Saturday, February 6, 2016

Just two months ago, I discovered the magical place that is Hobby Lobby. Remember when people were trying to boycott Hobby Lobby? Well without getting into opinions and fighting words, I just have to say I'm glad that fell through because Hobby Lobby is the shit. 50% off frames and wall decor? YES, please! Ceramic faux taxidermy? Give it all to me! Lots of stress because you want everything and you only have ONE 40% off coupon? #Accurate. Let's just say that Hobby Lobby has become as toxic to a woman's wallet and her personal relationships as Target.

So I was at Hobby Lobby yesterday and I was waiting in line. They are having a huge home accents sale, so people were crowding the place. I was waiting in line and in front of me was this really put together mom. She reminded me of my favorite mom, and that is my mom so I was really admiring her, and at her feet was her EXTREMELY well-behaved son. (This is the highest compliment I could give someone because there are A LOT of wannabe-famous mormons at Hobby Lobby and a lot of their sons and daughters are tiny little terrors dressed in baby moccasins.) But not this little guy. He had on a nerdy little polo shirt with brown, scuffed laced shoes. His pants were those cute cargo ones that your dad might wear, only they were little kid size. He was adorable, and I really loved that his mom didn't care about him being dressed in baby moccasins, because baby clothes are pricy and that baby was going to learn to love hand-me-downs. Did I just ramble about baby mocs? Yes, yes I did. Anyway,  so I was really into watching this kid because he was not only cute, but he had a great vocabulary and he was very obedient to his mom with her pretty hair and put together aura. And it was really helping me not turn around and tell the two moms behind me to stop railing on their eyelash extension girl for not being able to fit them in.

And I was able to witness the sweetest thing. It was a "faith in humanity restored" moment. The little boy, who didn't wander to far from his mom, but was very eager to stay close to help her and ask questions about different items in the store and in her cart, he wandered over to those things I like to call "last minute temptations." You know, those cash register line stands filled with sour candy, chocolate, yarn, buttons, magnets, pokemon cards, mini toys that are a choking hazard, 3M hooks, twine and washi tape, and for some reason you find yourself needing a pack of pokemon cards because maybe, just maybe there will be a holographic charzard in there.

He was poking around in those last minute temptations and he reached for a bag of marbles. It was the prettiest bag of marbles you could ever see. Marbles of every color. Marbles of every size. Marbles straight out of those old movies that your mom taught you to love. The most beautiful bag of marbles your eyes could behold. His eyes became wide with wonder and awe. He clutched the bag and looked side to side. He looked up at me and then quickly looked away (little kid embarassment is the cutest thing ever). He looked down at the floor. Back at the marbles. I could tell his mind was whirling around and he was trying to find the words to say.

Would he gather the courage to ask his mom? Or would he place the bag back down? Would he hold the bag close and slowly inch his way back over, maybe just maybe catching his mother's eye and gaining her seal of approval? Would he loudly play with them to get his mom's attention? How would he react if his mom said no? Would he throw a fit like the other kids around him? Would he smile and say, that's okay mom, I don't need them? Or would he shed tears over that beautiful bag and would those tears create a revolution inside of me and make me buy that bag for him?

I saw all of this run through this child's mind. I even saw him make a decision.

He stood straight up, the marbles grasped firmly in his hand and he marched over to his mom. But not a cocky march, like a "I know what i'm going to do" march. He stopped right in front of his mom, held the marbles up and looked her straight in the eye.

She smiled a lovely and warm smile, "Marbles!" she exclaimed. His face lit up, "Marbles!" he replied.

And without asking, his mom said, "Are there big marbles in there? If you promise me there are big marbles and you'll share with me then you can get them." (For some reason, big marbles are the creme de la creme of marble bags.)

At this point, I was wheezing, I had so many feelings. My heart was a puddle of love juice.

The little boy smiled the biggest smile and hugged his mom's leg saying "thank you thank you mom, I promise I'll share and I promise you can have the big marbles and I promise I won't lose them and I promise I'll always be good. I promise mom, thank you thank you."

That little boy held that bag of marbles so close to him that his mom nearly had to rip them out of this hand to pay for them and it was the most tender thing I saw all week.

Now, I don't know how everything went from there. For all I know, the kid could have dropped all of them in the parking lot or he could have turned into a little twerp as he got in the car, but that little kid was a big example to me of how grateful and excited I should be about my life.

I got home from hobby lobby excited to use my frames and repot my plant with the cool new concrete planter I got from my outing. I started unwrapping my frames and inserting the pictures and everything was going smoothly until the back of one frame wouldn't snap back in. To make a long and necessary story short, I exerted so much force trying to get the back to snap back in that I broke the frame in two. I was furious. I nearly threw the frame across the room. Thinking I was a genius, I ran to my trusty hot glue gun. I managed to piece the frame back together and I started gluing. Finished and smug with success, I went to pick up the frame, except it wouldn't budge from the counter. I had glued the frame to the countertop and that frame refused to budge. Somehow, I managed to unbind it from the counter without breaking it. Except, the paint of the frame came off and stuck to my counter. After going at it with a spatula, it came off and I was ready to stick that damn frame to the wall.

Except my 3M hooks weren't sticking, in fact, they peeled off the frame almost instantly. Completely frustrated and upset I set the frame aside, I needed to cool down. I'll just go repot my plant I thought.

To make another long story short, I killed my plant in the process of repotting. Killed is probably exaggerating but it might as well have happened. I ended up on my kitchen floor angry and surrounded my a hundreds of little leaves and a completely dismembered plant and a pot filled partially with soil. That feeling of joy and faith in humanity and myself that I felt earlier had vanished and I was a loser.

A very ungrateful loser. The plant has been set aside (in the trash). It was beyond saving, I'm telling you. The frame, I set it against my bookshelf. It looked nice. And my pride and ingratitude sat in my throat. I sat myself on the couch and remembered the marbles. How excited that boy was for marbles. How excited I should have been to even go outside that day. To be able to buy frames to decorate my walls. To have a gorgeous plant that I got to take care of for a little while.

You might think this sounds dramatic and corny, but those things are significant. The little things, the little bag of marbles in our lives are significant. We all have bad days and it's sometimes necessary to pout and cry and throw a fit, but after you're done throwing a fit, be like the little kid who got his marbles. Is that a cheesy, mormon analogy or what?

Be as happy as the kid in hobby lobby with his bag of marbles because they are significant and being grateful for those little things in life, despite crappy misfortunes happening around you, is good for the soul. Gratitude is good for the soul.

And that is all I have to say about marbles.

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