Tuesday, November 19, 2013
I Am the Little Red Hen
I had a difficult day yesterday that turned out to have a pretty happy ending.
The part that made it difficult was the unreliability of other people. Do you ever feel like other people take care of your helpfulness and no one is willing to step out and help you? The Little Red Hen would understand what I'm going through.
The first thing to throw me was when a friend called last minute and asked me to pick up her daughter from school. She got stuck at work and couldn't get there in time. I absolutely didn't have time to do that, but I surely wasn't going to make her daughter stand out in the cold for 40 minutes. So I drove her across town, which made me ten minutes late to pick up Big Sis. That's the kind of person I am. Yes, I ended up putting out the teacher and my daughter in the meantime, but I had to step up and help when necessary.
Last night was a big event I organize every other year. I teach all teenage girls in my club, and their mothers, how to make homemade pies. It's a huge ordeal and it's expensive. I have to haul trunk loads of stuff up to the church, sterilize and cover tables, wash dishes that have been stored for two years, print recipes, and instruct the class. Each mother is supposed to work with her daughter, listening to my instruction while helping her with technique. Every year, there are moms who can't make it. I get stand-in moms who come out and team up with a motherless girl. It seems like those helpers bail out on me every time. I ended up calling my lifelong BFF and asking her to fill in last minute. She was a peach who jumped in to help, but I needed more help. You would not believe the number of people who flat out told me no. People just aren't willing to help any more. I never did find enough help and we had to make do with what we had.
I asked Son #1 to go to the church to help me set up tables. He pitched one of his teenage hissy fits and I was in no mood to argue with him. I stormed out the door and did it myself. That task resulted in me carrying 8' tables up a flight of stairs. No fun. Thankfully, I didn't drop any of them or hurt myself, which I thought was likely to happen. Finally, someone gave Hubby word what I was doing and he stormed right up behind me and yelled at me for doing it myself. He helped with the last couple tables. I vented my frustrations to him, using a word I rarely use, "People suck," I said.
I did have one helper show up early. She was a tremendous help, as was one mother who was somewhat early. The two daughters of the early mom fought and screamed at each other, which made me a nervous wreck.
The instruction went pretty well. Of course, there were the people who didn't listen to anything I said and messed up. We end up wasting a lot of ingredients because people don't pay attention. When it was over, there were the people who left without cleaning up after themselves. It blows my mind! I found one of our bowls filled with apple chunks and juice that someone just left for other people to take care of. There was flour and juice all over the floor. There were Crisco covered measuring cups that no one even tried to clean. I looked at the giant mess and almost cried. One of my helpers stood around, watching everyone else clean up. She spent most of the time texting. Yes, this is an adult. I couldn't quite figure out why she was still there....moral support, maybe?
Then there are the angels....those who stay until the very end. One in particular, named Elizabeth, whom I barely know, was one of those angels. She's a woman whose daughter started coming to church and she really fought her about it. She wouldn't attend with her and really limited the daughter's attendance to certain events. Maybe a year ago, the mom started coming a bit. Now, she comes every service and is nothing but a joy! I really developed respect and appreciation for her last night. I plan to get her a small gift and write her a note of deep thanks.
Then the icing on top of the cake was 14-year old Abby. As she was leaving, she turned to me and said, "Best night ever!" It's reasons like that. Happy ending indeed!