I have never thought I was anything special. In fact, I think I may be the most unextraordinary person I know. I go through life trying to simply fit in, while still trying to be true to myself. It is not that I go around martyring myself to other people’s preferences. I have worked hard in my life to learn to ask for what I want. If I really, really want something, I will ask for it. On the other hand, I usually do not feel strongly enough about things to assert myself (except on my birthday… then, I am selfish and self-absorbed!). It is pleasant to go with the flow. I often find myself enjoying life more when I ride whichever wave happens by than if I had insisted on putting my choice first.
Even though I truly do not think there is anything terribly unique or wonderful about me, I do find that I blossom when someone else finds me special. It baffles me…but delights me.
Let me tell you about something that happened recently. I must explain the backstory for it to make sense, so please bear with me for a few seconds.
A few weeks back, I went to a lovely outdoor restaurant with a group of friends. The restaurant was getting ready to close for the summer (remember, I live in Florida where outdoor restaurants sound a whole lot more appealing than they actually are from the Memorial Day to Halloween.) It was a bit of a zoo due to crowding and we waited a long time for a table. Also, they were out of most of the menu items by the time we ordered. When we were finally finished, they were closing the place down. The food was yummy, though, and the server was excellent. Besides, there was a friendly German Shepherd Dog roaming around looking for diners to give him hands to pet and hand-outs to eat. All in all, it was a lovely experience. As we were leaving, the manager approached our table with eight boxed desserts that were leftover. She gave them to us.
I did not take one. As I explained to my friends, I must carefully consider priorities when eating, especially desserts. As a person with diabetes, I should not be eating them at all, so it has to be something I know I am going to love if I am going to indulge. I am a very unadventurous (read picky) eater. Neither peanut butter chiffon pie nor pistachio cream pie sounded like a certain winner to me. One of my friends mentioned that they had blueberry pie the last time she was there. I pointed out, very adamantly, that if there had been blueberry pie, my friends would have needed weapons to beat me out for a slice.
A week or so later, I was getting ready to run some errands when I received a text from one of my friends. She said she had a surprise for me and wanted to arrange to deliver it. I agreed to meet her near her house when we finished our errands.
The surprise was a piece of homemade blueberry pie. She was playing bridge with some friends the night before and the friend had made the pie for her guests. My friend asked if she could have hers “to go” and brought it to me.
This thoughtfulness of hers tickled me more than reasonable, I suppose. I was so surprised and delighted! It was not just that I love blueberry pie (and it was very yummy, by the way). It was more because my friend remembered me and what I had said in a very out-of-context situation. The surprise was the pie, but the surprise was also that she thought of me. My friend seemed surprised at the exuberance of my reaction. She probably did not think it was any big deal to bring me a piece of blueberry pie. It was.
The pie is long gone. The thought will be with me for a very long time, I know.
The next time you think about doing something nice for someone, don’t talk yourself out of it. Go ahead and do it. You may not think it is something special, but I bet the person for whom you do it will think it is special… and it will make you both feel special!
I truly am not writing this to fish for compliments that I am extraordinary and special. I really am not, except in the way everyone is extraordinary and special to those who love him or her. I would like to know, however, what you do to make the people in your life feel special and how do you feel when you do it? Please share your perspective by leaving a comment. In the alternative, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.