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Posts Tagged ‘mothers’

The Irish and Southerners are born storytellers. Think James Joyce or William Faulkner, or John Grisham. When I was a child in Tennessee and we visited the extended family, the women sat in the kitchen telling stories about their lives as wives, and the men sat in livingroom telling stories about sports and jobs and politics.

By accident I became a lawyer. But by birth I am a storyteller. Fortunately, lawyers tell stories, so I got it half right.

In California people do not like to wait. Show Californians a line, and they will begin to complain. This annoys me because growing up Southern, I learned it is polite to take your turn. Even if that means waiting. And polite waiting is not grumbling about it.

As you can imagine, as an appellate attorney who essentially writes legal term papers for a living, I am a huge patron of FedEx. They make all my briefs ready to go to the court of appeal. So one of the places, I am often in line is my local, favorite FedEx.

On Sunday morning I bopped in wearing my workout attire because I was on my way to the gym. (And no makeup, by the way. A real switch up for a daughter of the South who wouldn’t leave the house without mascara for most of her life. I am certain I will die with my mascara ON.) Before the guy working the counter could find my latest legal gem, now copied and bound and looking oh so All Pro, he had to wait on the customer ahead of me. She was involved in directing him in some sort of copying job. I immediately switched into “waiting mode” and studied my counter companion. She was a middled aged woman, wearing sweat pants, t-shirt, and jeans jacket. I could tell she had spent at least ten seconds pulling this outfit together. She was definitely not thesartorialist.com material. But what set her apart was the plethora of gold and diamond jewelry on her hands. Literally a ring on each finger. A BIG one with a BIG diamond in each.

Now, it was a bit much. And I wouldn’t do it. But it worked on her for some odd reason. So I complimented her jewelry.

She broke into a huge smile as people often do when they know you are interested in their story. She explained the rings were gifts from her children although she had chosen them herself. “I ask them to give me money throughout the year for birthday and Christmas and Mother’s Day. And I save up in a special account, and I buy something I want.” Then I realized she now carried with her every day on every finger a visible reminder of her children’s love. So her jewelry wasn’t too much, after all. It was just right for her. It’s amazing how you enrich your own life when you give away a compliment and receive a story in return.

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