My Awesomely Random Life (and Everything in Between)

Posts tagged ‘Target’

Kindness is the shiznit, y’all!

bekind

Hey guys! I hope y’all had the most amazing weekend and are in the midst of an even more magnificent Monday! I wanted to take a moment to share with you guys something that happened to me last week that I still can’t stop smiling about.

*And when I say I can’t stop smiling, I mean can’t. stop. smiling. Is it possible to pull a muscle in your face? It’s totally possible, right?  

This past Thursday I made a last minute trip to my favorite bull’s eyed department store to pick up a few things on my way home from work. Of course “a few things” at Target inevitably ends up being all of aisles 4-6 plus three packs of gum and a yoyo.  Fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice (x a million), damn you’re good Target.

That particular day at work had been a doozy. We had 12 more students drop out, and two more staff members were let go. I was emotionally exhausted, drained and my feels were a bit all over the place. All I wanted to do was go home, de-pants, curl up with a spoon and a pint of Chunky Monkey (three of which were added to my cart for that very purpose) and brain freeze my sorrows away. Yep. It was most definitely that kind of night.

As I moved my way through the checkout line, I noticed the woman in front of me started to yell at the poor cashier. Over bananas of all things! Oy. I’ve worked in retail before (actually, I adorned the red and khakis at Tarjay for almost two years) and I know how obnoxiously rude some people can be, especially around the holidays. The thing with customer service jobs like this is that at least the majority of the time, the obnoxiously rude banana lady is always right.

As I stood there with my cart of toilet paper, marshmallows, hot sauce, canned pumpkin, batteries and brownie mix, and three pints of ice cream (could my bundle have been any more random?!), taking in the scene before me, I couldn’t help but see how unabashed and just incredibly sweet the cashier was. He continued to smile through the whole thing, was sincerely apologetic (even though it was crazy Chiquita who should’ve been the one doing the apologizing), and downright jolly–which was fitting seeing as he had the Santa Clause-esque belly, white hair and beard.

When the lady finally left, I walked up and began placing my things on the conveyor belt. Just before I was about to apologize on her behalf, the cashier, Lou, laughed this deep belly laugh, smiled at me with a twinkle in his eye and said, “Well she was a lively character, wasn’t she? A spit fire, that one. And so many bananas! She’s either making a lot of banana bread or she’s part monkey.” I couldn’t help but hardcore LOL.

Who knew that Santa Lou was such a comedian? Jerry Seinfeld, get to stepping buddy.

As he continued checking out and bagging my items, he looked at me very seriously and said, “Young lady, have you been good this year? Because I’ve got connections to the guy in the big red suit, and it’s getting to be that time that the naughty/nice lists start going out.” I told him that for the most part, I had been good this year (we don’t count that night I had one too many Lemon Drop shots and decided to horribly karaoke Hanson on the top of the bar table). He smiled once again and said, “I had a feeling you were one of the good ones. You have a very lovely night, miss. And keep smiling. Happy looks wonderful on you.”

At that moment, my heart melted into a puddle of mush. I had been feeling the crappiest of crappy not a mere three minutes prior to stepping into Lou’s line, but within moments of talking to this sweet, kind-hearted and hilarious soul, I forgot about the stresses of the day, the worries and challenges and bad news cloud that had been hanging over my head.

I thanked Lou and wished him a wonderful night as well, but walking away I realized that a simple ‘thank you’ wasn’t enough. I went over to Starbucks, bought a gift card and a cookie, and went back over to Lou’s line.

“Well hello, there! You’re back! Good to see you again! And so soon. Did you forget something, miss?” he asked when I approached.

“Good to see you again too, Lou!” I said. “I did forget something. I just wanted to let you know that you really made my night. I was having kind of a bad day, the worst actually. But you reminded me that as bad as things may seem, I have so much to be thankful for and happy about. And I have a feeling I’m not the only person you’ve had this beautiful affect on. Keep doing you, Lou! And never stop smiling. Kindess looks good on you.”

“Also, I hope you like cookies and coffee.”

I handed him the gift and thanked him once again, but before I could even turn around to leave, he gave me this giant bear hug.

“Thank you, young lady. That is the nicest thing a customer has ever done for me. You may not know it, but you just made my night as well. Like I said, you are one of the good ones.”

You guys, I not only walked out of that Target with my hot sauce and toilet paper, cans of pumpkin, brownie mix, marshmallows, ice cream and batteries, but with an overflowing heart.

The big man upstairs (God, not Santa, although I’m sure they’ve shared tips and tricks of the trade over a few beers and hot wings once or twice) works in mysterious ways. I truly believe that people come into your life for a specific reason at the exact time you need them, whether it’s permanently, or for only a brief but deeply meaningful exchange on a Thursday night in the checkout line at a department store. They touch your heart, make you see things that were perhaps a bit cloudy, and leave a lasting impression. People like Lou are one of a kind. And while our paths may never cross again, I have a feeling I will never forget him.

I’ve got a challenge for you, friends. When the opportunity presents itself (or when it doesn’t, create that opportunity), pay it forward. Do something nice for someone else, make someone’s night, give their heart something to smile about. Be the Lou you wish to see in the world.

