Archive for May 16th, 2017

16 May 2017

Manners with Miss Lisa

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A friend of mine grabbed my arm at school yesterday and said, “Whatchya doing tomorrow morning? Any chance you could come to my place for breakfast at 9:30?” And while it wasn’t the hand-written note I’m used to getting for these sort of invitations, I told her I would check my calendar toot sweet and get back to her.

After school, she ran up to me and said, “HA! Thought you could get away without responding!” I had checked my calendar as I had promised, but had completely forgotten to tell her I was free and able to accept her request of my presence at her breakfast table. I’m sure she was quite perturbed, as it is really a mother’s only job to clean house, feed people, and attend social gatherings one has been invited to. She didn’t show her anger though. Instead, she appeared happy for my acceptance.

This morning I arrived promptly, an apple babka in hand. Actually, the apple babka was in a Zancou Chicken bag, with two pieces already extracted from it. The other invitee, someone I had met before and quite liked, showed up moments later. We giggled and reminisced while drinking coffee in the kitchen, as my friend made scrambled eggs. I noticed with great disappointment that there were only place mats on the table, and not the elaborate table scape I had been anticipating. (Not to mention… She was making the eggs in FRONT of us. Did you catch that part? And I had to get my OWN coffee! “You remember where the mugs are, right?” GAH!)

While the eggs were quite delicious, I couldn’t help but notice the almond croissants placed, slap shod, on a plate. No garnish, save for the sprinkling of powdered sugar. I, not able to eat the croissants, reminded our host that her text to me that morning said there would be hash browns. “Damn it!”, she exclaimed! “I KNEW I’d forget something!” We cajoled her into making them anyway, claiming we were looking forward to the “Hash Brown Course”. And we laughed again, all of us ignoring the fact that one’s breakfast should be served all at once, all at the same temperature, and on a frigging table that has some God Damned LEVELS to it!!

By the end of breakfast, I knew about my friend’s prom, my other (new) friend’s sister in law’s design company and her brother’s star wars obsession. I knew which shows and movies they both find funny. I found out that my friend is still training hard after earning her black belt, and even though her priorities have changed her passion for martial arts hasn’t waned. I learned that the new friend used to be a nanny, that she lives in a beautiful town house, and that my friend’s choice of baby names created some controversy in her family.

In short, this morning was a delight. There was no pretense, and no judgement of my half-eaten food gift. My friend made me feel like family by letting me get my own coffee, and allowing me to make fun of her for forgetting the hash browns. She was gracious and warm and funny, and she made me feel important by including me in a breakfast that she was sharing with a long-time friend of hers.

In these times of uncertainty, one thing is certain to me:

What I need and desire more than anything else is to be loved and to love. My friends and family mean more to me now than ever and I am exceedingly aware of how grateful I am. I don’t need pinterest or Food Network or Oprah to tell me the proper way one should entertain. I know how it’s done. With big, wide smiles. With personal invitations into someone’s home, and forgiveness if I forget to respond. With embraces and warm food. With friendship and grace and a sense of humor.

That’s my manners lesson for the day. There won’t be a corresponding Pinterest board for it, or even an Instagram photo. I was too busy laughing to take one.

Oh. And the Hash Brown Course was delicious.

 

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