“Hey, Annah. Great morning, isn’t it?” The minute that statement left my mouth, I wanted to retrieve it, but it was to late.
“Depends on your idea of great. It’s not that great to me. I found an ant in my sugar bowl and my milk was sour. Does that sound great to you?”
See what I mean? Annah is an old friend, but she’s a test of my patience each time I’m with her. She views life through anything but rose colored glasses.
“I’m sorry about the ant and your milk. Let’s put that behind us and hit the thrift stores with gusto!”
“Gusto, uh? If I could find a decent job I could shop at the mall. Instead, I’m left picking through other people’s trash.”
“Come on now, Annah. We aren’t exactly dumpster diving. Anyway, I like things with a slightly used, comfortable feel.”
As I parked my old Chevy, I noticed Annah had an even more disgusted look on her face. Hating myself already, I asked what was wrong.
“Look at that! Just LOOK! Can you believe someone is thrift store shopping in a BMW? They’re probably dropping off their designer cast offs and watching the poor, less fortunates swarm like knats.”
Wow, I‘m feeling knatty myself! I hope she’s my size. Come on!”
Kacey, you have no pride! I can’t believe you’re going to rush in there!”
“Annah, I came to shop. Why did you come?”
“Well at least wait until the BMW leaves. It may be someone we know.”
“I don’t care who’s driving that car. Come on.”
As I approached the entrance, I stopped to see if Annah was coming. With her head now tied up in a bandana and sunglasses on, she moped toward me. Why did she come, I asked myself. Myself offered no answer.
Once inside, I began looking through a rack of business suites. Suddenly, someone tapped me on the shoulder. “ Well Buffie, how are you?”
“I’m fine. I just came by to drop off some things and shop a bit. This boutique has a lot of nice things.”
“Yes, they do. Since my promotion, I have to wear suits everyday. I depend on this place for bargains.”
“Me too. Since I splurged on my new car, I have to cut corners on everything else. It’s good to see you.”
“Just look at Kacey. She’s rummaging through those clothes like she’s at Macys. I hate being deprived of the better things in life. My life is such a tragedy. What is God doing to me? I can’t take anymore of this. I want to scream!”
Finally, I realized Annah was nowhere to be seen. Then I saw her feet beneath a dressing room curtain. Slowly, I pulled the curtain back and there she sat crying her eyes out. “What’s wrong? Are you ill?”
“NO! Yes! I’m sick of my life! How can you be so happy? We’re shopping in a thrift store, KACEY!”
I snatched the curtain closed and was about to let her have a piece of my mind. All at once, I melted. I was overcome with compassion for her. “Annah, you have a good life. You are healthy, you have a wonderful family, you have a good job, but most of all, you have the Lord. Material things don’t define who we are. God gave us His only Son. Don’t you realize by allowing your emotions to rule, you are making Him sad?”
Annah didn’t speak for several seconds. I wasn’t sure I wanted her to speak. I was afraid I had crossed that invisible line between friends.
“I’ve become an angry, negative person, haven’t I?”
My flesh wanted to answer that question, but thank God I have matured enough to be silent. I reached over and hugged her.
“Come one, let’s get something to eat and talk this over. Oh, could you take off that bandana and those glasses, please?”
“I sure can. I’m not going to let pride hinder me again.”
I wish she hadn’t said that. I knew she would be tested, but I didn’t know it would be so soon. I pulled the curtain back and there stood Annah’s boss.
“Well, Annah are you shopping here?”
Annah turned a putrid shade of green, but then she said, “Yes, I am. Are you?”
“I certainly am. On my salary I have to pinch my pennies.”
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