I love people. I enjoy meeting new people and hearing about their life story. I had the pleasure of doing exactly that today. One of the reasons I like to meet people is because I’m always fascinated by the fact that a lot of the stories I hear aren’t much different from mine. Yes, the paths, experiences and ages may be different but usually the underlying emotions are the same. And that’s what connects us. The deep desires of humankind to belong, to be accepted, to be loved, to feel comfortable, to excel, to achieve, to reach their goal (big or small), they are the same.
“Friendship is born at that moment when one man says to another: “What! You too? I thought that no one but myself . . .””
I was in the kitchen preparing breakfast when all of a sudden I heard a loud crash reverberate the walls. I wanted to disappear out of embarrassment because I knew exactly what happened; the shower handle fell off. Now that in itself isn’t embarrassing. However, it happened in the guest bathroom to our guest, twice. I stopped what I was doing and listened to our company desperately trying to re-attach the shower handle, while water was gushing out of the faucet into the bathtub. I imagine the water was even cold as the handle probably hadn’t reached the appropriate temperature setting before it fell off. On top of that our fridge broke and the guest bathroom toilet was leaking. All of that meant that we had to call the plumber and the fridge guy.
Now, to most of you that may not be a big deal, but to me it is; every time. You see with a toddler in the house, I can’t stand dirty floors; even less than ever before. As mentioned before I grew up in a house and a culture where the shoes are taken off at the front door of every house. Now, construction workers, plumbers, and engineers always have the dirtiest shoes and most of the time the guys smell like cigarette smoke, which makes me want to gag, especially being pregnant. So, I begged my husband to try to schedule both the plumber and the refrigerator engineer on the same day, so that I only have to clean and be tortured once. But of course that didn’t work out.
So this past Friday the fridge guy came. To my surprise he didn’t smell like smoke, was very efficient in his tasks and loved to talk. As a matter of fact, I now know about everything there is to know about his 17-year old daughter, his love for helping coach college football and I even know the exact layout of the house he is building. Yes, he’s got it all planned out; even where his future grandkids will be sleeping. Once he was done fixing our fridge he plopped on the floor, and was taking his time to pack his two massive tool bags. As he sat there on the cold kitchen floor tiles, he proceeded to tell me that it is very good for me to have my daughter in a Mother’s Day Out program because it will train her to start sleeping through noise before the next baby arrives. He then got himself off the floor again and walked slowly to our front door, where we stood for another five minutes talking about his daughter’s sibling-type relationships with his college football players.
On Monday the plumber came, his stature was one of the kind that you don’t want to cross paths with at night in a dark ally. He heavily smelled like cigarette smoke and his shoes were covered in mud and who knows what else. However, once he was done fixing our guest bathroom he walked into the kitchen and told me his thoughts on Halloween and our dripping appliances. He thought it was the funniest thing. I was silently laughing as I was looking at this massive guy, standing in my kitchen, giggling about the sound of a dripping toilet.
On both days, after each of them left, I thoroughly steam cleaned my house. After all, I have a toddler who tries to eat everything off the floor she can possibly find. But it wasn’t as dreadful as I expected it to be because I got to see a glimpse of the heart of each of these men. Now, the probability of us having had a conversation, much less spent time in the same environment, if it wasn’t for our broken appliances, was slim to none. However, I love the fact that both people felt comfortable enough in my house to open up and share about their lives, thoughts and hopes. Each one of us comes from a different background, different environment and our social lives probably look a lot different as well. But what connects us is the deep desire to belong, the love we have for our children and the desire to be loved and accepted.
“We meet no ordinary people in our lives.”
― C.S. Lewis, Chronicles of Narnia
This is a very random blog post but I delight in finding beauty in everyday life, especially when I least expect it.