Wizwald and Me: A Million Bucks

People ask me in social conversation what I “do” with some regularity. Sometimes I tell them that I hula hoop for an hour at a time while memorizing poetry. Or practice my signature late at night with my husband’s fountain pen. Or spend twenty minutes talking to the homeless lady who plays cards in the civic circle every time I drop off books at the library. Or wear peasant skirts and furry boots to the bus stop while I read Latin roots to my daughter as we wait.

I mean really, people. I appreciate the need for chit chat, but if we have to play these social games, let’s play fun ones. Like maybe instead of asking someone what they do, ask them instead if they are engaged in a work that they are passionate about. And then talk about that. Or just observe and see if you can perceive if someone digs their life and then ask them about it.

Like today, for example. I step into the gray world of the indoor ice-skating rink at the mall, and pass the ticket booth to join my husband kids on the ice. I don’t get far when a fairly young, dark-haired dude with an otherworld charisma and an electric presence of sincerity asks me how I’m doing today. He’s passing out wristbands to the would-be-skaters, and he’s beaming with happy, bouncing light all over the place.

“I’m exceptionally well,”I tell him, and he smiles and says, “wonderful!”

The second time I pass him, he smiles asks me how I’m doing “this time,” and I tell him I’m doing at least as well as I was the time before, and I smile back at him. By this time, my girls are at my side, and so he asks them how they enjoyed skating, and what other talents they have, as he makes them laugh and me too.

I decide that besides skating with Hugh and the girls, meeting him was the highlight of my day, and so I ask if I can snap a picture.

“Yes, but you have to be in it too,” he says. And so we did, and it was fabufun, and though the only personal question I asked him was his name, I felt more human connection with him than during 27 “professional” conversations over sushi and special crackers. I felt like I counted and I mattered, not because of a list of titles or a a resume, but just because I was there.

His name is Wizwald, by the way. And he rocks the ice skating rink in Portland, Oregon. So if you want to feel like a million bucks, go there and see what it looks like to “do” something with panache and passion and without pretense. Then rip around the ice a few times too.

10 Comments

  1. Michael on 01/03 at

    Love the post! I, too, loved soaking in all things Wizwald. A smile quickly formed and remained on my face as I observed him infusing me and my family with his excitement and love for others.

    • Melanee Evans on 01/04 at

      I know, right? And anyone who can get YOU to smile for an extended period of time earns a gold star in my book. πŸ™‚ <3

  2. Barry Brownstein on 01/03 at

    Beautiful piece, Melanee.

    Especially in government agencies I run into MBA students who even in their 30s can tell you how many years/months until their retirement. What they “do” is killing them.

    β€œI didn’t know what to say, my mouth
    could not speak,
    my eyes could not see
    and something ignited in my soul,
    fever or unremembered wings
    and I went my own way,
    deciphering that burning fire
    and I wrote the first bare line,
    bare, without substance, pure
    foolishness,
    pure wisdom
    of one who knows nothing,
    and suddenly I saw
    the heavens
    unfastened and open.”– Pablo Neruda

    • Melanee Evans on 01/04 at

      Ah…. Thank-you for this poem, Barry!

      I cannot imagine loathing my job so young! I’ve worked a LOT of different jobs in my lifetime, and I cannot think of a single one I didn’t enjoy, including the temp job a the cheese factory. πŸ™‚

  3. Avey on 01/03 at

    Melanee, this is a fantastic post! Leave it to you to notice this special guy and to point it out. I’m sure you made his day too!

    • Avey on 01/03 at

      PS. You look beautiful!

      • Melanee Evans on 01/04 at

        Thanks, Avey! The best pictures of me are when I’m super duper happy. πŸ™‚

    • Melanee Evans on 01/04 at

      There are few things that make me more happy than to witness someone who is conscious about the way they express their energy and love, even when it seems nobody around them is paying a bit of attention. Love that!

  4. Kc on 02/24 at

    You look so good in this picture! You’re a babe!

  5. Wizwald on 06/28 at

    Thanx again Mel, this story you wrote about your experience, your husbands kinds words, and the cheer of you adorable children shall never be forgotten!

    “Love yourself! Be yourself! Look in the mirror everyday and say, β€œI look great, I feel fabulous, and there is only one of me. I should share my gifts and talents with all people everywhere, so that they may know how wonderful I am, and how terrific they are as well!” – Wizwald

    <3 I wish you all LOVE and LIGHT <3

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