Sub Rosa Angels

by Kimberley Thompson, Tastemaker in Residence

Lately, I have had several days of a grey, blah attitude despite the summer sun. That "just hunkered down for a spell" type of grey mood; made even more frustrating by the fact that I really have nothing in my life to feel so "greyish" about.

Over-loading on caffeine proved futile in lifting the dull weight that dragged like Marley's chains; not to mention that giving up caffeine for Lent was just a seasonal "sacrifice" that I failed miserably after Lent was over. (And apparently I cannot forgive myself either!)

Nor was an intense hour spent between Ebay and Sephora any more successful in raising my vanished usual good nature. But a number of discretionary dollars managed a permanent separation.

And frankly, there is not enough Mocha Chocolate Cake in the WORLD to lift me back up. Just saying it.

I needed an angel. An angel to uplift bring me back to my slightly cynical but upbeat attitude. My own attitude adjuster with rose colored glasses.I prayed. I waited. I prayed. I waited. I double downed on waiting.

What the heck.....?

Well, this no answer from above was making my grey ombre mood shift into decidedly darker tones. I ran every scenario through my head: missed connection, not worthy (okay, I know that one will take a whole other blog!), a hidden message, hand writing on the wall, etc..

Valiantly trying to conceal my "funk" from my co-workers, I went out to the Mall for my lunch break. (Not hungry mind you, just needing the distance) I slumped on a bench in the "sunshine" for this girl!

(Looking around, I realized that I was infinitely monetarily "wealthier" than those sitting, perching, sprawling and just plain occupying the other seating areas. If I was feeling bitchier, I would say leagues apart in the cleanliness factor by a long shot.)

I was watching all these souls who had stopped here for one reason or another...and then my eyes zoomed back to one older woman. She was all bundled up in a winter coat, wearing tatty duct taped sneakers with 3 or 4 Target bags by her ankles. When she smiled, her eyes got all crinkly at the corners and her lips curved up to reveal her to be slightly tooth challenged.

She wasn't asking for money, no homemade signs sat by her feet; but yet she was smiling.

And not only smiling; she was calling out to people strolling by who desperately were avoiding eye contact with the group. I strained to hear what she was saying.

"Honey, that color is so purdy on you with those eyes of yours!" "Sweetie, you just keep on smilin'. The whole world lights up when you do!" "What a sharp dresser you are!" "You just made my day in the Purdy outfit! Yes, you did!" "Darling, you have such sweet lookin' babies!"

She wasn't pan-handling. (Ok, the more cynical part of myself thought she could have been ramping up to asking for some money.) She was handing out compliments. Feel good about yourself compliments. Not stopping her comments to solicit monies...not even waiting for a reply. She just was throwing down in the compliment department.

The strange thing about all of what I was witnessing: she was not addressing the obvious people. The snappily dressed young men, the sleek bright young things, and the confident striders were NOT the people she was complimenting.

It was the single mid-aged woman walking with her shoulders slumped and eyes cast down, the weary Mom with 2 toddlers and one in the stroller, and the elderly man whose clothes were worn and knuckles gnarled. The people I normally never looked at in my daily life. The invisible people.

I saw a miracle In their reactions to this woman remarks, shy smiles appeared, shoulders lifted, mother's scuffed their son's hair and straightened the baby's bow. And old men stood straighter.

I saw the awareness cross their faces that someone SAW them; actually saw them for who they were and brightened their day with a simple remark.

A SIMPLE REMARK. A compliment. An acknowledgement. Such an easy thing...but yet I was clueless as to the importance of a simple comment. (Unless it was a nasty remark...again...another time, another blog.)

It finally sunk in. I was witnessing an answer to my prayers for an angel. Not what I was expecting, mind you. But definitely had that "God tweaked" message aura to it.

Part of lifting my funk is on my shoulders; not expecting the magic angel eraser to swoop down; and "WOW," happiness emerges. Some of feeling good is about helping others feel good. About themselves, their child or pet. Their hair, sweater or even tattoos. Could be the choice of footwear.

Honestly compliment people. It does miracles.

I know. I saw it happen. I just needed to SEE.

God has sub rosa angels.