Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's in the Balloon

Have you ever gotten annoyed with yourself?

That was me a few days ago. I was constantly annoyed at other people and annoyed at myself for being annoyed at them. I felt lazy and completely self-absorbed. I have always been on the more selfish side I suppose, thinking more about myself than other people. It’s just a bad habit that I haven’t succeeded in dropping. Not that I’ve tried very hard or anything. Well, until recently. I feel like I am making progress. I am on my way to being a kind, thoughtful person.

See? I bought this large, red elmo head balloon for my little brother. That’s being thoughtful isn’t it? And I know, four dollars doesn’t sound like much, but hey, I don’t have a steady job just yet. This isn’t something I usually do either. So that’s saying something. It was quite spontaneous. The whole day was quite spontaneous actually. It all started when Ben broke his shiny blue balloon on a prickly plant in our backyard. Of course, he blamed me…I was the only one standing in close proximity (approx. 15 feet) to the incident. “You distracted me!” he roared. “It’s all your fault!” And then he folded his arms angrily across his chest and proceeded to cry as he marched toward the broken riding lawn mower and climbed onto it.

Okay, so I felt bad. Even though, it technically wasn’t my fault. I didn’t tell him to bang his balloon on a pointy plant thing. I try to calm him down, and I tell him I am going to find him another balloon. He tells me that it’s not possible (well he roars at me that it’s not), but I’m determined. I march into the house and upstairs where finally, after digging through multiple totes filled with random birthday items (i.e. streamers, party hats, bunched up tissue paper, and reusable gift bags), I discover one tiny orange balloon. One. But hey, it’s better than none. So excitedly, I show this to Ben who is still not very happy. And then I try to blow air into the thing. Apparently, he is right. With all the breath in my body, and my cheeks puffed up like a monkey on steroids, this just IS NOT POSSIBLE. So, the next best thing… fill it with water! Ben’s idea of course. Gosh, he’s such a smart little thing. So that is what we did. I filled it with water. He wanted to throw it at me, but I was able to convince him it would be much more fun if I threw it at him. Okay! Didn’t need much convincing (thankfully). Not that I don’t mind getting wet or anything.

Later that same day, I decided it would be a smart investment if I went to the store and bought some more balloons. So armed with a bag of 50 balloons (specifically for water), I see a display of those birthday balloons made out of some kind of foil. Feeling impulsive, I pick out the elmo one, one of the two that did not say “Happy Birthday” or “Get Better Soon,” and I proceeded to the check out line. Standing in line, I couldn’t stop a big smile from taking over my face, and I realized that I enjoy making people happy. Now, I’m embarrassed to say, this is a new emotion for me. It’s not one of those things that comes naturally. I’m usually the kind of person who thinks, Okay, what’s in it for me? All the while pretending that that’s not what I’m thinking at all.

So I waited and gave him the balloon after dinner, which turned out to be perfect because he had just gotten yelled at by dad for being a little boy at the supper table. (You know talking while other people are trying to talk). Anyway, he was sad again. So I showed him the balloon and he immediately got this big, quiet smile on his face. So did I mention that I love making people happy?

P.S. Perhaps next time I will be smart, and fill the balloon with helium. Just a thought...

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