Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Anonymous Chocolate and Other Mysteries of Life
Your moms all said it at some point: “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. Generally, I suppose this is a good approach to life. But sometimes, there just ISN’T anything nice to say. Nothing. For days and days, not one nice word pops into your mind.
It’s been that kind of season here. I have an entire dictionary’s worth of NOT nice words floating about in my head. But as mom/wife/sister/daughter/friend, silence isn’t often an option. And when I do start talking, the unprintable torrent can
easily spiral out of control.
Likewise, I don’t expect anyone to come up with Hallmark-esque cheerfulness for me. Sometimes there just isn’t anything nice to say.
I am really, really trying to keep this from becoming a blog about our pet Elephant, the one that stays in our living room and takes away all our nice things to say. But he has a compelling way of getting into all of my business. And when he shows up, all other little things tend to go wrong, which does not help my vocabulary.
Since I have nothing nice to say, I tend to hide, and type, and wander around my house, thinking unspeakable things about that blasted Elephant in his ill fitting muumuu, sitting on my couch and leaving crumbs Everywhere. I know people find the Elephant disturbing, some find the Elephant super confusing, people who know my family well find the Elephant very upsetting. Heck, I think a few folks I know like to ignore the Elephant. I wish I could. Instead I hide, and hope that things will work themselves out.
For the record, for everyone who ever has a friend with an Elephant: we know there isn’t anything to say to make it better, there isn’t any good word that will take the Elephant away…that’s ok. We appreciate any kind word, any little word that lets us know you care. If you can’t talk about the Elephant, that’s ok. We understand. Just being a friend is good enough.
I deeply appreciate the friends and family who shop with me, or drag me out of my house (even as the Elephant is yelling after me), or just talk to me about zucchini. Really. It’s enough.
And then, sometimes, there is a brilliant mysterious moment…
Enter Anonymous Chocolate.
The box arrived with no return label. It was big, and it contained a Styrofoam cooler. I was intrigued. I have kind of a problem with internet shopping (oh, Amazon, my downfall!), but I have managed recently to mostly limit my purchases to books and supplies for school. Certainly uniform polo shirts would NOT come in a cooler.
With a squeak the lid released from the bottom…and there was the Biggest Hershey Kiss I ever saw, full of little Hershey Kisses…next to the biggest Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups I ever saw.
Yes, there was almost an angelic “aaaaaaaaah” in my kitchen.
I lifted up the ice packs, squeaked the rest of the cooler out of the box…there was NO paper, no invoice, no record of who sent this pile o’ joy in a box.
I looked around, as if someone would pop out from behind a door and say “ta da! Surprise!”…but of course no one did.
After a suitable few minutes of almost unspeakable awe, I turned to that bastion of information and networking, Facebook…while folks “liked” my status, nobody ‘fessed up to sending this delight.
My daughters came home from Grandma’s and were instantly agog. My older girl kept trying to figure out WHO could have sent the box.
Finally I had to explain that Someone wanted to do something sweet (!) and kind for us WITHOUT letting us know. We just had to accept the joy and love this Anonymous Chocolate represented, and say a little prayer for whoever sent it to us.
Anonymous Chocolate is a rare delight. The very rarity of it makes it even MORE delightful. There’s something kind of unnerving about it, but in a happy kind of way. Not only was this chocolate anonymous, it was GIGANTIC.
I have to admit, we haven’t eaten it yet. It is sitting majestically on our kitchen counter, a testament to someone who maybe didn’t have anything nice to say either, but used the universal language of a hidden act of kindness to express love.
Thank you, Anonymous Chocolate sender. That chocolate is so big it does sometimes obscure the Elephant…or at least lets us know that whatever happens, we are not alone in this season.
And that is something nice to say after all.