Noodle Salad People, Santa Claus, and The Easter Bunny

Jack Nicholson from As Good As It Gets..

Carol: OK, we all have these terrible stories to get over, and you-…
Melvin Udall: It’s not true. Some of us have great stories, pretty stories that take place at lakes with boats and friends and noodle salad. Just no one in this car. But, a lot of people, that’s their story. Good times, noodle salad. What makes it so hard is not that you had it bad, but that you’re that pissed that so many others had it good.”

I had an employer once tell me that the nickname Bird suited me perfectly. Her observation was, that I always

January 3, 1863 cover of Harper's Weekly, one ...

January 3, 1863 cover of Harper's Weekly, one of the first depictions of Santa Claus (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

seemed to be observing everything and everyone around me, but carefully keeping a safe distance from what was going on.

Now, I’m 100% sure that she meant that to be a compliment.

And I’m 100% sure I didn’t take it that way.

How she seemed to be perceiving me was that I was somehow a coward, unable to engage in life, but enjoying watching how everyone else was dealing with theirs. Ouch. Add to the fact that she was a therapist….it made me have to take her somewhat seriously, because by the very definition of her job, reading people was essential. And then as if that wasn’t enough, she was a pretty popular therapist.So unfortunately, at the moment, I was forced to take what she had opined and study myself to see if her perception of me was true…She had some “street creds”.

It took me awhile to decide if she had seen me clearly.

She was right. And wrong. What she was seeing was an illusion, an image. I’d only worked there for one week, and already she thought she knew me. I was kind of insulted that she had an opinion of me at all, when she had only known my name for about 40 hours total, and not much else.

Each of us are made in the image of God, and that alone should clue us in on the fact that no one person in the world is going to completely  “know” another one. Some people in my life consider me quiet, reserved, and frankly, a bit shy. There are those that consider me a bit cold and indifferent, but then again others that would never describe me that way. Others would describe me as happy, kind, peaceful, and funny. Others, would not.My kids often tell me to write a parenting book because I am the best mom in the world; other family members think I wasn’t all that great at it at all. Some find me merciful, while others think I’m being unkind by giving a truthful opinion. To some, I’m one of the Noodle Salad crowd; to others, I’m one of the Walking Wounded.

And all of these things are true about me. But not one of them shows the full person that I am. And by acknowledging that I can portray so many conflicting images to so many different people, I am wary about trusting my own perceptions of how a person is. That one statement about me went a long way in teaching me

to assume there is more going on in people’s lives, spirits, soul, and minds than meets the eye. I’m careful to keep an open mind, and to be quick to uproot any judgments I might be prone to make about the entirety of a person by what I see…

Perceptions of the people around us are important, but not exhaustive. Hence, only He who truly KNOWS us can be our Judge.

I’m not at all pissed off that some people seem to have it so good, with stories of noodle salad and boats and lakes. Because I honestly think that all of the Noodle Salad People of this world have dealt with their own despairs and sadness’s. In fact, I think, like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny, Noodle Salad People don’t exist at all.

– Bird

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16 Comments

  1. amen to this one!

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  2. Thanks!

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  3. I like how Hagar said “You are the God who sees me.” Now that’s a beautiful thought.

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  4. Well said! I remember hearing a pastor years ago say, “On any given day there is reason enough for me to quit my job or reason enough to stay…if I listen to others…” I thought that was such a great comment about the weight of what people say.

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    • No kidding! That is a profound statement.

      I think once I made peace with myself by forgiving my mess-ups and admitting my weaknesses, what other people had to say about me held a lot less weight. For me, I have had a lot harder time forgiving myself than others…

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  5. Sis

     /  March 30, 2012

    I think if God really wants you to grow stronger, He would never leave you in the noodle salad stage.

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    • LOL!! I completely agree, Sis. I think if life isn’t giving you much of a fight, you aren’t considered all that dangerous to the enemy!!

      Noodle Salad = Neutralized

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  6. J.L. Lyon

     /  March 30, 2012

    Very good post. I think you’re right to say that there are no Noodle Salad people. The pastor at the church I grew up used to say that we are all in one of three stages at any given point in our lives: coming out of a trial, heading into a trial, or experiencing a trial. Pessimistic, perhaps, but not too far from the truth.

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    • I don’t think it is pessimistic; I believe that it is just reality. The entire bible describes a war. Why would would we think everything would be sunshine and roses in a war zone?

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  7. I appreciate this insightful post. And I agree that there are no noddle salad people because sorrow and loss touches all of us. And your height of joy can only be as great as your depth of sorrow.

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