My friend Carla and I went to Larry's Produce this morning. Larry's is always inexpensive, but occasionally there is a screaming deal on produce that is past its prime. Today, Carla and I were looking in the fridge section for berries with no luck. Then, I saw a man walk past me with two large containers of blueberries. I hunted down an employee of the produce stand and asked where I might find the blueberries. He directed me to the entrance, where the deals of the day hang out. I saw a swarm of people huddled around a pallet of blueberries like vultures. I joined them, of course and grabbed 2.5 pounds of blueberries for fifty cents! The only catch was that each container had a few berries with mold growing on them. I inspected the clear package carefully seeing if it was worth the sorting required. And then I chose two to take home and treat for consumption. I was so jazzed about the deal that I excitedly shared my find with Carla who promptly picked up two containers also.
When we got back into town, Carla mentioned that she was not willing to pick through all the blueberries and gave her baskets to me. Maybe that girl was onto something...
Later in the evening, I had a ton of work to do in the kitchen. Whenever that happens, our family goes into what I like to call 'battle mode'. We hunker down at the table, I make a list of things to be done and divide it into appropriate jobs. My sweet family has always been so good about pitching in to get everything done quickly. One of the items on Jimmy's list this time was to sort, wash and freeze the blueberries in the kitchen. While I had been in the dining room hollowing out cupcakes to be filled, I came into the kitchen to Jimmy obviously unhappy. Before him was a mammoth pile of blueberries to one side a tiny bowl with maybe one dozen blueberries on the other side. He looked at me and in all seriousness stated, "This is the worst job you've ever given me."
In what was probably the most insensitive moment I've shared with that man, I laughed out loud. He was not amused. I took over and started sorting the berries in Jelly Belly mode. What is Jelly Belly mode, you ask? Well, the Jelly Belly factory runs a tour where you can go through the factory and see how the jelly beans are made. The most tedious job on the planet falls to the 'bean sorter'. This person sits in a chair and watches a conveyor belt of miniscule jelly beans go by and picks out all the duds.
That was me. I should have timed myself. It was actually kind of fun. Jimmy just sat next to me at the table and would stare at the pile of blueberries and grumbled. He would periodically grab a bad berry and plop it in the dud pile. His worsening mood made me try even harder to cheer him up. So I said, "Jimmy, we just got $50 worth of blueberries for one dollar!!! All I have to do is put in the work to sort the berries. Isn't that great?!"
He got up from the table and responded, "I didn't go to college so you could do this."
My sweet husband has been having a hard time lately. He is frustrated with the non response to his job hunting. I am not exaggerating when I say that he has applied for at least one job every day, except Sunday since he graduated over 2 years ago. Every day. Would you like to know how many interviews he's had? One scheduled, then they cancelled. Student loans cost a lot of money, folks. And so this man's frustrations stem from the fact that he went to school to better our situation and now it is worse than before he went to school because of the loans. We are pretty much living in Catch 22.
It pains me to watch Jimmy do everything he can to no avail. Those are not fighting words- they are true. He has done EVERYTHING. Jimmy has done the following things:
-Had his resume professionally tailored
-Gone to the church offered job services in Concord and Oakland
-Sent out 15-20 resumes weekly
-Prayer. Lots and lots of prayer
It has been hard on him. I admire this man. Because I watch him being so persistent and not getting anywhere. I honestly don't know how he hasn't gone crazy yet. But I contributed to pushing him over the edge when I asked him to sort blueberries. This trial of our faith is a doozy. I think that's our style. Just think, we had another doozy waiting for baby to get here. Going through that TEN YEAR wait was near torture! It wasn't just waiting, either. It was praying, fasting, crying and so many other things to make us stretch. I look at Vivy's face everyday and know that the wait was worth it. In fact, now that I know her, I would've waited even longer. And so, now I am sorting blueberries and buying meat on sale and making do just waiting for things to change financially. For things to go our way. I am guessing that when the waiting is done, it will all be worth it.