Friday, 13 September 2013
Goodness Gracious Me
This was an uncomfortable moment for me. I thanked her profusely, said how kind to think of me and took possession of the beautiful (horrible) things.
If that sounds ungrateful it is not. I truly appreciated the thought, but wish it could have remained just that, a thought.
A lover of flowers, there is at least one exception to that and lilies are top of the list. They are toxic to cats, every part of the lily from bulb to stem, from flower to pollen, and for this reason I dug up the ones in my garden some years ago, and never have them in the house.
Additionally, if the pollen falls on fabric it is almost impossible to remove the stain and I have twice had an 'instant colour change' to my clothes when throwing out the dead lilies from the arrangements in the church.
Lilies are just the tip of the iceberg though.
Constitutionally incapable of refusing something (unwanted), when offered in genuine kindness, I feel I need to learn how to refuse graciously and so as not to cause offence.
Someone I rather dislike asked me to have a coffee with them a couple of weeks ago and I was on that occasion able to say honestly that I had a prior engagement and had to run.
For once, I remembered not to say "but another time perhaps". A fatal mistake and one which will return to bite you on the bum if you make it.
Since John's death I have made the acquaintance of the local bus and taxi services so well that I now have a well-organised network of transport for most of my needs, however, I am grateful for the occasional offer of a lift.
Unfortunately it seems that on the rare occasions when it is comfortably warm and sunny (not hot and humid), and I stroll out of the house early heading for the bus stop in plenty of time in order to enjoy the lovely weather, one or other of my neighbours will stop and offer me a lift.
Unable to refuse, I thank them and arrive before the door is open at my destination, wishing I knew how to say, "no thanks, I'd really like to enjoy the air for a while".
Conversely, when it is freezing or pouring with rain no-one ever stops and I get where I'm going wet, cold and fed up.
Truly I am not ungrateful for unsolicited good deeds, I just wish they occasionally matched my needs.
I'm afraid I don't know how to do gracious.
Posted by Ray Barnes at 2:11:00 pm