Thursday, May 9, 2013

Hopelessly Normal

One of the greatest compliments a friend can give me is to let me see them (or their kids, or their home) when they are less than perfect. I often laugh when, at the end of the movie Sense and Sensibility, the women are all outside in aprons and a gentleman’s carriage approaches; they scurry inside to take off the work clothes and take up some embroidery.
I’ve literally done that -- well, the apron part, not the embroidery part. If an unexpected knock comes to my door, you can usually find said apron crumpled in a corner juuuust around the hallway where I cast it off as fast as I could while simultaneously walking to answer the knock. (I’ve reassured my husband, though, that I will never, ever be found in a muumuu.) But if I’m expecting you and see your car pull up, instead of embroidery, I usually sit down at the piano. So now if you ever are invited to dinner and you arrive to a gloriously clean house with me playing a little song, you’ll know that literally 30 seconds before, I was frantically finishing up sweeping, or clearing shoes from the hallway, or hollering for kids to remove books and papers left on the couch.

Compare that to my first and second impressions of someone who is now a dear friend. The first impression was of her in a church class (teaching? commenting? I don’t remember) and how well and thoughtfully she understood the scriptures. I immediately thought, this woman is my kind of woman. We were just visiting, and when we moved in permanently the following year, I found out she had been recently called as the Relief Society president. That, coupled with her large family of still-young children, made me sigh; I figured I wouldn’t have much chance to get to know her beyond public formalities. But then I went to her house for some reason -- I no longer recall why, though I know she was expecting me -- and as soon as I walked in her door, I got my second impression of her in the form of a pair of dirty underwear landing at my feet. Her youngest child (two-ish?) had chosen that moment to dump an entire hamper of laundry down the main staircase, with that pair of panties rolling the farthest. I laughed, she casually apologized, and it was the perfect start to a friendship I value to this day.

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