Tuesday, May 8, 2012
I'm sitting here on my couch, silly dog by my side, with the window open so I can smell the honeysuckle. The honeysuckle vines, which run rampant through our neighborhood, are the great gift of May. All you have to do is open a window or walk outside, and the whole world smells sweet.
Sometimes when my children are driving me nuts, I remind myself of the things I like most about them: They are great appreciators of Christmas traditions. They love the beach. They think it's a marvelous treat that I let them have a can of soda (Coke for Will, Dr. Pepper for Jack) on Fridays, and would never dream of asking for one on any other day. They both love the dog, even when they hate everyone else. And they both love honeysuckle. They're excited when they see the first vines in our front yard. They grab handfuls of blossoms and nip off the ends to squeeze out tiny drops of nectar.
I think this bodes well for them. They are the sort of people who find delight in the small pleasures the world has to offer. This is good.
A weird thing happened at lunch. Amy, after much discussion with the waitress, ordered a veggie burger. Amy has been a vegetarian for thirty years. So when she took a bite of her much discussed veggie burger and realized it was a hamburger, suffice to say she was upset. Nonplussed. Freaked out.
A lot of people I know, especially a lot of the committed vegetarians I know, would have had a fit. But Amy took a deep breath, then said, "I need to go walk outside for a minute," before leaving the table. While she was gone, the waitress came over and asked if everything was okay, and almost cried when Katherine and I explained to her what had happened. When Amy returned, the waitress come back to the table and apologized, and then the manager came to the table and apologized.
Through it all, Amy was extraordinarily gracious. She accepted their apologies, agreed that it was a mistake and that mistakes happen. She was lovely. Her compassion for animals clearly extends to human beings.
And after all that, we still had a good lunch. The waitress brought Amy a real veggie burger (and didn't charge her), we all ate Katherine's french fries, and we gossiped about the gardens in our neighborhood. Katherine told of her cat's strange and somewhat sinister history, and Amy promised to teach me how to cook with tofu. After we paid, I grabbed the receipt for my taxes, because I knew I'd have something to write about.
And I did.