“The truth shall make ye free, but first it shall make ye miserable.” – Carl Rogers
Have you ever gone out of your way to do something nice for someone and had it backfire so you knew the effort not only wasn’t appreciated, but your attempt to help turned into a disaster? If so, you may be able to relate to these less than stellar memories shared by two Lemurians:
The Incompetent Elf
When I was in third grade, we lived with my grandparents, who had cases of books my dad had read as a child. One that captured my imagination was the story of the shoemaker and the elves. The idea of these little people stealing into the shoemaker’s shop at night to help him make his shoes seemed such a very positive and satisfyingly stealthy way to surprise someone and make them happy, that I determined to find a way to emulate those elves.
My grandparents’ neighbor, Doc Simmons, was a kind man whose wife would make me delicious lemonade garnished with fresh mint leaves when I came over to play with their daughter. So I thought it would be nice to do something for them. Appraising their house, I noticed the front porch was quite dusty. So I conceived the plan of stealing over that night with a bucket of water and brush and making the porch look like new.
Darkness found me on my hands and knees, beginning to scrub the dusty porch floor when suddenly, the porch light flicked on and I realized I had been heard! Quick as lightning, I vacated the premises and scurried home before I was discovered.
The next day I surreptitiously checked the results. The porch floor was a mess, covered with swirls of dried, muddy water! Had they noticed it? Did they know who had perpetrated this outrage? I never knew. I put it out of my mind and never looked back.
That Elusive Fragrance
As a young stay-at-home mother, I enjoyed having a tidy house, painting when needed, and when it was time to have the carpets cleaned, I hired a well-known company to do the job. For one of these cleanings, a friendly young man named John was sent out. Once he’d finished the carpets, as I was writing his check, he mentioned that he would soon be starting his own carpet cleaning business. He was most enthusiastic as he handed me his new company flyer and asked if I’d be willing to use him next time I needed the carpets cleaned. So for the next twenty years I was a loyal customer. John cleaned the carpets of every house I lived in.
Came the day I was going to move out of state, I asked John to clean my carpets one last time, expecting this to be a poignant experience after all our years of association. But as soon as John walked into my house, he demanded to know if I’d recently had an exterminator in, saying my house smelled like pesticides! I tried to reassure him that I hadn’t, but he was adamant. He definitely smelled pesticides and insisted I open all the windows and turn on every fan I had. I felt he rushed through the job so he could escape the house into fresh air.
As John’s helper was packing up the supplies, I asked him what was going on with John. He smiled and asked if I might be wearing patchouli. I was. I had recently started using patchouli oil, a very intense fragrance. He said that was what was bothering John. It just so happened that John’s mother-in-law wore the same fragrance, and John never got along with this woman. So I never got a chance to thank him for all those years of good service.
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