My friend Dianne called on Tuesday to tell me she was coming to town on Friday. Her daughter Lara would soon be working and living in OKC, so it was time to find an apartment. And, while they were here, Dianne was hoping to see me and my old house and introduce me to Lara. She thought Lara might just like to have a “second string mom” in her new OKC life. Perhaps I could fill that niche?
For the next three days, I relished the thought of Dianne’s visit. I thought about Lara and her upcoming move, and hoped she would feel comfortable enough to call on me if local “mom” services were needed. But I also wanted Lara to hold no false impressions – if she were going to call on me, she needed to know the real me — a person still getting comfortable with self, who’s not afraid to admit she’s a dreamer and who easily loses track of time.
As I prayed to wear my real self in an everyday comfortable way, I wanted my house to shine in its Sunday best. Windows needed to be cleaned, wood surfaces needed to be dusted and my floors needed to be mopped. But being a born procrastinator, I kept putting it off until postponements ran into Friday morning and my planned spa day for the house had to shrink to more realisitc proportions — a quick bath and dressing up for friends with some nice steaming potpourri on the stove. As I finished my last bit of poofing, I glanced out the window to see — oh no I thought…. it can’t be….but, no….there they were — Dianne and Lara were pulling up in front of my house. Oh, well. It seemed that my unfortunate tendency to stuff ten pounds of life into my five pound sack had once again caught up with me — and the evidence was now standing on my front porch, wearing smiles on their lovely faces. In a way I could never have imagined in my wildest dreams, Lara was getting a chance to meet the real me. As the door bell rang, all I could do was shrug at my attire and steel myself for the riotous laughter I knew would follow. Exposed and vulnerable, I opened the door. And as I reached out to hug Dianne, still wearing my pajamas and robe, we both began to laugh.
They say our first impressions of a person are lasting. I pray this is so. Because with the benefit that comes only with hindsight, I see it was me wearing my Sunday best, as the guise of nightclothes in a late morning light shined faint with exposed humility.