Monday, September 01, 2008

purposeful re-integration - - the ugly side of it.

well, two days back now, and I'm working hard to jump right back into life - - I'm excited about meeting up with friends and contacts here in my neighborhood; I'm looking forward to seeing what "strangers" might be willing to greet or be greeted after our summer's absence (it happens - - have you ever noticed? someone who you see on a regular basis, but who you're not quite on greeting terms with, is more ready to say hello or to respond to a hello after you haven't seen each other for a while; it's true! try it! try it! try it!)

So I was thinking about all this purposeful re-integration this morning, and as I was in my local coffee shop, I ran into a girl that I might consider a casual aquaintence. our friendly interaction went a bit like this:

me:"heeeeeeyy! how are you? where is your little boy this morning?"

her:"oh, he's not with me this morning. . . . he's with his mumble mumble

(I couldn't quite catch this last bit- - it's kind of loud in the pasteleria and I'm still clouded with jet lag; I assume that the gist of what she is saying is that she left her boy back home with her husband so that she could calmly read the newspaper and drink her coffee - - a common treat for many of the moms with small children that I know)

me: (with a warm, genuine smile) "ooohh that is so nice!"

her: "uhhh, I'm divorced. that's why I said he was with his 'son of a **** father' - - the one who cheated on me when I was still pregnant . . . ."

oh shoot. oh shoot. oh shoot oh shoot oh shoot!

so, as calmly and carefully as I could, I communicated my most heartfelt apologies - - both for her suffering was well as for the complete idiot I had been to her. and she was gracious, but obviously pained.

I will keep an eye out for this girl, and I will be praying for a clear way to communicate love and care to her. pray with me, if you think of it.


Anonymous said...

I did the same thing not long ago...inattentiveness (or slowness) caused me to say, "Oh! That's great!" to a colleague who had just told me that she moved in with her boyfriend. In my mind, I was still back on the job promotion that necessitated the move when my mouth got ahead of me, but too bad! There it was, and there's no getting it back now. Grrrrr...

Caroline said...

I love the picture of your suitcases in the neat.
I was encouraged by your might be because I'm out of touch, but she seemed to share some very personal information with you...isn't that rare? I will pray with you for more opportunities to minister to her. Sorry to hear about your blunder but oops' seem to happen when we actually talk to people. I would endeavor to say that it was better that you engaged her then had you been silent and pretended not to notice her.:)

Naomi Smith said...

I know! - - I had to take a picture of the suitcases; it made me so happy to see how neat they were - - everything else in my life was crazy and messy!

and yes, you are right . . . I WAS glad for this bit of transparency . . .

Naomi Smith said...

uh . . I mean Caroline . . .

Caroline said...

I didn't even notice the missing letter until you made the correction.:)
Gab and I got together last night to practice some music for the woman's bible study. What fun! We both felt like we were back in college. ( I know that this has nothing to do with your post...just thought I'd share)