Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff

As graduation day approached, I watched with some apprehension as my granddaughter was ironing her gown. In typical fashion she was always side-tracked, and before long the rising smoke awakened her olfactory sensibilities revealing a perfectly etched, iron-shaped cut-out in the navy tulle. Not to worry; Andrea was not one to stress the small stuff. There are always more grad dresses to be found.

Andrea was multi-faceted: intense, high-spirited, a gifted pianist–later that summer she wrote, performed and recorded a song that spoke to her deep, newly-renewed faith. And in a moment of subliminal musing, she wrote a passionate tribute to her two younger sisters expressing admiration of their character qualities and traits she envied in herself. She was also brutally self-assured and painfully honest; no opinion was out of bounds when prefaced with the phrase, “No offense but..,” which if inserted strategically legitimised any comment otherwise deemed an insult. And since she was incapable of carrying a grudge, she assumed others were also. How could anyone be offended with, “No offence, but your dress is ugly?”

I marvelled at this granddaughter as weeks later she headed out the door in her multi-coloured wrap to join her friends for an afternoon of tubing on the river. Reminiscent of my own ‘multi-coloured wrap’, I recalled an event that attracted some unexpected attention in Florida. The sun was beating down and I was feeling the effects as my north-of-the-49th skin screamed for protection. Fortunately, nearby wrap vendors stood by to oblige. One caught my attention: a linear colour wheel that would match anything; I wore that wrap with ‘pride’. Driving home through a particular neighbourhood

I was smugly satisfied with my purchase when I realized how popular it was; identical specimens graced the windows of apartments and store fronts, hung from flag poles, and fluttered from car antennas—until the symbolism of the rainbow- coloured banner was pointed out to me. Don’t laugh, we’ve all been there. Which of us has not experienced that moment that still blushes the memory? Years later Andrea might have enlightened me with, “No offence, Nan, but your wrap is…”

The shady ‘wrap’ remained in the bottom drawer–until after grad. Taking a cue from Andrea, I boldly sliced it into two sections. The first ‘scarf’ would match any hue of reds and yellows, the second with greens and blues. I had paid good money for it; and now it was a two-fer.