Kindness is the shiznit, y’all. Spread it everywhere!

‘Tis the season for miracles after all. 🙂

 

 

 

Healthy is the new skinny

Hey guys! I hope you all are having a great hump day so far!

Today I thought I would talk to you all about something near and dear to my heart: Self-love and healthy body image. It’s something that has been on my mind a lot the last couple of days. This past week, I was at my bae Target picking up a few groceries (I went in for milk, just milk mind you, and left with a pair of pants, a sweater, a package or Oreos and some Cinnamon Toast Crunch. But forgot the milk. Every. Time.) when I ran into a mother and daughter who were also doing some shopping. As I was perusing the clearance rack, I couldn’t help but overhear the conversation that this mother was having with her young daughter. On numerous occasions, the girl would pick out a super cute top or a pair of pants, asking for her mother’s opinion on how it would look or if she should get it, and numerous times the mother would reply with remarks that truly made my heart sink.

“Are you sure you want this shirt, honey? It’s really not all that flattering on you.”

“You might want to hold off on those skinny jeans until you lose those last few pounds.”

Um, excuse me. WHAT?!

First of all, this young girl was absolutely beautiful! She had a smile that could light up a room and a sparkle in her eye that was undeniable. Secondly, no one should ever, EVER talk to another person like this, especially a mother to her own daughter! EVER! As a parent, as a human being, we should strive to bring each other up, to build our confidence and teach self-love and respect. That we are more than the number on a scale, the size of a pair of pants or the shape of our bodies. I really wish I would have had the courage to say something to this lady, to tell her the damage that she could potentially be doing to her amazing daughter, but in that moment, I was too shocked to really formulate a complete thought.

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Body image issues have been prevalent in our culture for a very long time, but I think it has gotten a lot worse within the last few years, especially with young girls and women. Everywhere we look–whether it be in magazines, on television, in the movies or even opinions from mother’s who are uneducated, insensitive and naïve– there is this ideal, this crazy, unobtainable and unhealthy ideal that is continuously getting shoved in our faces. The terrible thing is this “ideal” is perpetuated as something we all should strive to obtain if we want to be successful, loved, happy.

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Young girls see these images and hear these messages. Some stand up for who they are, not giving in to this warped mindset of what beauty is, but sadly, a lot of girls and women (and even men) fail to recognize how truly amazing they really are. They start picking apart the color of their hair, the freckles on their face or the size of their waistbands.  They begin to work out hours everyday, restrict what they eat and begin this dangerous comparison trap, asking themselves if they are or will ever be good enough. As someone who has struggled with my self confidence and body, I know that finding a healthy balance and learning to really love, respect and accept myself for the amazing and kiss-ass young woman that I am was and still is not an easy process. It’s something that I have to continually work on, reminding myself of all the things I love about myself instead of focusing on the things I don’t.

I have been following Katie H. Wilcox now for a while and am continually amazed and inspired by her messages of self-acceptance, positive body image and health. She is the founder of Healthy is the New Skinny, a campaign  that is challenging not only how the media portrays beauty, but also our own motives and mindset. This campaign actively reaches out to high schools across the country through their PUP program (Perfectly Unperfected Project), challenging the way our culture views beauty and building self-esteem and self-confidence in these young and impressionable girls. I want to give miss Wilcox a giant bear hug for the work she has done, and continues to do, raising awareness about how skewed our cultural ideals are and sending messages of how important it is to be kind to yourself, be proud of who you are and to love every inch of who you have grown to be.

This is how we feel about this latest Victoria's Secret campaign.

This is how we feel about this latest Victoria’s Secret campaign.

Sure, there are some days when I look in the mirror and do not think, “I woke up like this.” There are days where my hair decides to have an attitude of its own, days where I feel fat and bloated, days where I just am not feeling good about myself. But you know what, it’s days like these that I have to think the exact opposite! We are all beautiful, strong and have so much to give this world, give to each other, and more importantly, to our selves.

It’s high time we, you and I and that dude sitting across the hall from you with the very nice green tie eating a chalupa, we have to start throwing some serious shade to all of these ridiculous ideals of perfection and beauty, and start making our own!

We should “wake up like this” every damn day.

And to that mother at Target, I would just like to say to you that your daughter is beautiful. She is strong, unique and perfectly imperfect. I hope she bought that pair of skinny jeans and super cute top because she would’ve rocked them out!

If you want to become involved with the Healthy is the New Skinny campaign, get more information here! And be sure to follow Katie on her Instagram and blog!

Images via, via, via

Is it me or is it a bit drafty in here?

Oy.

How many in the class have ever realized after the work day was over, school was let out or you had just gotten home from seeing friends or running errands that in the hustle and bustle of getting dressed that morning, you had forgotten just one teeny, weeny detail…

To shut the barn door.

Close the fly.

You forgot to zip up.

My hand is raising the roof as we speak.

