12.16.2006

Seafoods & Serenades

(my office's inaugural girls' night out)

So, it's Saturday. Saturday. Saturday the 16th. Should I not be jumping up and down with anticipation to go see Dropping Daylight and Monty are I tonight?! Oh yes, I should be. But I am not. They are stuck in Utah...stupid snowstorm. And I am here...stuck in G-Town. The injustice is excruciating. And also? They won't be back this way until February! What?!

Whatever.

Taylor's birthday was awesome - thank you for asking. For some reason she thinks that Red Lobster is a great place to go for a celebration, and it is very difficult to convince her that being in the center of this land mass we call home means that all seafood eaten here must have been frozen at some point. We went to Red Lobster anyway...and had a great time, even with less-than-fresh seafood. It wasn't the service or the atmosphere, and definitely not the food that made it great, rather it was the table next to us.

As we were ordering our dinner Jeremy announced to the server that it was his sister's birthday. Two minutes later, we have a large black man at the head of our table telling us that he has a predicament that he needs our help with. Apparently, he was told by his girlfriend that he could either come sing a song to Taylor or be stuck with the household dishes for one whole week. He begged Taylor to let him serenade her...to which she delightedly agreed. Happy Birthday never sounded sweeter, and the accompanying slight hand movements reminded me of Luther Vandross. So lovely...

When he was done I turned to thank the girlfriend for the wonderful gift, placing my hand on her shoulder to let her know that I was right behind her. The face that turned around to greet mine wore the scariest grin I have ever seen. Teeth missing, blotchy face sores and black spots on her remaining fangs were all I could see of her as I stumbled through my thanks. Wow.

That's when one of her two disheveled children jumped out of his seat to run and put his head between Jer and I's shoulders to add a loud and off key "Chachacha - Charmin ULTRA" to end his future father's song.

If that wasn't enough, the other child wearing pants that had no remaining zipper and a ratty sweatshirt came running alongside the table to say (and I swear to god he said this): "Look what I can do!" and then promptly knocked himself in the forehead with his knee.

I wasn't sure what we were all feeling after their performances. Of course we laughed at their antics...and then we talked about how nice they were for sharing their talents with us. And then we talked about how blessed we are and how it would be so nice to reach out to other families like that one had us. And then we discussed how grateful we are for our health and our nice clothes and great home and awesome family.

They gave a gift to all of us on Taylor's Birthday just by not being afraid to interact with other human beings. By being themselves. By not being ashamed of all of the things working against them...and by celebrating all of the things working for them.

I have so much to learn.

4 comments:

Niel said...

I am simply disgusted that I missed this obviously amazing H. Family Experience. I'm so happy that Taylor received such a meaningful intangible gift with all the other lovely tangibles that I know she got as well. I love the way you recounted this story...so eloquent, so vivid, so YOU! I love you T...Thank you for being understanding with me not feeling good, and thank you God for making it snow tonight so we didn't miss anything anyway. Tell the fam I love them, and I'll talk to you tomorrow. N

Jim said...

What a story. Halfway through I was sure you were going to deliver a hilarious punchline. And you did - except that it was beautiful and poignant rather than hilarious. Perfect inspiration as I brace myself for the onslaught of tardy holiday shopping I must do.

The picture was pretty funny though. All those empty glasses make me want to blurt out "Hey girls - can I buy ya's a beer or three?"

Marla said...

Very well said, Ms. T! Life is just full of learning experiences, isn't it?

terri said...

Nela: I didn't have very good mommy moments this week. You would not have been proud of me...I am so glad you weren't around to chart it. But I can guarantee you that the kids will tell you all about it! Love you!:)

Jim: LOL- I thought about the image I was presenting with all of those empty glasses. And then I thought why try to hide it? We drank too much. But we didn't drive.:)

Marla: Indeed! Life is FULL of learning experiences...I am a 2x4 learner unfortunately.

How are things for you this holiday season?
;)t