IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

IndiGlow - The Ordinary Illuminated

Not all Gifts are Wrapped in Bows

Tuesday, September 02, 2014


I don’t know that it matters where I was.  I don’t know that it matters who it was.  But I do know you don’t shrug when the universe gives you a gift.


I went home for a summer break, and home, for me, is New Orleans.  One day it was just hot.  (Let’s face it: most days are hot in New Orleans; I have the t-shirt).  It was hot and I didn't want to be in my car, nor did I want to go home to my parents’ house just yet. 


I just wanted to sit.


The best sitting event?  A pedicure.


I pulled into the parking lot toward a shop-front called OK! Nails.  The interior was circa 1980’s, all neon swirls, polished chrome and white pleather seating.  And a whole crew of Vietnamese immigrants.  (I’m not making assumptions.  I asked). 


My girl sat me down and directed my feet into the jetted warm water.  She raised an eyebrow at my polish color choice, and got down to work.  I asked what language she was speaking to her colleague.  I asked her name, and she told me she had adopted the name Sophie, because no one could say her given name, which sounded a bit like Buchkt.  She taught me the word for green, xanh, and hot, nong lettering the air with the alphabet and one pink fingernail.  Sophie had the body and the hair of a 1950’s rebel teenager, all curves and curls hanging down her back in a bounce of James Dean, you can’t handle this.


She polished me from toe to knee.  She massaged my calf like Kobe beef.  She trimmed my nails.  She buffed my yoga callouses.  I don’t take these niceties lightly.  I paid Sophie, asked if I could leave a gift at their Buddha shrine, and moved on with my hot day.


Flash Forward.


Even if we break down the city to a region, we’re still talking 35,000 people and numerous restaurants to dine at.  Sophie and her family were at the table one away from mine.  These things excite me.  I told my family, and all I got was shrugs.


Did I go over there and say hi?  Well, yeah.  You don’t shrug when the universe gives you a gift.


When I walked over, she lit up. She stroked my arm from elbow to fingers.  She was bright with importance.  Who am I?  No one to this girl.  Who is she?  To my family, just a girl.


To me, she was a gift from the universe.  

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