Wednesday, November 21, 2012

A Gracious Good-Bye, or, Dropping Like Flies

Life has, succinctly, been hectic lately: my car needs four new tires, which is a critical concern, considering I was a thin slice away from blow out; the Christmas season is blatantly looming, the first few popular carols already trickling out of the speakers of the pharmacy and the grocery stores, an incessant and cheerful reminder that I need to go shopping; and urgent, aggressively timed projects at work are now exacerbated in their already impressive capacity to induce sweat-dripping stress, as two of our esteemed and pleasant colleagues are leaving, onto greener professional pastures. For both, green as in more lucrative and more mentally and emotionally fulfilling. I, unable to resist certain genetically imprinted tendencies of human nature, am green with envy, meanwhile. Petty though this appears, at least I am able to honestly acknowledge it, and I continue to remind myself that happiness and success are not inherently finite commodities, a sort of limited well from which only a few can drink. The potential for happiness and success in others in no way could or should diminish my own future potential opportunities and adventures. It is saddening to see both women go, because they offer so much to our project team in terms of knowledge and competency, but more so because they are each wonderful, kind, generous ladies. They will be missed. And for now, those that remain standing are a lean and, though experienced and bright, somewhat anxious team; the future is always a tenuous prospect.

One of these colleagues is leaving the area, forging a new life further up north in Connecticut. She has been with our company a few years, coming on board only a few months after I have, so, in many senses of the word, she has been an enduring and true comrade in the often surreal world of our corporate culture, as well as that of our clients. Often, the group jokes at the parallels to popular situational comedies, featuring hapless or numb workers and benignly and blissfully ignorant leaders; the reality is frequently more ridiculous than the fictions designed to entertain. The seemingly daily farce can keep life interesting, with the right optimistic perspective, but it can also be wildly draining and uninspiring. We have worked together closely on a number of different projects, and I have always admired her passion and her formidable ethics. Her last day is today, wrapping up loose ends, as I sit abroad a packed, shaking train, heading south to Baltimore for the Thanksgiving holiday; on Monday, she presented me with these pearl and rhinestone earrings. I was pleasantly surprised, a bit taken aback; knowing that she is moving and attempting to consolidate some of the clutter that invariable attracts and clings to our lives, she saw these and believed I should have them, believed I would enjoy them. They are large, bodacious, have both pearl and rhinestone detailing, so, naturally, I swooned and beamed with joy. I wore them yesterday, with a new deep indigo knit dress.

While the act of giving a material item is always so rewarding, for both parties, the selecting of a token and the receiving of something new and shiny and novel, and certainly I was excited to flaunt these earrings, it was the thought that touched me, the careful consideration and understanding of what I like aesthetically, what I would appreciate. I shop consignment regularly, so obviously have numerous items that have resided in the closet or the bureau of someone else; my favorite, though, is an item owned by someone familiar. It makes the piece more familiar, imbues the material with something more of a narrative, of a soul, of the person I know and care for.


  1. lovely colours
    the blue/cobolt is so bold!


  2. I would always say to people that the actual gift doesn't really matter to me but the thought that they've thought of me is enough :)

    Those are such lovely earrings though. :)

    xx Daphne of