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Kay Wyma on Treasures Hidden in Plain Sight


Chandra

From D Moms Fall/Winter 2012: (clockwise from top left) Kenneth Jay Lane Gold chain toggle bracelet, $90, Tootsies; Alexis Bittar necklace, $395, Neiman Marcus; Celine pony pumps, $720, Forty Five Ten; Roberto Cavalli sunglasses, $430, Tootsies; Celine leather pouch, $690, Forty Five Ten
photography by Maxine Helfman

By Kay Wyma.

I’ve had the chance to see my Kiera in the Tom Thumb check-out line a lot lately. She works the early morning shift. One morning I needed flowers. Another frozen waffles. It’s so nice and quiet in the early morning, I took extra time last week to go ahead and peruse the aisles for dinner.

I’m not much of a list person, so I get to stop the grocery store often. Norman, who helps everyone do just about anything always leaves it with “See you later.” Because he’s right. He will see me later. Maybe twice.

As Kiera scanned my goods on Friday, I slid my debit card. We kept talking while I punched the buttons for reward points and pick credit or debit. Then machine asked me if I wanted cash back. I did. So I picked my amount.

I’ve gotten cash back on countless occasions, but for some reason had never noticed that when you opt for cash back, the cash register drawer opens automatically.

“Wow,” I say to Kiera. “Does it always do that?”

“What? The drawer opening?”

“Yeah. I’ve never seen it.” Probably because I come at the busiest time of the day, or maybe I’m distracted. I continue in amazement, “I’ve always wondered how you guys know if someone gets cash back. Apparently, the drawer lets you know.”

“Yeah. It opens to let us know. Not how much, but that you’d like cash.”

“That’s so cool.”

At this point, I’m sure my kids, though most still sleeping, are glad they aren’t with me. My being impressed by the drawer opening on its own would definitely land in the “so embarrassing” category. And they would be right.

“I love that,” I continue. “I think I could use that in other parts of my life.”

Which I could.

Wouldn’t it be great if, like the cash drawer opening itself to give you your cash…

…the carpool tag automatically appeared when drive up to the school. How I lose that thing, I’ll never know. It’s not like I don’t use it every day, sometimes multiple times a day. Is there a gravitational pull from below the seats that lure it to the floor, under and away from sight?!
..my calendar would literally, maybe magically, appear fifteen minutes before I need to be somewhere, telling me where I’m going and who will be there. Listen, I know my phone has an alarm. But I miss a phone call even when I’m holding the darn thing. How am I supposed to hear an alarm?
…my car could sense when it’s dirty and roll out a sparkly clean exterior – sort of like those weird toilets in the airport. Why stop at the exterior. I’ll take a clean interior, too.
…on game days our laundry room would unearth the jersey and shorts needed for that day (white/color). Those things get washed, then somehow disappear from week to week depending upon which one isn’t used. Where do they go on their off weeks? Another mystery.
…when I open the door to my closet, the exact right outfit would wheel itself front and center on an overhead rack like the clothes carrier at the dry cleaners.
…when we’re ready to race out the door, the shoes that supposedly had been left there the night before could sense our urgency and make themselves appear. Maybe when we open the door, the shoes are there. Just like the my cash back!

I think I’ve just described the Jetsons.

Okay, so maybe I pine for the Jetson-living. Well everything except for the treadmill to nowhere that spins out of control causing George to yell, “JANE! STOP THIS CRAZY THING!!”

Hmmm. That just might be the greatest part about my cash-back drawer realization. It happened in the still of the morning. Before my day got crazy. Before my treadmill took over. Maybe it’s in the still that we can see what’s going on around us.

Here’s to making room for more still so we can be amazed by all those treasures hidden in plain sight.

Kay Wyma is the author of  Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement. She shares the hilarity and the tears that  come with raising adolescents & teens on her blog The Moat … because who wants to walk that road alone.

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