Recently, two very subtle things happened to me in one day.
First as I was walking down the stairs to leave my building, I saw my old grump of a neighbor. To refresh your memory, this is the lady who has asked me if I’m Romanian more than once assuming I’m there to rob her. She’s a stout grump, that one.
Well, as I was bounding down the stairs, I saw her on the landing about to go up, I passed along my normal “buenas” and just managed to flit past the old amargada. Then, I realized that she had quite a few bags with her and was having difficulty walking up the stairs. I offered to help and only after she had given me the once over (again) she accepted my offer.
I carried her plentiful bounty of oranges up the stairs, set them down next to her door per her instructions and then, bam! She smiled broadly at me and ordered two besos immediately. Although taken aback, I obeyed her command and bekissed her dutifully. Her simple radiance at that moment made me doubt if she was, in fact, the same grumpy old woman I have been living next to all these years.
Then, later on that very same day, I was walking along the palace grounds with my ladies-in-waiting and my corgis.
Wait … that’s not true.
I was walking with the husband and my in-laws along the dirt path that sits up high in front of the palace and the Almudena cathedral. It’s a pathway that gives to a pretty steep hill below, but it offers great views of the cathedral.
Well, as we were walking by, I saw a lady on the other side of the bushes that act as a type of guard rail so people don’t fall down the hill. She obviously wasn’t paying attention and I maliciously said to the husband, “give her a shove and let’s watch her roll down the hill.”
Then, I saw why she wasn’t paying attention. She had her eagle eye planted on her little blond daughter who was playing in the grass in front of the line of bushes, Again, not the safest place to be if evil-thoughted people like me pass by. I said again to the hubby, “give that kid a shove.”
(Look, I know how awful I sound, but I really was just kidding, okay?)
Anyway, no sooner had the words left my mouth when I heard a sweet little voice say, “Toma!” We kept our stride and then heard again, “Toma!” And low and behold, that little girl was there at our side with her sweet angel face and a little white flower in her tiny hand. Held up high and extended over the bushes, she presented us with the sweetest little flower she had just picked. I melted.
Had she heard my evil comments? No, but I still felt like quite the ass.
I spent the rest of the day analyzing these two small events. Two things that were hardly worth analyzing, I guess, but I still felt affected by them. These two events reminded me that things are not always as they seem. Your crabby old neighbor could really be a nice lady who just wants a kiss or two. Oh, and the little girl? I guess she reminded me to not have so many evil thoughts, to be generous of spirit and ready for something great to happen at any moment.
So, there you go. My resolutions for 2013 are less evilness, more generosity, and certainly more kisses.
And as always, I’m the eternal optimist when it comes to Spain. Next year will be great. I don’t care what Rajoy has to say about it.
Happy New Year, Campeones!