When I was in third grade, my third grade teacher Ms. Zamzow asked me to become a part of my elementary school’s (shout out to the Maine Lions!) Book Bowl team. Book Bowl, if you aren’t quite familiar, is basically like book Jeopardy, with teams competing against each other for who knows the most about the selection of books that we were given to read. The types of questions asked varied, everything from the plot lines and character schemas to the settings, vocab and basic understanding of the themes and lessons found in each book.

Of course I jumped at the chance to participate in something as awesome as this. I mean, spending time after school–and on competition days, DURING school, just chillaxin’ with fellow booknerds like myself, reading awesome books, discussing them and then kicking other team’s booties in the process? Oh, and did I mention the plethora of pizza and ice cream sundae parties that we had as well? Book worms need our energy after all 😉

What could be better?! Book Bowl was awesome. So awesome that I ended up competing for three years. when I was in fifth grade, my last year as a bonified Book Bowl competitor, we made it to the Regional Competition, the World Series if you will of all book competitions. My team had worked hard all year and we had finally made it! That big ‘ol Golden Book trophy was ours for the taking. It was nearing the end of the final round and the last two teams had to nominate two members to stand up and answer the last and deciding question. This was it. All that stood between my team’s trophy and Maine Lion pride (pun intended) was Shelby Voight from Lincoln Elementary. I SO had this.

Both of us stood up in front of all the other teams, our coaches and our fans (hi mom and dad), and were asked the last question: “How do we think the moral implications of The Giver would affect us today?”

Not a simple question to be sure, but I was confident in my answer. I stood up proudly, gave a riveting (to say the least) response and waited for the judge’s reaction with bated breath. I looked at Ms. Zamzow, my team, and lastly my mom and dad in the audience and couldn’t have felt more proud of what we had accomplished, no matter what the final outcome was. Out of the corner of my eye, I noticed that my mom was trying to say something to me, pointing in my direction. At the time, I thought she was just wishing me luck, letting me know not to worry. How I wish looking back that I paid a bit more attention.

The judges finally had the results and by a score of 29 – 25, the Maine Lions had just become the Regional Book Bowl Champs (cue the Queen song). I was on cloud nine, having just helped my team win the championship but that was to be short-lived. My mom and dad came up to me, hugs and high fives all around but then my mom quickly and quietly took me aside and said the words that sent me running for the hills, actually, the little girl’s room…

“Honey, I tried telling you earlier but your fly is open.”

Oy.

I hightailed it quicker than the road runner to the bathroom, my face comparable to the likes of Sebastian the lobster. I was so embarrassed.  It wasn’t as if my zipper was just down a notch or two or my shirt was long enough to cover up my major fashion faux pas.

Oh no. It was all of the down. The door was all of the open. And I was all of the all of the mortified. Here I was standing up in front of a gymnasium full of people, totally oblivious to the fact that my polka-dotted underroos were for all to see. I swore that after that horrifying incident, I would never, EVER forget to zip. Ever.

Yeah…I wish I could say I made good on that promise.

I don’t know what it is about zippering up that is so incredibly hard for me to do? I mean, it’s not exactly rocket science is it? And it’s not as if it takes forever and a day to accomplish, right? I should say that usually I’m pretty good about remembering to close the barn door, and on the rare occasion when I do forget, I most often quickly realize it before too much damage is done. But there are those days, days like yesterday, where I don’t.

I was on the last leg of my shift at Tarjay and had a pretty darn good day. My boss bought everyone free frappaccinos from Starbucks, I had got the credit record for the day and was even proposed to! The oh so cute little man in his Spiderman t-shirt walked right up to me, offered me his grape Ring Pop and asked if I wanted to marry him. If he had only chosen the cherry instead, I would have actually considered taking the little superhero up on his offer. All in all, it was an awesome day.

Until I was sitting in my car getting ready to leave and noticed that my darn fly was open. My first thought: crap. I forgot again? Really, Wendi?! Are you two years old?! In fact, most two-year olds I know probably know how to get dressed properly. My second thought: I worked for six hours like this. SIX HOURS! All those poor customers and my fellow coworkers had to endure my draftiness. My third thought: If all those poor customers and fellow co-workers knew, why didn’t they say something? My fourth thought? Could I have said something if I was in their Chuck Taylor shoes?

What is the proper etiquette when it comes to letting someone know that they had slipped on their zips? Had something in their teeth? Had toilet paper on their shoe?

Thinking about it, that is probably by far one of the most awkward situations you can find yourself in, even more awkward than being the one who slipped on their zips, had spinach in their teeth or had TP on their shoe. You want to let the person know about their ‘Oops’ so that they can prevent their own Book Bowl moment, but at the same time, how in the world do you go about saying something like that, especially if it involves said person’s crotch area (uhh…why were you looking in that direction in the first place?).

I would love to know your thoughts!

As for me, I have learned my lesson. I, Wendi Hansen, hereby promise to never, ever NOT forget to shut the barn door, close the fly and up my zip ever again.

I’ve got ten dollars saying I last a week.

Have a great rest of your hump day, guys!

Question of the day:

Have you ever slipped on your zips?

Do you let people know about their ‘Oops’ moments? If so, how?!

 

 

 

 

 

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