I'll admit, I've been down in the dumps after learning that parts of my lower face and mouth are permanently numb. Still, I'm trying to keep my situation in perspective: things could be much worse. Just scan the front page of any newspaper (hey, support your local newspaper!) and you know what I mean. If a numb face is all I can complain about, well, I'm pretty darned lucky.
So I was sitting in church this morning, enjoying the uplifting Easter message made all the more poignant after a week of such negativity. When the service was over, I got up to leave, but the person sitting next to me tapped my arm.
"Excuse me," she asked. "Do you have a minute?"
I'd never seen this woman before and looked at her just a tad suspiciously. As we were sadly reminded this week, going to church doesn't automatically make someone a decent person. The woman, in her mid sixties, maybe early seventies, was a striking, attractive, well-dressed redhead. And she was tall...she looked me square in the eye and I'm 5'9.
"You don't know that you and I are part of a very exclusive club," she began.
Uh oh, crackpot. I prepared to bolt.
"When my grandmother was a little girl, she was ridiculed relentlessly for being so tall," she explained. "And so as an adult, she formed the Long Stemmed American Beauty Rose Club for all the tall, beautiful, slender women of the world."
Had she said "slender?" Go on.
She reached in her purse and gave me a business card. It simply read, Long Stemmed American Beauty Rose Club - lifetime member, with an etching of a rose and nothing else.
"Welcome to the club," she smiled. "And Happy Easter." Then she turned around and left.
Okay, so maybe I have no feeling in my lower face. Bummer, right. But I can emote, thank goodness. I can still grimace, pucker, smirk, scowl. And smile.
Just witness the big one that crossed my face on this fine Easter morning.