Monday, September 24, 2012

Are you listening?

I love a good conversation and I  don't have to actually be a participant! I'm a pretty good eavesdropper, especially in restaurants.

Sometimes you just can't help yourself. Sometimes the sheer proximity of the tables just beg for a good eavesdropping session. There is a little restaurant in town called Gilles that has a few tables with simply a beam separating the two. I mean, you're practically rubbing elbows with the person at the other table so it's a little bit like sitting at one big Thanksgiving meal and you may as well just turn to them and ask them to please pass the potatoes. (or in Gillies case, the tofu)

One morning my daughter and I were there and sat at one of these tables. Two cute college boys were on the other side..or literally at our table, which ever way you want to look at it. Your choices are to pretend they are invisible, or just go ahead and say hello and ask who's turn is it to take the check:) So, I say hello, and comment on how delicious his Banana Walnut French toast looks. He calls the server over and asks for another plate and cuts of a corner of it and hands it to me. I'm glad I didn't decide to go with the invisible option because as my daughter was dying of embarrassment, I was licking whipped cream off my fingers.......

But, onto todays eavesdropping adventure. Oh, I had the best seat in the house! The table behind me was a lovely young mother with her daughter who was probably about ten. They must have had an appointment and were stopping to have lunch before she took her back to school. The mother was asking insightful questions and every chance she could get she would say something incredibly supportive and positive. "Oh, you will be good at that!"  "It's just new to you, you will get the hang of it in time, you learn quickly." "I love being able to spend time with you." Her daughter was eating her sandwich, but, her mother was feeding her soul. Planting seeds to grow a confident, secure young lady. Sweet words, even to my listening ears...

"A mother's treasure is her daughter."~ Catherine Pulsifer

Oh, but then there was the table across from me. Four older women who were letting their grandma-ness shine. These women didn't care about keeping color in their hair, they obviously didn't care about their figures or the latest fashion. No sign of compensatory dressing at that table.  I mean, their necks were showing!  They were having a great time! And, then the gifts came out. It was a grandma's shower. One woman had several grandchildren who were well into their teenage years, and then came a surprise baby! This grandmother didn't have any diapers or bibs or baby toys left at her house, so her friends showered her with these items. I love these women. I can't stand it any longer.  I'm feeling brave and plucky, so on my pretend trip to the bathroom, I stop and talk to them and tell them how much I have enjoyed watching them. I just wanted to pull up a chair and join this hen party! One said "Can you tell we have been friends for a long time?" Oh, yes I could tell.

"Constant use had not worn ragged the fabric of their friendship." ~Dorothy Parker

Tonight, I am wondering what these women have seen each other through. Probably divorces, deaths, loves, happy occasions and tears.

"Women wear their tears like jewelry."~ Author Unknown.

One thing I do know:  Women are stronger because we have each other. We are braver than we think. We are fiercely protective of those we love. We stay sane because we cook. One of the women needed to get going because it was her turn to host her dinner group.

"When men reach their sixties and retire, some go to pieces. Women go right on cooking." ~Gale Sheehy

It's good to be a woman.

Thursday, September 6, 2012


I wonder if my favorite grumpy teenage boy missed my normal cheerful "Good Morning!"? Aidan is sick so I ran out to the bus to let them know he wouldn't be riding. I could see him through the darkened window and I stood on my tip-toes, waved and mouthed "Good Morning!" I'm pretty sure I saw him roll his eyes and say "OH GOD!!!" (his  normal response....I think he is warming up to me...:)

The last time I saw him, he said "WHAT ARE YOU EVEN DOING ON THE BUS!" Apparently, there is some writing on the bus steps that may or may not say for riders only. I may or may not have ever seen it. I don't always see everything clearly, which sometimes results in roadkill.  I pretend I don't  need glasses and anyway, I'm pretty sure it doesn't apply to grandmothers:) I just hop right on the bus with Aidan and since Busboy (name has been changed to protect the innocent) is the only other rider, I feel it would be rude not to say Good Morning.  Something tells me Busboy is not a morning person......

