Wednesday, January 18, 2012

The Joys of Giving and Receiving

Yesterday was what should have been a 'meh' day.

But it wasn't

It was 35 degrees in the shade outside. Meh. The heat was the nice kind of heat - dry with a breeze, although the Hare Krishna's appeared to be wilting outside of Flinders Street Station later in the day, sounding like a 45 rpm record played at 33 speed, their esctatic jumps more like a half-hearted demi-plie. I passed them as I made my way to book group with an ice cream in my hand.

Simple pleasures.

Other good things happened yesterday.

I'd received my marching orders from my current job in the morning. My last day, 31 January. No more miserable people, boredom and not particularly effective management. I'm happy to be moving on. I know I have to go find another job -  and it will happen. I'm just pleased that this three month period of work misery is nearly at its end.

The day had lots of other lovely little surprises.

Glen Waverley and I met for lunch. Hadn't seen him for a few weeks and this was overdue since he and Merijn only got back from New Zealand last weekend. Our lunches are a regular occurence. On meeting he handed over a bag, inside which was a decorative gift box.

"Present for you. A thanks for looking after the cat."
"There's no need. But thank you." I responded.

Inside the box, a bottle of my favorite perfume. I'd asked them to collect me a bottle if they saw a bottle in duty free if they thought about it and I'd pay for it when they got back.

"We were going through customs we weren't exactly sure what perfume you were after. But then we smelled it and we knew it was you," he told me.

I find it a little strange that I have friends who know what I smell like. This small fact got to me. I didn't realise that people got close enough to me to get a whiff of the Stella MacCartney scent I've been wearing for years.

"This is too much." I told him.
"No it's not.You deserve spoiling."

I smiled, nodded and thanked him again. It's lovely having friends who appreciate you. Merijn was thanked for the offering when I saw her at book group later that night - still feeling very blessed.

Book group was fantastic. The book, Zoe Heller's "Notes on a Scandal" very well received - the conversation flowed, and dinner, a pot of garlic bombed mussels hit the spot on the warm night.

Racing home after this, I dumped my stuff, hopped in the car, went around to the local 24-hour florist on Bridge Road and debated flowers in my head while the florist made up arrangements for other customers. Roses, lilies and carnations. Nice and bright, but not too bright. Irises wilt too easily. Sunflowers, under the circumstances, not really appropriate. Australian natives - not today. Besides, the roses smelled amazing. I settled on a large mixed bunch in bright apricot tones. Gorgeous. I jumped back in the car with the flowers and made my way west. It was 9 p.m.

My friend Gloria turned 60 yesterday. The flowers had to be delivered in person on the day - that was important - no florist vans and recalcitrant delivery people to deliver these blooms - they had to be selected and delivered by me. On the day.

Not only is Gloria having to come to terms with the fact that she's now eligible for a Seniors Card, she's also dealing with the sudden passing of her beloved sister ten days ago. She's rightly distraught, but also working out where all of this fits in her life. It's hard stuff. Not having seen Gloria since Christmas Day as she's been away it would be good to see her.

Twenty minutes later I arrived at Gloria and Gaynor's place and made my way out to the back yard, where she and some friends were finishing dinner.

The flowers went down a treat.

"It's just lovely that I have friends who love and appreciate me. I'm thankful for the lovely weather that lets me have dinner in the back yard. I'm thankful for my good health. And I'm thankful for the vanilla ice cream I'm about to have for dessert. You're having some, aren't you, Pand."
I nodded with glee. Ice cream twice in one day. Cool!

 I added, "Are you thankful that you can get into the cinema for five bucks less after you make that trip to Centrelink."
"So you can get your bus pass. You get your bus pass at Centrelink, I think." piped out one of her other friends.
"Oh, I spose I should think about that. Not that I ever take the bus."
"True. But it makes you think."
"Yeah, it makes you think how lucky you are to have friends who come and stand by you, and who bring you flowers and presents on your birthday or for what ever reason , and cook you meals and talk to you through things good and bad."

I couldn't agree with her more.


Elisabeth said...

Lovely stuff to read about Pandora, the way your friends can smell your perfume. The way you can empathise with another friend turning sixty who's just lost a sister and the way we live in a country where despite all the difficulties there are still some great advantages and opportunities.

Thank you for reminding me in such an eloquent post.

Kath Lockett said...

Terrific post. Perfumes, flowers and/or turning up on the day: all valued, all important.

Best of luck with the next job - no Fogey FM piped in all day, decent workmates and top pay!

Anonymous said...

Gloria thinks your cool too!

River said...

How nice to have friends who remember the way you smell and can buy the right perfume!
Now of course I'm going to have to find some Stella McCartney perfume and see what it's like.
I love how you personally selected and delivered roses to your friend for her birthday. (Happy Birthday Gloria).
I'm pleased too, to discover that Seniors Cards are given at 60, which is my next birthday, I thought it was 65.

Jackie K said...

Lovely post. So true - it's these things which are important, and they're not really "little" after all because they're all about friendship, love and life.