And no I’m not talking about drugs.
One thing that has always drawn me to Mr. Dunbar, even years before we started dating is that he is a happy well-communicative type of person. People enjoy being around him. Mr. Dunbar is the Upper of anyone’s day. He’s the one that, when choosing a meal at a restaurant asks the server, “What’s your preference?” and usually he orders what they recommend. He always remembers peoples interests or whatever was going on in their life and actually makes a point of asking them about it. When you walk away from a conversation with him you always feel better, seriously. Like I said, he is the Upper.
The Uppers I’ve noticed are actually the ones that are interested in the others. The GOOD things in others. Like actually asking questions that will bring about a positive conversation.
This woman is the Biggest Upper I’ve ever met in my life. She’s 99, yes that’s right, NINETY NINE. And she still brightens up a room. Auntie Marian is Mr. Dunbar’s great-aunt.
Every single time I’ve seen this woman over the last ten years that I’ve known her she’s started our conversation the same exact way, “How are you, Sweetie?” And she means it truly means it, and I know that because it is always followed up with another question about something that’s going on in my life. “How are your headaches? How’s your classroom? How’s your grandma feeling?….” She writes letters and sends thank you cards and birthday cards, always the day before your birthday. She sent a card to Monkey on his birthday last month with some cash, but the letter inside of it was worth framing.
Mr. Dunbar definitely gets his Upper-ness from this side of the family. Starting with the Matriarch above and it always makes a person feel good having been around them. I’ve made a list of what they do, things I’d like to emulate.
1. They smile. Genuinely smile and HUG, boy do these types give good solid hugs.
2. When you encounter them, they ask about you. Their interest goes beyond themselves and envelopes the converser. They’re not in a rush to tell you about what’s happening to them.
3. They don’t share bad news like its the only thing to talk about. You never hear, “Have I told you what so-and-so has gone and done? ….” They actually really never talk about others or others’ business because it doesn’t concern them or you.
4. Uppers find the positive in situations, the “silver lining.” Not a fake silver lining but a positive perspective somehow.
5. They gather together because Uppers brighten up everyone around them and when you’re lucky to be entrenched its like a fresh breeze on a hot summer’s day.
6. They go above and beyond your expectations of the relationship, and again not in some fake let-me-see-what-I-can-gain sort of way. But a note, or a phone call, or an added encouragement from them is always thoughtful and genuine.
Christmas Eve is the big shin-dig on Mr. Dunbar’s side. I wouldn’t miss it for the world. This year we weren’t sure if Auntie Marian was going to host, since she is after all NINETY-NINE. Her response, “I’m hosting it as long as I’m alive!”
The woman is a saint.
Who’s the biggest Upper you know?