I remember the first day I met him. Given out of love, and between the 2 choices he was picked 2nd, but favored 1st. As he was being handed to me, he was wrapped uncomfortably and telling me he wanted to get out, with his eyes since he could not speak. His big, bulgy eyes. I mean, these eyes are huge and you can’t help but to stare because you’re not sure if they’re looking at you, or looking right next to you. You know what I’m talking about, don’t pretend that you don’t.
It’s ok though, by now he is used to those awkward stares. He just ignores them and keeps letting you wonder whether or not He is really looking at you, or your friend, or your coworker, or your forehead.
You see Yoda and I have an understanding. I let him sit on my shelf at my desk, so that he can see everything behind me. If I look up, I know he’s there looking at me with his proud smile and crooked ears. Oh yeah, and his cane. So I let him sit on that shelf, and he provides comic relief to anybody who ever tries to have a serious conversation with me while talking to me at my desk, and he also allows me to have him there as a “conversation starter” about volunteering at Church.
The conversation usually goes something like this:
Coworker: “So yeah, your Yoda is really creepy looking, but also kind of cute. Where did you buy him?”
Me: “Actually, it was a Christmas present a couple of years ago.”
Coworker: “Really? Who would give you THAT?”
Me: “Somebody who knows me just enough that this Yoda would put a smile on my face every time I see him.”
Coworker: “Um, ok? So like, did your wife buy this? Cause that’s a kind of lame Christmas gift…”
Me: “HA! No, I actually volunteer at my church and lead a small group of guys to walk them through the next few years together. At the time, they were in 5th grade and this one kid in particular knew I had an affinity for all things Star Wars. As he was about to give Yoda to me, he had this HUGE smile on his face and his Mom was with him, she told me ‘I told him that you wouldn’t want this, and I actually had a nice desk clock picked out but he insisted you would like what he got.’ To which the boy said, ‘Ben, I saw it and immediately knew, this was for you.’ So I opened it, saw Yoda and immediately knew where I was going to place him, right here on my desk shelf.”
Coworker: “No way one of your boys got THIS for YOU for Christmas? How thoughtful! Where do I sign up to volunteer? I want a Yoda too!”
Or something like that… maybe. Ok not really.
I mean, this kid got to know me well enough in a year to know that this Yoda would be something awesome, I can’t WAIT to see what happens the next few years. I love talking about how awesome it is to be a part of these kids lives, and the people I talk with at work always pick up on that.
And they leave Yoda to watch over me, literally.