Sunday, December 05, 2004

When I'm Up I Can't Get Down

There's a Canadian, Celtic folk group, Great big Sea, that does a song that shares the same title as this blog post. There are days like that: days when little things go wrong, but the day, in general, goes well and one's joie de vivre can't be easily suppressed. I suppose more people more often have the reverse experience, however.

What I'm trying to say, in my usual oblique fashion, is that I enjoyed a fine day, yesterday. We began the day with a coffee and bagel from Tim Horton's and headed east for a two-hour drive to see, Sal, a friend of ours who is now legally blind after a stroke two years ago. Despite certain difficulties, she copes as well as possible with her new reality.

It was Sal's birthday. First obstacle to joy: we planned to pick up some whipped cream for the banana cream pie that I had made in lieu of a real birthday cake and then to grab a sandwich from Tim's to take in to her. The cream was marked on sale, but when we got to the checkout, we were charged the full price. To the store's credit, they were more than willing to double-check. However, I didn't prefer to waste the time over forty cents, so I paid the full amount, and off we went.

However, I wasn't as sanguine over the flub at Tim Horton's, our very next stop. We had ordered our food, paid, and queued for our sub-like sandwiches. Sue and I, as we frequently do, had ordered one large sandwich to share between us. Well, it turns out that they didn't have any large buns left and seemed flummoxed over what to do since we had already paid for a large. To prevent this narrative from getting too long, let me say that we were required to fork over an extra seventy-three cents: the greater cost of two small sandwiches over one large. I did get a trifle snarly over that, growled a little, was tempted to take significant issue with the manager, but when I looked at all of the poor sods waiting back in line, I decided not to press the issue. But really, what multi-million dollar corporation makes you ante up an additional seventy-three cents to recompense it's error after you have ordered, paid, and queued?

Regardless, we had a very nice two-hour visit with Sal before heading further east to visit daughter #2. Out we all went to buy Christmas presents for the native children (see previous post). That was fun to do with her. We soon had a cart with a hundred dollars worth of toys and things, and I think that we all felt good about it.

After a really nice supper, accompanied, to my great delight, by an error-free bill, daughter #2 expressed the desire to check out Future Shop for a Gameboy. Apparently, she has always wanted one. Unfortunately, at a cost of one-hundred dollars, it was beyond her pocketbook, and she walked away. Wife and I decided to buy her one. Not for Christmas. Just because. Because she's a nice and generous kid. Because we could. It felt good. In fact, #2 was so obviously pleased, grateful, and happy that it felt more than good, dammit.

The big things, the important things, all went right yesterday. We had two great visits with two great people, were able to bring some joy and happiness into both lives, and were tremendously privileged to participate in the buying of Christmas toys for less-advantaged children. I wonder how often we allow inconsequential irritants to despoil our days? I'm not sure why I can be so easily set-off on some days and yet remain so equanimous on others. I wish that I had the formula, for I like myself better this way.

I may have more to say about yesterday, but this seems like a good hitching post for now.


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