I selected two meats, a vegetable and a fried rice at the Bourbon Grill in the food court at the mall, to take home.
“I like the supper you made,” Denny tells me as we sit down to Bourbon grilled chicken, stir fried beef and green beans in our own home. Where we grew up, the evening meal was called supper. Our friends call it dinner.
“I liked the supper you cooked yesterday,” I tell him. “Two good meals in a row, that’s pretty good.” Denny fried hamburger with taco seasoning, added a can of refried beans and served it with chopped tomatoes, lettuce and taco chips. My contribution was fresh guacamole from the Fresh Farms Market.
I tell Denny about my day. “I told my boss that I didn’t always think things through and he said he liked to hear me say that. It felt like confession.”
“You mean you’re not perfect?”
“No, only you are.”
“Yep,” I could hear the grin in Denny’s voice. He had his back to me and was filling a dessert bowl with a sliced banana and ice cream.
“It took me a long time to find a perfect man.”
Denny warms to praise. I remember a conversation Denny and I had once about flattery. Denny told me he liked it. Flattery is a stretch for me.
After dessert we sit down in the living room and watch a murder mystery on Netflix. We don’t have TV. Netflix is only eight dollars a month.
“That was a bit sappy,” I tell Denny. The detective fell in love with one of the conspirators. “I don’t like movies where they are killingly off half a dozen people. It’s more challenging to write a story around one or two murders.”
Denny asks me if I want to watch another movie and I’m not up to it. It’s Friday night. Friday night is our date night. Sometimes we go out but tonight we are content to stay home.
“It sure was a rainy day today,” Denny says.
“Yeah, the perfect rainy day.” Driving home from work the sky was dark and gloomy. I had the windshield wipers on full speed. For a miserable day it was the best. I found myself enjoying how perfectly dismal it was. In fact, my spirits lifted so much that I went to the mall.
I sent up a quick prayer for a great parking spot. I hadn’t brought a jacket. I needed a favor.
The last two times I thought of going to the mall I didn’t go. Not a good sign. Giving up the mall. Maybe I’m depressed.
As I came to the parking lot I saw the perfect spot, but, alas, there was a car in front of me. Then, to my delight and amazement, the car veered to the left and I snagged the spot.
I reflected on my trivial prayer. God didn’t really answer prayers for parking spots did he?
I got out and walked to Starbucks. For awhile I sat on a stool, near the door, facing a window in Starbucks, watching people coming in out of the rain. I took a picture of the perfect rainy day and messaged it to Denny. He called me from his car. He had two stops to make for work before he was done for the day.
I sat there enjoying my San Pellegrino and cinnamon swirl cake. The cake was just as good as if I would have baked it. One of life’s distinctive pleasures for me is to discover exceptional quality.
This week I did something I’ve never done before. I bought cinnamon rolls and when I tasted them, I didn’t like them, so I put a whole package of cinnamon rolls in the garburator and washed it down the drain. I didn’t tell Denny.
It’s been that kind of a week. So, sitting in Starbucks, I took a lot of pleasure in my cinnamon swirl.
I quit my job this week, or tried to. I tried to quit once before. My boss is attempting to induce me to stay by giving me more hours. Paid hours. It’s a not-for-profit organization where I end up working about as much volunteer time as paid hours.
“I’ve been praying for you, that you’d have more hope,” Denny says to me, out of the blue, as we are at the table eating our Bourbon Grill dinner.
“How did you know I was feeling hopeless?”
Silence. I’m thinking it’s really thoughtful of Denny to pray for hope for me. I’m rather touched that he would pray such a specific prayer for me.
Maybe that’s why I went to Starbucks and the mall. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed this miserable rainy day. Maybe that’s why for a moment, yesterday, I envisioned both having a job and being happy. That it might actually happen.