Etiquette: Part 2…but not really

Getting Ready To Write: Me and My White Shirt In Happier Times

I had planned to discuss more etiquette tips, but as with most things in life, a blog post cannot be planned. At least not here anyway. I can’t plan it for several reasons, reasons that make me happy actually. I met with my friend Yasmin this morning to talk about this blog, and I realized in the middle of the meeting that this blog can never be planned out because it isn’t about me. It’s about you. Whoever you are.

It is about waking you up, and making you smile, and making you see how much inspiration you provide just by being your true self. If I had no subjects, I would have no blog. And so, we are in a spinning blender, meshing into one another. I write for you, whether it is because I say what you cannot, or because like you, I don’t run out of things to say.

This blog is also about a bird. At least today it is. I came into work feeling peppy after my meeting with Yasmin. I had decided that I’d wear my classic, crisp white J Crew shirt to work since it already needed to go the cleaners after wearing it the day before. I paired it with a short– but not too short– black skirt, and I felt like I looked good. I figured I could manage to keep it clean, and that I’d avoid helping any of the waiters by carrying ketchup bottles to their tables. The place felt a little empty without the talky-talky Israelis, long gone back to the Promised Land to celebrate the Jewish holidays, but I still had my Russians. Grouping them by homeland is not only necessary, but an indicator of what kind of day it’s going to be. Working with Israelis? Expect to be humored, bombarded with questions on any subject, and be alert. Working with the Russians? Expect to laugh, expect your name to be called at an unusually high volume. In Russia, I imagine that no one uses their ‘indoor voice’.

The Russians, Yana and Marina, begin a lot of their sentences with, “Back home.” Marina likes to follow that with a story about how people in Russia don’t do certain things. Today she explained that “back home we never eat a potato with the skin.” I challenged her on this, but she looked me right in the face and kept telling me they don’t. Even when we sat down to eat together, she kept right on talking about how unbelievable it is that people here eat “Unpeeled potatoes!” She furiously pushed her fork back and forth over her vegetables, exclaiming that it was unheard of to eat something unpeeled.

Finally I said, “Marina, it’s called a BAKED potato. BAKED, ok, not unpeeled…and they’re very good.”

The look she gave me could have stopped traffic. So I shut up, and I offered her some of my chicken. And that’s when Yana came running over to tell me that there was a bird flying around in the back. A flippin’ bird was the last thing I expected and the last thing I needed. But I got up and went with them to the back. It is moments like these that make me want to buy a new camera with a long strap so I can wear it around my neck, and never ever miss the opportunity to capture my life. The ground of my heart, my beautiful garden…with a bird in it. But the camera I had on me did just fine. So here is the proof.

A Bird In Bari

By the middle of the day I was playing the role of manager and bartender. I wasn’t happy about this, not at all, but I have been confessing Romans 8:28, believing with all of my heart that everything is being worked together for my good. Somehow, me rolling up the sleeves of my precious white shirt and making thirty-nine cappuccinos is good for me! Replenishing straws is good for me! Answering the phone, pouring diet cokes, squirting mustard, and pointing to the bathroom is good for me and working for my good!

Oh, how good it was to see my favorite married couple, Sonequa and Kenric, come strolling in. It was a reminder that I have a life outside of this place that is soon mine to recapture. They enjoyed a good meal, and I sent over cupcakes and hot chocolate just to make sure they were extra stuffed. Abundant life means abundant treats, that’s what I say. I was deep in thought about life when the peaceful street was set upon by a few hundred young people, marching to end the death penalty. Troy Davis has indeed made a mark. Selah.

I’m stain-free, and surprisingly energetic despite the late hour. And that was my day. But enough about me. This blog isn’t about me. How are YOU?


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