07 February 2011

because sometimes you just need a cream puff

This afternoon, before I went to the supermarket, I stopped at Barnes & Noble for tea and an hour of letter-writing. The woman in back of me on the line for the tea was sighing loudly and frequently - very frequently - and tapping her fingers on the counter. I'm in no hurry, I thought. "You can go ahead of me," I said. She did.

She ordered a single cream puff - a particular cream puff, the one in the back of the case - on a larger plate, please, not that tiny plate. The cream will get on the table if I cut into the cream puff on that tiny plate. No, I don't have a membership card. No, I don't want coffee...

I know what you're thinking, because I know what I was thinking until the moment she turned to me and said that she rarely even eats cream puffs, but today - today she really needed one.

"Sometimes you need a cream puff," I agreed.

Then she told me that her father had just died. Her mother was in a rehab facility, and would now have to come live with her. "My life just changed completely," she said.  Her house was full of casseroles and other well-meaning food from well-meaning people, but her house was also full of those people -- and what she really needed was a bit of space and peace and one cream puff.

I'm glad she knew that one simple thing , and I'm glad I let her go ahead of me. It was a simple enough mitzvah. Most mitzvahs are.

pink closeup 2
Just because I love it so, here's another view of my spun-up Abby Batt on a niddy-noddy.

And -- If you don't regularly visit Sandi Wiseheart's blog, Wiseheart knits, visit today. She has learned to admire the way the snow makes wigs for the bare trees, and has a photo of a snow angel that her dog made. You will smile. Promise.


Jenadina said...

I love this. How many times we go through life never realizing what a difference that one small thing can make for someone. Thanks for sharing.

Penny said...

Yes. If only more people realized how much little things like this mean to those that need.

how a bit of time (often in the form of a cream puff) can make a changing difference in someone's day and how they'll remember your simple gesture, your kind word, your smile long past the much needed time alone.

mitzvahs are easy and enjoyable. they often don't cost any money. Most only take a few moments of time. why aren't more done?

teabird said...

Why aren't more done? Because we're not mindful. I really think that's the issue: mindfulness.

Anonymous said...

Years ago, I was a travel agent. One day this woman walked into our agency and wanted to book a flight to San Francisco in a few days. She was very bitchy and rude, to the point where I was about ready to tell her to go somewhere else. Then she said, "But what do people do when their sister killed herself and you want to go to the funeral?"

I took a deep breath and recalculated. I know not all bitchy people have a good reason :-) but some definitely do.

Daphne said...

Such a lovely story. Sometimes you really do need to go first and order your cream puff just so. I try to remember a line I heard once, something like, "Everyone around us is always doing the best they can." and sometimes the best you can do is to ask for what you need, maybe not in the nicest way. And the best I can do is to try and give it to them.

wrtrmaus said...

Lovely. Thank you.

Donna Lee said...

A few weeks ago while I was in the grocery store, I let a trio of elderly people get in front of me in line. I had a large basket full of groceries and theirs was much smaller. All there had walkers/canes. They were so grateful you'd think I'd given them something wonderful instead of letting them go ahead of me. I'm rarely in a hurry. I try not to live my life in a hurry and to be present in whatever moment I'm in. I was embarassed as they told my husband over and over how nice I was.

People are so appreciative if we just give them a chance.

Bubblesknits said...

Wonderful post.

KnitNana said...

Excellent post. Must remember this when I'm next in line with a "sigh-er."

Carrie K said...

Aw. That was so good for her that you were there and did that for her. Because yes, sometimes you do need *that* creampuff.

Sandi's pictures are amazing! I bookmarked her to revisit.

PJ said...

moment in time to witness..some how I don't think that woman will ever forget you. Congrats on the land...what a wonderful stretch!