At times, life seems to be the same from day to day. The days blend into weeks, and months, and years, and somewhere in all that time we know we’ve changed, but we don’t know exactly where or how. But there are rare moments that show us who we are as opposed to who we once were, and hopefully those moments are good.
A few days ago, Blair and I decided to celebrate a small milestone (me getting an interview with a grad program) at The Cheesecake Factory. We waited about ten minutes before a host even greeted us. There was a big party, and with managers toting entrees, it was clear they were understaffed. While we were waiting, an older woman came in with her middle-aged daughter. She saw us waiting at the counter, but despite that I noticed her inching forward. Eventually, she had her elbows on the counter, leaning forward on her toes. When the hostess finally came, she had no choice but the address the woman that looked like she was going to climb over the counter.
“Can I help you, Ma’am?”
“Yes, we need a table for two, please.”
That was when 24-year-old Dorothy said something that 20-year-old Dorothy would have been embarrassed for her mom to say; maybe something 22-year-old Dorothy would have said, but only timidly and with her heartbeat pounding in her ear.
I raised a finger. “Actually, we were here first.” The counter climber slammed her palm down. I turned to look at her with an expression on my face that I imagine could be described as blank. She looked baffled and turned to her daughter. The two talked in harsh whispers while I try to process what had happened. Did a grown woman just throw a hissy fit in front of her adult daughter? And did I really just say what I said without having to muster up the courage first? Without having to force myself, or rehearse the line over and over in my head?
It was a simple statement, not profound or particularly remarkable. Yet it did show me just how much I’ve changed and grown over a few short years.
The hostess pretended not to notice anything and brought us to a corner booth. Our entrees were great, and we ordered a cheesecake to go. It was a perfect meal.
Love and (a book) light,