The Saturday Post

While still feeling bad about myself for being such a cry baby, I experienced a moment of serendipity in coming across a post from Sandi at Deva Coaching on finding our signature strengths. Her post directs readers to Authentic Happiness, an awesome site filled with personality and character assessments and more.

So to pump myself up a tad, I took the Brief Strength Test to find my signature strengths. Here's what I learned are my top five character strengths (out of 24):

Love of Learning
You love learning new things, whether in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, reading, and museums - anywhere and everywhere there is an opportunity to learn.

Capacity to love and be loved - You value close relations with others, in particular those in which sharing and caring are reciprocated. The people to whom you feel most close are the same people who feel most close to you.

Fairness, equity, and justice - Treating all people fairly is one of your abiding principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You give everyone a chance.

Modesty and humility - You do not seek the spotlight, preferring to let your accomplishments speak for themselves. You do not regard yourself as special, and others recognize and value your modesty.

Gratitude - You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. Your friends and family members know that you are a grateful person because you always take the time to express your thanks.

Nary a word about crying ... which is just fine with me!

If you'd like to learn a bit about yourself, head on over to Authentic Happiness. You do need to register on the site in order to take tests, but nothing intrusive. Then I'd love for you to come back and share your tops strengths with the rest of us!

Today's question:

What is your top character strength, based on either the test or on what you personally consider it to be?

The town crier

I'm so mad I could spit. But before I explain why, I need to tell you something: I cry. A lot. About all kinds of things. I cry when I see something sad ... or joyous; when I hear stories of huge emotion -- happy, sad or otherwise; when I listen to songs that make the heart swell ... or break; and when I tell someone of such things.

Yep, I'm a crier. Not because of PMS or any other hormonal horrors; it's just who I am, always have been. Everyone in my family knows it, understands it, no longer even skips a beat when mom's a little verklempt and needs a moment to collect herself.

That's the backstory. Now the story:

I was at Walmart Wednesday, picking up items I needed for Bubby's visit: diapers, baby wipes, Danimal yogurt thingees, frozen waffles and more.

Of course while I was there, I just happened to pass the toy aisles all the way on the opposite side of the store and ended up throwing into the cart all kinds of things I didn't need -- but that Bubby would enjoy during his visit: sandbox toys, Matchbox cars, a rug printed with streets for those Matchbox cars to traverse. I even got a pair of pint-sized swim goggles. Not that we'll be swimming while Bubby's here (Grandma can't swim to save her life, much less his) but I bet he'll enjoy wearing them around the house anyway.

So I'm in line with my cart piled high with things I don't really need, things Bubby doesn't really need. There's three people ahead of me, the one at the register being a young mom in her early 20s with a baby in a carrier and a five- or six-year-old boy waiting patiently at her side as many of her goods are being scanned ... in the opposite direction, removing them from her bill. She's holding a handful of cash while produce and school supplies and a little boy's backpack are stacked to the side for returning to the shelves. She silently picks through her cart, deciding whether she and her little ones really need the grapes or the toilet paper, steering clear of the baby formula. The formula's a necessity; other things aren't. Like the little boy's backpack. To which he simply, quietly, watched move out of his grasp when the cashier placed it in the return pile. He just stood there, silently waiting as Mom searched for more ways to pinch her few pennies.

The two people in line between the mom and me -- with my big ol' cart of unnecessary items -- huffed and puffed and shuffled and moaned.

As they shuffled, I looked from the backpack to the boy, back to the backpack, to the mom. I desperately wanted to step forward and tell Mom that I'd pay for the rest, to hand over my debit card for her remaining items, including the backpack. Especially the backpack.

But I didn't. I just stood there. Because I felt the tears coming and I couldn't live with myself if I broke down in tears at Walmart. Even if I overcame the humility and moved forward, the poor young mom wouldn't understand what the cuss I was saying because when I'm verklempt I'm hard as cuss a teensy bit difficult to understand.

