Lost in Macy’s
Last Wednesday night, my wife and I were walking in the mall and we went into Macy’s.
“I’ll look through the men’s clothing, and then come up to the second floor and find you,” I said.
“Remember,” I said, “I want to be home by 9:00 so I can watch Star Trek on TV.”
“Okay, and may the force be with you,” Angie teased with a spooky voice, as she stepped on the escalator.
“That’s not even from Star Trek. It’s from Star Wars!” I mumbled to myself, as the escalator carried her away. She was already fixated on scouring the clothing racks for the elusive perfect bargain.
I looked at the men’s clothes for 10 or 15 minutes then took the elevator up to the second floor.
I knew the best way to find Angie was to walk counterclockwise around the outside of the floor, because she generally walks clockwise to do her shopping.
I made two counterclockwise trips. No sign of her. Thinking that we had missed each other because we had been orbiting the same direction, I made one clockwise trip. Still no sign.
The clock said 8:40. We were getting dangerously close to missing the beginning of Star Trek.
I sat in a seat next to the squeaky escalator. It was about as comfortable as a knife in the back.
There is no way she can leave the floor without passing in front of me, I thought.
My mind churned:
Why doesn’t she come?
I’m going to miss my show.
Five minutes later.
She doesn’t really care about me or she would be here.
The more I sat, the more my anger built. I felt abandoned and taken advantage of.
Lost in Penny’s
I remembered when I was about 5 or 6 years old and I got lost in Penny’s. I couldn’t find my mother and father. A clerk made an announcement over the intercom: “We are looking for the parents of Terry Sprouse. Please come to the service desk to claim him.”
I had that same queasy feeling of abandonment.
Finally, Angie walked up to my so-called chair and said, “Oh, there you are. I was looking for you.”
“I was looking for you too. Where were you?”
“I tried on some clothes. They looked so nice.”
“I did say I wanted to be back by 9:00 so I could see my favorite TV show.”
“Oops. I think I forgot.”
‘Yeah, right, you conveniently forgot.”
I knew Angie was not intentionally trying to make me upset. She just lost track of time while doing something that she really enjoyed.
My tendency is to take slights personally and dwell on them too long.
The next time I lose my wife in Macy’s, or if I am in another frustrating situation, I won’t allow an insult to fester inside of me. Instead, I will allow myself to feel frustrated, acknowledge the frustration, then relax and let it go.
My motto is “Happy wife, happy life.”
These stories are my attempt to glean insights from the seemingly mundane incidents that occur in every day life. My plan is to capture these “eureka moments” and squeeze all the illumination and inspiration from them, before they can slip through my fingers.
Like the storytelling of Abraham Lincoln, I think one’s own personal stories can transform both the listener and the speaker.
Nov. 13, 2015. “Once Upon A Time: Inspire and engage your audience with stories.” Present Like a Pro Conference. Desert Diamond Casino. Tucson, Arizona.
Nov. 24th, 2015. “Abraham Lincoln: Stories and Humor.” Cholla High School. Tucson, Arizona.
Dec. 15, 2015, 12:40 to 1:00 pm. “Abe Lincoln: The Greatest Storytelling President.” Old Pueblo Rotary Club. Hotel Tucson. Tucson, Arizona.
Tags: Abraham Lincoln, aha moment, eureka moment, feel frustration then let it go, feelings of abandoment, life lesson, lost in Penny's, Macy's, Old Pueble Rotatry Club, Once upon a time, Present Like a Pro - Arizona Conference, shopping mall chairs, star trek, Star Wars, storytelling, Terry Sprouse, TMOY