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A Series of Tearful Episodes: Part 3 (The Conclusion)


I left you in my last article in the appliance aisle in Wal-Mart after having selected my air conditioner and successfully seeking the assistance of a male figure to help me get my new large gadget into the shopping cart. The associate’s last words before he turned his head to walk away were “…the person who installs it will need to...” and my screaming thoughts had eclipsed everything that he said from that point on.


My eyes pooled with water and mascara filled tears began streaming down my face like cars racing at Talladega Speedway! I could barely swallow the lump in my throat and my heart was overwhelmed with fear and panic. My kind and accommodating store helper turned his back to return to the customer service desk absolutely oblivious to the shattered condition he had left me in. “Run, Shellie, run” my mind shouted as if I was the main character in the Forrest Gump movie. I wanted to run, tackle, wrestle him to the floor and plead with him to come home with me, install the air conditioner and rescue me from this horrible nightmare. My emotions had nothing to do with him and everything to do with my situation At Home. I was a mess.


I didn’t have a clue about what to do next. Once I got it home, what then? I didn’t have the brain or the brawn to install it or a clue about how to operate it. My personal comfort zone of confidence and security in my new category of personhood, a single woman had been compromised…breached… destroyed! As dramatic as that sounds, it was my dark At Homereality experienced in a very public place.


I had the choice to lay down on the floor in the center of the aisle, burst into an uncontrollable sob and kick my feet or wipe my eyes and pull up my big girl's emotional panties and accept this new experience. I was right; what I have been sharing all this time with you about how our At Home environment and experiences truly affect every situation in our lives and I was my own living proof. I could either use this opportunity to learn and emerge stronger for the next trial or succumb to defeat.


You can probably guess that it was at that point when I heard my imaginary epic music swell in my ears; I jumped into my proverbial super-hero cape with my one-piece spandex suit complete with the “At Home Girl” logo on my chest; my girly biceps and triceps expanded, and my wonder-woman go-go boots suddenly appeared. Ok, none of that really happened, but it sounds good for dramatic effect. My tears dried up and at the height of fear and feelings of complete failure and helplessness my determination kicked in and I put on an attitude of leaping tall buildings in a single bound. In this case, it was just my local Wal-Mart, but leap I did!


With a shield of courage and determination, I revisited the customer service desk and politely asked the service manager to assign someone to assist me in getting my new cooling unit to my vehicle. He happily responded to my request and I was on my way home. I solicited the help of my twelve-year-old son at the time, and as a team, we retrieved the large, heavy box from the car. I made the choice to believe that victory was inevitable.


The installation was completed by a family friend days later, but in the midst, I read the manual, watched intently and assisted without getting in the way. My unit was in, my room was cool and my feelings of helplessness, fear, and failure had diminished.


These are just a few tools or tips I learned from my experience.


At-Home Tips...

  1. ​At-Home life will always be in a state of constant change. Things were made to break: Air Conditioning units as well as hearts.

  2. Research. Learn about the item that needs repair, understand your strengths, weaknesses, and limitations. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. I learned about BTUs (British Thermal Units) simply translated: The amount of power or energy needed to cool a room. I also learned how to install an air conditioning unit (and still be a girly-girl).

  3. Visit the store that gives you the most assistance, comfort, and task accomplishing products and resources.

  4. New appliances or new things can cause fear and uncertainty - this is not always bad. The challenge can cause you to grow as a result. Don’t let daunting tasks make you lose confidence and give up.

  5. Close and continuous maintenance At Home can prevent breakdowns. This is not just with appliances, but with relationships.

Ladies, my tearful experience in Wal-Mart stemmed from circumstances At Home that were beyond my control. I was forced to resurrect strength and meet my challenges and fears head-on with a little help from my inner super-hero “At Home Girl”, and she lives in you too. This series of tearful episodes provided an opportunity for me to learn and grow. But…there will be the next time; a new tearful episode in my life, and I want to be ready. I hope my personal experience and these quick tips will help you to be prepared as well.

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