So I watched ... then stared down at my cart, scrunching up my face to keep in the tears. I said nothing, did nothing, as the mom finally reached a grocery bill she could afford. Then she and her little ones quietly wheeled away to the parking lot. Without the backpack.

The parking lot! That's what I'll do, I thought. I'll hurry and find her in the parking lot and give her some cash. I quickly looked in my wallet, found $6 and determined to give her it when I headed to the car, to tell her to go back in and buy the cheap little backpack for her son.

But I didn't do it. For when I finished paying -- fighting tears the entire time -- I got to the parking lot, watched the mom buckling baby into the car ... and felt tears and blubbering threatening to erupt. I couldn't approach her. She'd think I'm crazy. And I'd likely offend her -- and scare her little boy -- with my bawl-baby antics over their situation.

So I wheeled right on by and filled my trunk with my junk, just as the tears started down my cheeks.

Then I got in my car and kicked myself all the way home. I was so mad at myself I wanted to spit. But instead I cried. And hid my face when I passed the neighbor. And continued crying while unloading Bubby's bags o' fun.

Then I sat down at the computer to write this because I simply had to let someone know how very mad I am at myself for being a cussin' crier. For taking no action because I'm a crier. For not doing the right thing, the thing that would have made a world of difference to one little boy and his cash-strapped mom. Because I'm a crier.

I just needed to tell someone that. But I couldn't tell it to someone in person.

Because I would cry.

Today's question:

What is something you do despite hating that you do it?

5 things I'll never write about

I read a lot of blogs. I didn't used to, but since becoming a blogger, I'm interested in what other folks are blogging about, where they get their ideas, how they express the little -- and big -- things in life in a way that intrigues readers day after day. My RSS reader feeds me a steady diet of food for thought.

Lately, some of that food has been pretty foreign to me. Not foreign in the sense that I'm reading posts in Chinese or Swahilian (is that the correct word?). Just foreign in the sense that I've read a lot of posts of late on topics that I, myself, cannot imagine writing about.

I admire folks who have the guts to let it all hang out, especially if they can let it all hang out and elicit a chuckle at the same time. I sometimes even enjoy reading the posts of such folks, even if I'm slightly horrified, deeply depressed or uncomfortably embarrassed by and/or for the blogger. But I personally can't write like that. I'm not that kind of a blogger. I'm not that kind of a person.

So just to let you all know -- in case you're looking for something a little dirty or depressing deeper, a little more raunchy revealing in the blogs you frequent -- there are five things you'll never read about here on Grandma's Briefs. Feel free to unsubscribe or remove me from your favorites or vow to never again visit if this admission reveals to you that I'm just not your kind of gal, your kind of blogger. I understand.

Here, all based on posts I've recently read (and often, in all honesty, even chuckled about and read through to the end), are the Five Things I Will Never Write About.

1. Sex with my husband. (Is it anyone's business? I don't think so.)

2. Play-by-play of a pap smear, mammogram or Brazilian wax. (I'm not humorous enough to make such posts good reads for anyone.)

3. Masturbation. ('Nuff said.)

4. Chronic complaints of my chronic disease/disability. (Does whining, complaining, sounding like a hypochondriac begging for pity focusing on it make it any better? Not for me.)

5. Details on the wacky, weird, effed-up family interactions that take place -- on my side of the family tree, on Jim's, or within our immediate nest. (Yeah, sometimes they can be funny, touching, revealing. And sometimes I'll allude to them. But you'll never get details. Sorry. Effed-up or not, they're family, loved ones, folks I don't want to alienate, folks who don't deserve their dirty laundry to be flapping in the wind for all 10 of my readers to see.)

There you have it. I'd love for you to stick around, but if I'm not what you're looking for, I understand your need to move on. And hey, I can even recommend some blogs that offer such posts. They're often quite funny/touching/sad/horrifyingly hilarious ... and continue to show up on my RSS reader.

You just won't find that here. I'm not that kind of blogger.

Today's question:

What's one (non-intrusive, relatively impersonal) thing that most people don't know about you?