Friday, September 5, 2008

Faded Beauty and Knights in Shining Armor

Today's offering for Carmi's Faded theme for this week's Thematic Photographic -

From this early in the season, to this:

Faded Beauty

And since I don't have a good backstory for this one, other than to say that they grew in a pot on my rooftop patio, I thought I'd leave you with this instead:
This morning Jay and I finally decided that the time had come to do something about the shoe colony that was multiplying beyond all control at the base of the stairs. There was no avoiding it, a trip to shopping hell Ikea was unavoidable. Let me say straight out that I don't enjoy shopping at Ikea. At all. I don't like the way they force you to wend through miles of galleries housing objects you don't want, I don't like the way you're expected to manhandle heavy boxes by yourself, none of it. But, they had just the piece we needed at a reasonable price so with some trepidation I agreed to do the unthinkable and go to Ikea on a Friday - a WEEKEND. (Yes, Fridays are the weekend here, we work from Sunday to Thursday.) To avoid the maze that is the main store I spent twenty minutes on hold so that a telephone operator could tell me the catalog number and exact location of the piece I needed, allowing me to go straight to the warehouse, and headed out.
I knew as soon as I saw the parking lot that it was going to be ugly. I finally parked several countries away and my son and I headed into the store. I dropped him off in the movie theater to watch cartoons and went looking for the dresser. Half an hour later I'd finally found an employee to help me locate it (several shelves away from where they'd told me and not clearly marked) and heave it onto my cart. I then waited another fifteen minutes or so to pay.
When I was finally ready to go my son was right in the middle of a show, so I agreed to leave him there while I loaded the car.
Only catch, you can't take the flipping carts to your car and the official pickup area was completely full. I couldn't leave the cart unattended while I drove around looking for some way to get closer, nor would I leave my 7 year old alone, baking in the heat, while I did.
I ended up standing there helplessly for a few minutes before deciding to try and carry the damn thing myself. After many attempts I finally had to concede defeat. I couldn't even stand the box upright, let alone pick it up.
I was rapidly running out of both patience and options when a complete stranger walked up to me and asked if I wanted him to carry the (incredibly heavy) box to my car. I was SO grateful for the help, but I did warn him that I'd parked all the way in outer Slobovia somewhere. Nevermind he said, he was heading that way anyway. A few times I offered to let him set it down and I'd drive the car around, but he insisted on carrying it all the way, telling me that it was fine because his wife was waiting comfortably in the air conditioning. His help made the impossible manageable, gave me a great teachable moment when I went back in to get my son, and put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. Just by taking five minutes out of his day to help someone who needed it. Israelis can often be downright horrible to each other, but this guy restored my faith in humanity.
So whoever you are out there, thank you. I literally couldn't have done it without you.


Nancy said...

Love this shot .... beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Lovely photo, Robin...and you know that I would like that story. I choose to firmly believe that most people are good...if you give them a chance to be.

Anonymous said...

It's amazing how a small act of kindness can make a person's entire day. Recently I just opened a heavy door for an elderly man, and the gratitude shown made my day.

Janet said...

are those pomegranates? How lovely he helped you :-)

Anonymous said...

Great story!!

MamaCta! said...

Great photo, I clicked back to see what the pomegranate flower looked like. Either I have never seen, or have never noticed how lovely the pomegranate flower is!

That was a great story, too. What a nice stranger to save the day. My husband is that kind of person, I often watch him help complete strangers. Sometimes I just want him to look the other way, (so we can get on our way) but when it comes down to it, I'm happy he's that kind of person. I need to be more like him.

Thank you for stopping by my blog! Have a great day.

Dawn Fortune said...

No matter what kind of crappy day I am having, no matter how angry I am at the injustices of the world, a simple act of kindness, be it one I witness or one I actively participate in, has the power to soothe the rage inside me and make me glad. Thank you for sharing that.

Jill said...

Oh Robin, I can entirely picture everything about this post... the ridiculous parking lot, the schlepp out to your car, the downstairs area for the kids.

What a nice man to help you... It renews my faith that there are people willing to help...

Have a great weekend!

Carol Anne said...

You know, your Ikea experiences sound much better than mine. The kids ball pit is on the second floor and you can't leave them on the second floor to go down to the warehouse. So, I have to let them have their allotted 30 minutes in the ball pit, then go get lunch, then go with children to the warehouse and haul the stuff out to the car with children in tow. Truly a nightmare, but I love the meatballs, so its makes up for it! :)

OK, the guy was nice too. I didn't totally miss the point of the story