Yesterday was Joni's first day back at the office. Joni was the first person I got to know here, and my second weekend in South Carolina we drove a total of 6 hours together for discount shoes. In other words... Joni and I are tight. We've got somewhere between one and two decades between us, but it would appear that fashion and frugality know no age.
So, last week was rough without my dear Joni. Her father passed away Tuesday from a long battle with cancer, and although I couldn't imagine her grief, I knew that there was really nothing I could say that would combine sympathy, hope, and support the way I wanted to. So, I tried to do what I wanted people to do the week of Ariel's passing. I cheerily told her that I was happy she was back, made a few jokes, and left her to turn to the people she wanted to turn to for help.
I did decide to make one gesture. See, Joni is a big M&M's fan... and we all know about the healing powers of chocolate (however ephemeral), so I bought Joni the largest bag of M&M's I could find during lunch. When I got back, I decorated the bag with a simple post-it note saying: "To make your first day back a little bit more sweet. Love, Katie."
Much to my surprise, Joni took the M&M's and put them in the office candy jar. Most of yesterday afternoon I was afraid that I had made a misstep. I mean, what could chocolate actually accomplish? On top of that, I was actually extremely upset that she had so quickly disregarded my efforts, especially since I knew she wasn't appreciating all of the uncomfortable moments that arose with other people in the office. Most of all, however, I was disappointed that she hadn't gotten the message; that I had made things too simple and lost the meaning behind it. But about 5 minutes ago I looked over at Joni's desk and saw my post-it note sitting in front of her.
She heard the message.