Glamorous. I’m not saying she was repulsive. Just, very well at making her presence known to everyone’s ears. Our food came. We continued to try to communicate the hilarity of the situation to each other in coded conversation. They continued sharing their conversation with everyone around them. And then, at about the same time, my husband & I realized that their conversation turned serious. Deep. Definitely taking a path that was leading up to something. By now I was starting to feel like I knew these people. I mean, I’d already heard about both of their days at the office, his mom’s health, and the cats that I had been so sure were a part of this equation. We kept our forks still, trying to chew quietly as we casually glanced at each other, raising our brows ever-so-slightly to signal the other to “listen up!”And then it appeared, welcomed by her shrill squeal: a small box. “Wow! Our friends are getting engaged!” I willed my husband to hear. We waited nonchalantly, pushing our peripheral vision to its limits, still trying to pretend we weren’t listening. She gushed as she opened the box, not even trying to conceal her excitement. And then it opened, and the world stood still for a second before we heard the word, “Earrings!?!?” spew from her mouth like it was a curse word. My eyes locked on my husband’s. I think he swallowed a piece of his steak without chewing it. I held my breath, wondering if we should run for the door or stay to watch. Of course we stayed. Leaving would be like missing the season finale of the Biggest Loser. I don’t think the guy was even able to get in word among her ranting. I just remember her leaving. And then when the waiter came over to see what the fuss was about, he slipped the guy a bill from his wallet & said, “We won’t be staying, but here’s your tip: ‘Never give a girl diamond earrings when she’s expecting a diamond ring.’.”If this whole episode seems like the premise for a good movie, it is, & someone’s already made it. But here’s the part I don’t like. I don’t know who to feel sorry for. You want to feel sorry for him, but then again, the guy got off the hook & found out who he was really dealing with before he actually did buy a ring. And the girl, well, she was only disappointed because she had set her expectations too high. Oh, how that hits home with me! How many times have I let myself get upset when things didn’t go as I wanted, only to be reminded by the Holy Spirit (or my husband) that the world doesn’t revolve around me? Why do I always think I deserve a diamond ring when I’ve been given something just as sparkly and shiny? And how can I expect to teach my kids not to be spoiled until I stop acting spoiled myself? These are the questions I need to be able to answer. I need to remember everyday that His plan is best for me and not my own ideas. And I need to meditate on this:Psalms 62:5My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my EXPECTATION is from him.
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