If you know me, you know that the title of this post and the concept of blessing are contradictory. I hate to shop for clothes and I particularly hate shopping for clothes when I need something for an upcoming event. I usually put it off for the last minute and then have to run around trying to put something together. Terrible. Hate it.
We have a family wedding coming up in July and several of the women on Leroy's side of the family decided a group shopping excursion to the Bay Area was in order. Under normal circumstances, I would avoid this chaos at all costs, but I was desperate. I needed help with the selection and I knew that this might be my only chance so I agreed to go along. Hesitantly... I agreed.
There were 9 of us who traveled over and I was the ONLY non-Portuguese lady in the group . I felt like I was in a movie called... "My Big Fat Portuguese Shopping Trip." We walked in a herd and at one point filled most of the dressing rooms in Macy's. Each of us complimenting and criticizing our choices and each others'. The language would switch between Portuguese and English in a split second with an ever increasing volume. I felt for the poor, unsuspecting ladies who happened to get caught in our path, who tried to escape as quickly and quietly as possible. We found quite a few dresses at the first stop but of course didn't want to commit until we had viewed other options... so we put them on hold and went on to the next store.
Now I know what you're thinking... it doesn't sound like a blessing, right? Well... I have to admit, even though I was reluctant to participate, I am very glad I went. Not only did I find a dress... (actually, the first one I tried on) but I spent time laughing and connecting with a tremendous group of women who have all touched my life in some way over the years. Marrying into this tight knit kind of family can be difficult, (especially considering the cultural differences) but from day one these women have welcomed me and treated me as if I have always been part of the family. We are all very different, but the love that is shared between us is special. We are connected by common experiences but we also bring our own unique personalities into the mix and that is what makes it fun. Most of us don't see each other very often, but when we are together it is as if no time has passed and we pick up right where we left off.
I still hate shopping but this trip was more fun than I could have imagined.