Monday, April 22, 2013

Saving Face or Saving Grace



When I was little, in elementary school, my best friend and I opened a bag of candy in a grocery store and began eating right in the middle of the aisle. Soon, a worker came to us and asked where the parent was. A metallic taste of embarrassment coated my tongue and prevented me from speaking. We went to the store with my friend’s father, who was around somewhere.

Somehow, we were led to her father, and he was told how we were caught shoplifting. I remember wondering what kind of trouble she had gotten me in. Unfortunately, given circumstances of my youth and being the youngest of six kids, I never felt I had the ability to disagree with someone else’s ideas, and eating the candy had been my friend’s idea.

An intuitive child, I got the feeling that her father understood the roles between us and had even gotten a reserved chuckle out of the whole situation. The store worker explained to my friend and me about the viewer windows and cameras used to look out for shoplifters. He said that he would let us go this time, and we left to go back to my friend’s home, she with an indignant anger that lasted through the night, and me with a timid and ashamed air of, Let’s see what’ll happen.

What did happen was a shift in our relationship. I felt a saving grace of protection from getting into trouble because I was the guest who had never considered stealing before. My friend’s father was gracious to the both of us, however, and I don’t remember that she was punished at all after receiving another lecture when we returned to their house. Nonetheless, she held on to her angry fa├žade in a character-changing decision to save face by not admitting any wrongdoing. 

We slowly began to drift apart after that incident. She had a different group of friends that I didn’t feel secure enough to join, and I noticed more and more how different we were becoming from each other. Although friends and in the same class since preschool, by the fourth grade, we rarely spoke to one another.

Someday I would like to try and find her. I’d heard that she entered a tough spot after high school, while my rebellious years began at the beginning of high school. By the eleventh grade, I was back on track. It would be good to know how she got back on track, whether saving face is still important to her, or whether she has learned about the wonderful gift of saving grace, something that we all need from time to time.  


Please check out these other A to Z Challenge blogs:
Dear Krissy
Live the Moment
Loca for Language
T and A Travel Almanac


19 comments:

  1. What in interesting meditation for a Monday morning - reflecting on how admitting wrongdoing, accepting forgiveness and moving on is a healing act. Good luck this week!

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    1. Thanks Diana, that's a good way to view it.

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  2. I would have been you, thinking to myself "I'm in trouble!" Saving grace is definitely the route to go in this situation. Although she could have came with a nicer and more creative way to save face - I usually poke fun at myself.
    Good "S" post!

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    1. Yes, that's me, I poke fun at myself. It's a more charming way to save face.

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  3. IT's funny when I was about six or seven I stole a pack of gun from the store. I had a vague idea that is wrong, but I wanted the gum. When my mom caught me she made me go back into the store and tell a manager what I did and made me apologize. That stuck with me and I can say stealing wasn't something I was into after that.

    Nice post.

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    1. I tell you, major mortification as a child sticks with you for a long time. Unfortunately, I can't say I'd never shoplifted again as a child. Years after that, my brother and I came up with the brilliant idea of stealing those large Cadbury chocolate bars. We did that for a while, but were never caught. Soon our fear of getting caught and our guilt grew too much for us and that endeavor stopped.

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    2. Well I mean it was Cadbury, lol. Yeah that was it for me.

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    3. I guess I SHOULD blame them for coming out with such a product! :)

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  4. I have been completely and utterly dependent on grace in my life-- from others and from God. I remember shoplifting stories in my life too-- always with shame, however. I was always such a follower!

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    1. Grace is definitely something us used to be followers needed.

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  5. Beautifully written. Love the distinction you give to both and how you explained it, I truly hope she found her way and that someday you find her too.
    Being the younges of three and seeing the trouble my brother and sister got in for being naughty, I was always the goody-two-shoes. Why learn from my mistakes when I can learn from theirs? lol

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    1. Thanks S. Believe me I think I learned more from watching their mistakes too, but it didn't stop me from being a follower. That came later.

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  6. I can so relate to not being able to disagree with someone's ideas. It took me so long to get over that, and sometimes I still struggle with it. Great story and post. :)

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    1. Luckily today I'm totally over that. My job and God had a big deal to do with that!

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  7. Drifting apart probably saved you from going down a dark road. But it still might be good to find her again.

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    1. I think I'll give it a try after this challenge is over!

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  8. It is a very difficult thing to choose between following your friends and save face and do the right thing, mostly when you are getting these very loud signals you're about to screw it big time. Even more difficult when you're a kid and you're trying to prove your worth to your so called friends. Takes a lot of courage to choose grace for face.

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  9. Well, hopefully she turned out OK like you did!

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

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Your comments add wonderful flavors. Thank you!

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