At some point, we meet someone who is better at being who we want to be. For me, one of these someones is Aaron’s old roommate, Will Graham. Will Graham always remembers both our birthdays with a card and coffee table book with pretty pictures; he sends a box of Christmas cookies and an actual Christmas present every December; he writes a long, personal note in his Christmas cards; he listens to French music; he asks after our child; he remembers our dogs’ names; he saves money for traveling.
Last March, my birthday present arrived from Will and included some fancy biscuits for Dakota and Delilah. I called Aaron to say we had been Will Grahamed. To be Will Grahamed is to open a beautifully wrapped birthday present from someone whose birth month you can’t even remember. Usually, I feel, and maybe even say, “I’m such an a** h***!” after being Will Grahamed.
There is, too, such a thing as being Lohmeyered. To be Lohmeyered is to receive one of the following: a burned CD in a cracked jewel case for your birthday, a coupon for $5.00 off your next Publix grocery bill, our leftover packets of dog flea meds (they’re expensive), or a newspaper cutout. One of our new friend hopefuls up here recently made us a delicious cranberry-banana bread loaf for no reason except she is a nice person. In return, we brainstormed acts of reciprocity and recognized that to be Lohmeyered is to be at best neutralized by a thank-you card and at worst baffled by what appears to be a gesture of generosity but is vaguely recycled (did they just wrap up their dinner leftovers in foil and ribbon?) .
To be fair, we can be thoughtful and spontaneous, but mostly, we wrestle with inadequacy. The world is full of kindhearted, truly good people who not only say nice things but also manage to do them.