Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Gap

Today, I have on a t-shirt from the Gap that says London. I bought it at a thrift store this week for $2. When Paul saw it this morning, he said, ".... because you've been to London so many times?" Smart Alec!! Apparently, he doesn't know that you can wear a t-shirt that states the name of the place without having been there.

I have been to the Gap. And, I know this is going to surprise you... I have a story about the Gap. But, before I proceed with this story, I just want to say that people are trying to use me for my stories. In recent weeks, I have had invitations to go two different places: New York City and Africa. The girls that have asked me to go to New York and Africa are supposed to be my friends AND they are supposed to be Christians... but judge for yourselves. Here's a message Sharla left on my blog:

Hi Friend! Finally catching up after my trip (She went to Africa.)!! You crack me up, I love how you always ask the questions that we all think... Well not the ones we're thinking the questions about... I've always wanted to ask fat people who wear skin tight clothes, with their belly showing... WHAT WERE YOU THINKING?!

Missed you and your wonderfully funny way of looking at life... Want to go to Africa with me sometime?

Her comment is cleverly disguised because what it really means is: You gotta come to Africa with me so I can see what happens when your along for the ride. Besides, I know you'd have some things to say about the people there.

My friend Amber left this comment on my Chicago Part I post: (Click here if you want to read the post.) I was thinking about asking you if you wanted to come w/ me to NYC this Fall and visit Whit, see some shows etc...but after I read what happend to you when you travel. I don't know if I need more drama. The crazies seek you out, I swear!!!
No really...I would love it if you could come with me! Wanna?

See, she tried to cover it up by acting like she didn't need the drama. But, I actually think that is the only reason she asked me to come. She wants to witness the crazies seeking me out; she wants to experience the drama first hand.

They can't use me like that! I won't let them!

They may change their mind after this story anyway.

A couple of years ago, on a dreary night in the winter, I was NOT in a good mood. Rare, I know. (ha!) I wanted to get away from all the people in this house. I didn't like them and I wanted to be alone. I also wanted to exercise my spiritual gift: shopping. Don't argue with me about whether or not this is or isn't a spiritual gift. The only reason it's not in the Bible is because there weren't outlet malls or Targets or Marshalls around when the apostle Paul wrote about the gifts of the spirit.

Anyway... I looked online to make sure the particular store I wanted to hit was in fact at the outlets. The online info said that it was, so I told the family I was leaving and that I may or may not come back.

I settled in the van for a nice 60 minute drive. I arrived at the outlets, parked by the Pottery Barn because.... one should always run in the Pottery Barn to see what kind of deals they've got going.

I left PB empty handed. I found a map of the outlets to find the location of my store. I looked. I looked for a long time. My store was no where to be found.

I was already in a bad mood... but now I was ticked. I drove all the way there for some retail therapy.... only so my mood could go from bad to worse? I decided to act like an adult and stomp my way from one corner of the outlets to the other corner of the outlets so I could see if the Gap had any deals.

As I was walking in the door, there were some ladies walking out. I very specifically remember them talking about an ambulance because they were in a world of their own and taking 5 DAYS to get out the door. I wanted to shout, "For the LOVE of.... move out of the way!"

I am so glad I didn't!

The Gap seemed empty and quiet. Empty and quiet for the amount of people roaming the store. Most of the people were roaming toward the door. I guess I thought maybe everyone was in a bad mood and leaving because the Gap didn't have any good deals.

I looked at some racks of clothes. And then, around the bend ahead, I could see a rather large crowd of people standing in a circle. To my horror, I could hear some quieter screaming sobs coming from somewhere in that crowd.

Being the curious (nosey) type, I moved closer only to see a large man lying on the ground. I didn't see his face... just a receding t-shirt exposing a big, hairy belly. The cries from a very distraught woman continued. I stood for what seemed like forever trying to decide what, if anything, I should do.

Suddenly, I went from a bad mood to sick to my stomach and I practically ran out the doors of the Gap. I was almost back at my car, which was a GOOD clip from the Gap, when I finally heard the faint cries of an ambulance. I sensed that the ambulance was way too late.

I drove straight home and went to bed.

Only I could drive an hour to shop away a bad mood only to see a guy die in the Gap. Yes, he did die. I asked the next time I went back.

I think about that often. I can't imagine walking in to shop at the Gap with my husband or dad, only to walk out never to see them again this side of eternity.

While there is some humor in the fact that only I could walk into the Gap and find a dead guy, it is also very sobering.

Sometimes, I wish I didn't find so much humor in life. Humor is good but it causes me not to write about deep, spiritual stuff very often. That's odd because, deep spiritual stuff, completely defines who I am and is without a doubt the most important part of me. Whether I write about it or not, it's part of life. Life that inevitably ends in death.

Have you thought about life after death? What happens if you walk into the Gap one day and don't walk out? What bridges "the Gap" between this life and life after death? I hope you don't walk around too long without knowing the answer.

Use me. I've got the answer!


Chubby Baby Designs said...

I was reminded yet again, that THIS is real and Gray's Anatomy is NOT. Thursday eve was my support group, leading it is a humbling experience. These women and men are in REAL pain that their babies are gone. It was a draining 2 hrs. I *thought* I could come home after that and unwind while I watched GA. It was an intense show...but God kept reminding me that the women tonight have REAL pain, they need REAL healing, and they needed HIM. That big giant screen in my basement keeps me entertained with so many things that keep me from the reality that we need HIM. We get so wrapped up in a good *story* we can forget how serious our (mankind) situation is.
As often as I'm at the GAP, I sure do hope I don't witness what you did. I get the shoplifters and people cussing me out because I messed up their shoplifting plans though! SO that's fun!
And btw...I DO want you to come to NYC w/ me because I don't get to spend enough time w/ you!!

gnangle04 said...

At first, I'm thinking what a HORRIBLE story.... but I love how you ended it to be thought provoking. And yes, I know you are deep-thinking, which is one of the many great qualities about you...
Great post!

Sharla said...

Behind again...rough week with my friend's diagnosis of stage 4 breast cancer... I really needed that laugh and you're on to me! You're right... I want to go to Africa with you because I want to see what happens when you're along for the ride!! And I LOVE the funny way you look at always make me smile and laugh!!

And you're right again, you and Kathie and my mom are my number 1 commenters...but you were number 1 first!!

I just need to go private for a while because my heart is so heavy for some things that have been happening and I don't like not knowing who's reading... I really want to write more freely but I can't do that unless I know who's there...

Not sure I'll stay that way forever, but at least for this season... Now I'll feel like I'm talking to my best girlfriends!!

Love ya!!

Jenney said...

Based on the Pottery Barn and Gap references and the proximity to where I THINK you may live...I will NEVER EVER visit that outlet the same...ever again. (But they built a great children's playscape in the was new to me anyway)