It occurred to me the other day that when I go out to the bus that early, I don't have any make-up on. It's just me, a-la my yoga pants. Maybe "OH GOD!! " is just a normal reaction to a frightening situation...poor Busboy. Maybe I'm not making the best first impression..

My daughter thinks I should just leave him alone. Ignore him, let him live in his own little world. But, he's in my world now. He rides the bus with my grandson. The small bus. He's on my radar now...and I'm praying for him.

I see my daughters point. One of the aides on the bus has been with him since he was Aidan's age and he seems to have yet to warm up to her and refers to her (and the bus driver) as an OLD HAG!
She says he probably just sees me like that.

Excuse me?!
Perish the thought!

I'm on a mission now! (and it's NOT Mission Impossible) Just to get a little smile from him, or maybe even a hello. I just want him to know he is not invisible. I'll keep trying.

I have had a few suggestions: slide him a wrapped red life savor. Give him a box of cookies: (Girl Scout cookies;) both good ideas.

I'm thinking I may ask him to come hang out with us sometime. We could teach him a little sign language and he and Aidan could chat on the bus. There's a pretty big age difference between he and Aidan, but, age doesn't really matter.

I find that I say that to myself  a lot lately. You know, the whole 50 is the new 40. Or 39. I really liked 37. Yep, that's it. 50 is the new 37.

Anyway, Busboy may be a hard nut to crack. (a nod to my squirrely friends) But, has rejection ever stopped me? NO! I just pick up the gadzillion pieces and move on! :) 

 I don't think he's on the wrong bus. Our paths have crossed now. We are in each others lives. Just a few seats down, but going in the same direction. So to speak.

I don't know why he has landed on my heart like this. I feel a little badly for him. It can't be much fun having to ride a bus with a Kindergardener and two old hags. (hehe) And then there's me saying good morning when he obviously has his earphones in. I wonder if he has many friends in the High School. Life may not be easy for Busboy.

If you see a yellow bus maybe it will remind you of Busboy...and maybe you can say a prayer.

Because "where two or more are gathered"........

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

To Live By The Girl Scout Law

This morning I woke up remembering a funny thing: The Girl Scout Promise. I have no idea why this popped into my head. But, I'm pretty impressed I remembered it when I can't even remember a name when I really should. Like the name of my new nephew in-law. His name is Ed, but, I call him Gary...see how that works?

Anyway, hold up three fingers and say it with me:

On my honor I will try:
To serve God and my country
To help people at all times
And to live by the Girl Scout Law.

Oh, how I loved being a Girl Scout, going to the meetings and earning a badge. I remember picking out where I wanted my mother to sew it on my sash..unless of course it was a sewing badge..then you better sew it on yourself I guess, or what was the point?

And of course selling the cookies! Back then, we went door to door. I can hardly believe my mother let me do that..but, there I was all dressed up in my official uniform ready for commerce. (Commerce as a service of course. )

I was pretty good at selling the cookies. I often had to order extra cases to sell. I remember my brother would ask me to go with him to collect for his paper route. (I never remember asking him to help me sell cookies I obediently stood next to him while he knocked on the doors and asked for payment and hoped for a tip. I think I held a tip jar...I don't really remember any of those tips coming my
Oh well, I was busy serving my God and my Country and helping people at all my brother.

I was as proud of my sash as every Miss America must be of hers. But, I was never the Miss America type. My sash would  have read something like "Miss Awkward Human Being".  I was just glad I looked good in green and tried hard to live by the Girl Scout Law, which I do not know by heart..but let's review:

I will do my best to be honest and fair,
friendly and helpful,
considerate and caring,
courageous and strong, and
responsible for what I say and do,
and to respect myself and others,
respect authority,
use resources wisely,
make the world a better place, and
be a sister to every Girl Scout. 

Sounds like a great way to live a life. I'm glad I woke up this morning remembering what it was like being a Girl Scout. I hope she lives big in me today. 
It makes me want a cookie:)