U Wish

This weekend I was walking the dog (surprising, I know). Everyone is our neighborhood is very friendly so it’s odd to come across a person who doesn’t at least say “hello” with a smile.  I had already had a nice conversation with a woman about her garden and the benefits of having a dog and was very proud of myself for making a new friend.

I rounded the corner and was very surprised when I saw a woman I had never seen before – short hair with about an inch of white roots and dressed in what looked like her gardening getup. She has a glorious teared garden, which I have always admired but I have never had the chance to meet her and compliment her.  Today was my lucky day! I was on a roll.

As I approached I got up my courage to say “hi” (I’m often much more nervous than the person who sees a pregnant lady and a huge dog walking toward them with stupid grins slapped on their faces).

“And all I could say was hello.”

I thought she might smile to make me feel like less of an idiot.  I thought she might acknowledge my attempt to be a nice neighbor but she simply sneered and said, “Hey”.


At this point I had given up hope of a long lasting friendship with this person and decided that I should just pass quickly and recover my dignity.  When I did I noticed a strange glint coming from the woman who had already turned her back on me.  It blinded me momentarily so I looked down to see what it was.

In a flash of brilliant light I saw the words “U WISH” sewn in blue and green sequins right across her bum.

I gasped.

Quickly I moved on, afraid that I might draw more attention to myself and this time be accused of starring at her butt. “U WISH.” (I regret I don’t have a picture – one never thinks when leaving the house that one will need to flash a shot of their neighbor’s bum) I had only seen this phrase pasted on the bottoms of spry young teens and the writing had always been partially covered by their boyfriends hand.  I was amazed.  Where did she get those pants? Had she known what they said? Had they been a gift from her husband?

Then I realized…you know what? I DO wish.

I wish that when I’m middle aged and out on a Saturday in my front yard that I can wear sweat pants of any kind not to mention provocative sexy sequin sweats.  I hope that when I have an inch of white roots that I can wear pants that passively imply that anyone walking by would only look at my a– because they want some.  I wish that when I’m her age I still wear a thong so I can feel the sharp threads of the embroidery rubbing against me every time I lift my backside to heaven. I wish that someday my a– sparkles with the light of a thousand stars.

I do. I do indeed wish. (oh...sorry I misspelled. It should be "U wish"

I do. I do indeed wish. (oh...sorry I misspelled. It should be "U wish"

But most of all I wish that when I’m middle aged and working in my garden that I will say more that just “Hey” to a girl who so desperately wants to be accepted in the new place she lives. Because the truth is I had wished that she would have talked to me and given me some advice on my own garden. I wish she had smiled at me to reassure me that walking my dog was the right thing to do.  I wished that she had rubbed my belly and wished….wished me luck…or happiness.

And I wished most of all that she had told me where she got those pants.


8 responses

  1. haha, that’s so east coastie of her. you should move down south–everybody is your friend and neighbor here. it’s taken some getting used to, as I haven’t known a neighbor since I was 9, but I found I actually enjoy knowing the people in my neighborhood. keep at it, friend. you will bring a LOT of sunshine and joy to your street. it’s how we are supposed to live, I think? anyway, I’m proud of you and I wish I was your neighbor.

  2. HAHAHAHAH! i am peeing my (non sequined) pants. that was hysterical. i do feel really bad for you though. i had a similar thing happen at the farmers market when i will selling my blankets. i was trying to find a way to get my business cards in the hands of all the people at the farmers market. so i patiently punched and tied 200 business cards to candy canes. (it was close to christmas). when i finally got enough courage to hand them out to the festive shoppers, the first man i offered one to scoffed and said, “I don’t eat candy.” he was not a jolly or merry fellow and i was hurt and embarrassed. why can’t people just accept another’s polite and kind gesture for what it is without making them feel like an idiot?

  3. Val, this is hilarious! I also like the way you wrote the movement in the essay — that is, you see her face and then the reader is surprised with you as she turns her back and you are walking by her. It’s short, swift and visual. Good work!

    And Erin, I agree with you, too. I think your idea was great and I wish I’d been there. My friend Jo-Ann says, “It doesn’t cost anything to be gracious.”

  4. One of my favorite lines of all time… “I wish that when I’m her age I still wear a thong so I can feel the sharp threads of the embroidery rubbing against me every time I lift my backside to heaven.” I have come back to re-read this story pretty much every day since you posted it… and laugh every time :).

  5. Val this sounded like a newspaper columnist article! very good writing, and very good thoughts. I feel sorry for people who don’t at least have time to smile at strangers, esp. when greeted. Bravo to you for reaching out to your neighbors.

    (P.S. i loved the note about homonyms….i think she has a ‘tiered’ garden…unless of course it’s a memorial…wink)

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