I moved away from my birthplace about eleven years ago, which was quite an accomplishment for this mama's girl. My husband had an opportunity he didn't want to pass on, so I put on my big girl hat and we moved to another state. I didn't jump back into my career, instead we decided to start a family.
I love being able to stay at home and take care of my kids, but it isn’t easy. We didn’t move here with readymade friends, so my new social life consisted of a few neighbors and my little ones. Until an ordinary shopping trip to Sam’s Club changed everything.
After buying an ultra-grande box of diapers and wipes, my two children and I waited in line for a pretzel. In case you haven’t tried a Sam’s Club pretzel, I highly recommend it. My stomach dips and rumbles with anticipation as I stroll through the warehouse aisles, waiting for the buttery, salty yumminess to slip down my throat. The line was long, but I wanted my pretzel. I wasn't going to leave without one.
A woman behind me complimented my daughter's irresistible cuteness. I smiled, but didn’t encourage chitchat. You really have to be careful who you meet nowadays and even though she looked like a pixie, I knew not to trust her. Pixies can be dangerous, right?
The line soon came to an abrupt halt when the trainee had some sort of Code Blue. The pixie lady took the opportunity and chattered away and cooed at my baby boy.
“He’s darling,” she said. Her smile looked genuine enough—a bit too eager for my liking.
Yeah, I know I don’t sound so friendly, maybe even a tad cold, but that pixie had a good complexion. A complexion so perfect I just knew she had to be an Avon lady or even one of those pink Cadillac driving Mary Kay salesperson of the year.
As I used my Jedi mind tricks on the cashier to hurry along with the orders ahead of me, my daughter started playing with her two little girls, bouncing around and giggling. Thankfully, the line started moving and I got my buttery, salty pretzel and bucket of diet coke. I smiled and said goodbye to the pixie and wandered through the crowd to find a table.
Somewhere along the way, my daughter had other plans. She turned around and returned to the pixie lady and asked them to join us. Horror filled my face, not only did my little girl run from my side, but she was bringing the pixie cosmetics pusher over to me. I vowed that she’d be grounded until she was five if I ended up with a jar of must-have wrinkle cream. The woman’s smile grew as she and her little girls strolled over to the table.
“Your daughter is so sweet, she asked us to join you. Would that be all right?”
I smiled and shrugged, probably mumbled for her to sit down. I let her do most of the talking. She told me how hard it was making friends in a new city. She apparently just moved from California. We live in a predominately LDS (Mormon) community and meeting people can be hard if you aren’t of the same faith—or at least, it feels that way. I related to her problem because I was baptized LDS, but don’t go to church. And although I have two busy kids and hardworking husband, I really didn’t have much of a social life.
So maybe the Pixie wasn’t as crazy as I thought she was. The pixie just wanted a friend. But why in the world would she choose me. I’m the opposite of pixie. I have a hard time keeping my opinions to myself, I don’t talk to strangers in the Sam’s Club line, and I don’t trust easily. This girl looked like she breathed in Disneyland fairy tales. What would we have in common besides our kids?
The Pixie asked for my number and I gave her mine, but vowed to file it away and never use it. A month later, the Pixie called and nearly five years after that, I’m happy to say she is one of my dearest friends. She is like a kindred spirit to me—a person I was destined to meet. I strongly believe there was a force greater than the pangs of longing for that pretzel when I met my pixie friend.
We are vastly different in so many ways, except for the ones that count. I look forward to our “Good Moorling” conversations and know that no matter what we’ll always be friends.
Sometimes in life, stepping out of your comfort zone is the thing that saves you. A person can tread water for only so long before he has to swim. Take chances in life and in your writing. I heard a saying once to write what you know. But to me, that’s like waiting in line for a pretzel and ignoring possibilities of something better—something lasting.
Do you experiment with your writing? Step out of your comfort zone? Or have you ever had a situation happen that lead you on a journey you never imagined?