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Graciousness is sometimes defined as, “pleasantly kind, benevolent, and courteous. Characterized by good taste and fine breeding, indulgent or beneficent in a pleasantly condescending way, especially to inferiors.”

Now repeat those soothing words to yourself over and over again and when you have finished, begin speaking them backwards, in French preferably, a pleasant diversion as the mind desperately seeks foreign adjectives and struggles to conjure up a verb or two. Remember to breathe, the sky is blue, the grass is green, wax on, wax off, ahhh, such wisdom from  Mr. Miyagi and the Karate Kid.

I am nothing if not gracious, a bit of a sham really, and should anyone read this blog post my cover will be completely blown, but I do at least strive to be gracious.

So last year I took down the Christmas decorations and packed them away, stacking the boxes in the hall, patiently waiting for hubby and the kid to put them in the shed. I cannot do it myself, I haven’t got a key and there is a dog that insists on tackling me down into the mud. So January came……and went. In February I dusted off the boxes and reminded them it would be so lovely if those boxes were no longer in the hall. In March I banged my toe and tripped over them. In April I kicked them on purpose. And so it went, May, June, July, and August. September, October….

The other day I said, “Huh, well at least I know where the Christmas things are and it’s getting to be that time of year again,” and so I was cheerfully and quite graciously planning to decorate this weekend.

Yesterday I arrived home and went right for my boxes, my precious boxes, but something was all wrong, my hall was all clean, my boxes were missing!

“My boxes,” I shrieked, “Where are my boxes?”

My husband beaming, quite proud of himself, expecting my praise and gratitude, declared, “We put them away just like you asked.” It took me ten months to get them put away, now it will take me another ten months to get them back! Like, has anyone ever heard the words, “to everything there is a time and a season and a purpose…?” Apparently not.

I……well, I am rather speechless and what a blessing that was indeed, because what was going on in my mind and heart was not also coming out of my mouth. In fact the only thing that eventually did come  out of my mouth was, “Pardon my French, Mr. Miyagi says wax on wax off….”  truly nonsensical words given the situation, but about all I could manage at the time.

“I think she’s happy,” says the kid.

“You’re welcome,” says hubby.

So still sputtering, I carefully speak the language of love and romance over them, as sweetly as I can manage, le ciel est bleu, l’herbe est verte. Wax on, wax off. Remember to breathe. Pardon my French.