Ok, Kay’s column isn’t actually about the Rolling Stones this week, but she is sharing the benefits of getting what you need in lieu of what (you think) you want. And well, you know the song…
It’s Monday friends, bear with me. I’ll let Kay take it from here.
By Kay Wyma
One of my favorite activities has to be birthday lunches. Not the ones with kids (just sayin’), but the ones where I get to check out of life for an hour or two with friends that I rarely get to see.
So last week, when two of my dearest friends texted me about celebrating their special day with lunch, I relief exhaled when I looked at the blank spot in my calendar and replied “YES!!!” to their invite. Happy with the “when,” I then waited to hear “where” (I knew with these friends that the place would be trendy and yummy).
Have I mentioned that I’m neither trendy nor cool? I might have had some fun experiences in life that could lead someone to think that I’ve got it all together, but I don’t. On more than one occasion, I’ve arrived at a party underdressed (a major faux-pas in this town…rather than feel ridiculous, I just try to convince myself that I’m gracefully serving every other guest by making them feel great about what they chose to wear when compared to me). I’ve had embarrassing moments that could make your hair curl (one of which involved a rather large rip up the back of my skirt, seen by thousands as I scurried around a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce national meeting taking care of my duties in my role of Advance gal for the Vice President). Hmmm… maybe it’s not so much my cool factor, but my status as a victim to wardrobe malfunction.
When I received directions to meet at “Oishii at noon on Thursday,” I thought – “Oh, that must be the trendy spot we went to last year on McKinney.” So on Thursday, running late but determined to meet my friends, I decided to shortcut my way to Knox & McKinney. I find the only available parking spot at noon in the Knox-McKinney Ave area in front of Restoration Hardware and start fast-walking to Oishii.
Only Oishii isn’t on McKinney.
Not sure what I was thinking, I do what I should have done in the first place and map it on my phone. By this point, I’m frustrated. I get stuck in accident traffic on Woodall Rogers and start a tiny emotional tantrum. I text message that not only am I running late, I probably won’t even be there since the traffic back-up is so bad.
Having arrived at my full-fledged pity party, I go over all the reasons I have to feel sorry for myself. My one day to hang with friends has been rudely ripped from me. I never do anything for myself. I’m always serving everyone around me (kids, kids, and more kids). Why did they have to pick cool-trendy. Why couldn’t we have gone someplace close to my next carpool. Why did I have to drive all over town to find this place. I don’t even like sushi.
As I pull into my parking spot and grumble my way in, I find my friends happily chatting away. They were sweet to be excited to see me and the food had just arrived. Yet another opportunity for me to feel sorry for myself. Now I would have to order and wait while they ate… or just not eat at all.
“We group ordered,” happily chirped sweet Cynthia Collins (of Blue Print, totally with-it) “Here’s your’s.” Reaching for the plate I smiled, but silently muttered to myself, “… but it’s sushi,” then succumbed to my inner two-year-old by adding, “… and I don’t like sushi.”
Not to be rude, I picked up my chopsticks and ate the well-packaged roll in front of me.
It was delicious. Crazy good.
As was the roll on its neighboring plate. As was every dish that kept coming to our table. The entire experience was like butter. The staff, the food, the tea, the conversations, the ambiance, everything.
Though celebrating someone else’s birthday, I was moved by the gift given to me. My friend Cynthia was sharing something she loved by ordering for all of us. From a menu full of numbers and options completely foreign to us, she deftly chose dishes she knew would bless us. (#42, G Rolls, & Pad Thai – Level four were my favs.)
It wasn’t what I thought I wanted, but it was exactly what I needed.
How often do we do that in life? Especially as we enter this season of giving… and getting. My kids have already decided what they want. And to be honest with you, most of them will be getting something different. In fact, it’s highly likely I will open a gift that might be less than what I hoped for. But it might bless me more than I could imagine, if I can get beyond myself.
Every manger scene we see (at churches, on lawns, decorating vestibules) communicates a similar theme. Not quite the way one might expect a King to enter the world. Arriving in a stable, welcomed by lowly shepherds, sleeping on hay. Not quite the packaging for the greatest gift ever given and the reason we celebrate Christmas. But the blessings available through that gift are definitely more than I can imagine … if I can get beyond my expectations and surrender to the fact that the giver of the gift might know more about what I need than I do.
Kay Wyma is the author of Cleaning House: A Mom’s Twelve-Month Experiment to Rid Her Home of Youth Entitlement. She shares the hilarity and the tears that come with raising adolescents & teens on her blog The Moat … because who wants to walk that road alone.