Return to Sender

By Caleigh Le Grand

Today’s dinner break had me thumbing the pages of a Peanuts comic book while I waited for my profiteroles to be packed up at a nearby artsy cafe. (Yes, I had chocolate for dinner – it’s full of antioxidants and calcium and serotonin boosters and I’m an adult and no one can stop me.)

One strip stuck with me. Charlie Brown was adorably trying to return a Christmas gift he had bought for the little red-haired girl in his class. He was too shy to give it to her. Classic. And my life.

I recently bought a gift for someone and never gave it to him. As it turns out, I am more like our good ol’ pal Chuck than I’ve ever cared to admit. As soon as I came face-to-face with (let’s call him) Liam, I choked and buried the gift at the bottom of my purse – until I got home and pulled it out to set it on my kitchen table where it stayed for the rest of the night, mocking me from the other side of my apartment.

Let me tell you, a night of being ridiculed by an inanimate object opens a gateway of self-reflection. What have I learned about myself? I’m a coward. But only when it comes to matters of the heart. (Is there any other kind of coward?) When I become conscious of my care factor, that caring creates opportunities for rejection.

In case you’re wondering, I don’t plan on being a coward forever. I’m leaping and bounding in certain areas, while other realms of my life are going to have to hang out with my nemesis, Patience, for a while. After all, I’m an adult now, so I can do whatever I want. I can eat chocolate for dinner and avoid asking Liam out.

I’m also not going to return the gift. I’m merely going to acknowledge my waste of money and lack of courage (and drink it since it’s alcohol). However, I’ll also acknowledge that buying the gift in the first place was a step! And that’s all I’m going to ask of myself for the time being.

Just so we’re clear, this is me giving you the okay to take steps smaller than those of an infant ant who’s missing one leg. All I ask in return is that you throw said permission straight back my way. Let’s agree to simply start by acknowledging our behavior. Sometimes, life calls for baby steps and laughing at yourself… and exquisite profiteroles.

 

Caleigh Le Grand is an actor and writer living in Toronto.

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