Roast Beef Lady With the Weave

I’m such a negative Nancy.

I’m wired to dwell on what went wrong or what I could have done better. If a hundred things go right in a day, I’m the type that’ll fixate on the one thing that didn’t.

I think we’re all like that to a certain extent. We carry our trophies and our medallions around, and maybe it’ll make us proud for a day or two. But inevitably, our mind wanders to that empty patch above our heart that still needs to be filled.

It’s no excuse to say that everyone is the same way. I’m working hard to change and become a more grateful person, for the things I have, for the things that could have gone worse, and most importantly, for the empty patch above my heart that keeps me motivated and hungry.

Hungry.

I’m in the library and I’m hungry. All the food I might cook is in my freezer, hours away from being defrosted. It’s 8:50 PM. Looks like I’ll have to buy dinner tonight.

But then, I realize that I’m down to $100 in my checking account (Don’t worry parents, I have money coming in).

But it makes me reluctant to buy food. “So what to do for dinner tonight?” I wonder as a I hammer away at my paper.

And then, a beautiful black lady with a weave waves at me. In her hand is a box and inside that box is a roast beef sandwich untouched by the sands of time.

She smiles sweetly at me and in that old Southern hospitality she says, “Hun, you look like you’re working hard. Take this sandwich. It’s left over from a conference and I just can’t eat it.”

What is it in us that instinctively wants to turn down free food? Check that…free food handed over by a stranger? Do we think they’ve poisoned it? Is it modesty?

Or is it that we’re so fixated on the negative that we forget what a positive looks like?

I smile and say, “Thank you miss, you just saved me from an empty stomach.”

“You poor dear. Enjoy the sandwich and keep working hard.”

This would probably be the highlight of her day as well.

I told you, I’m working on this whole being grateful thing. So I pause to reflect on how fortunate I am to be the beneficiary of some drive-by goodness.

I smile at the fact that I won’t have to make dinner, or spend a dime on food tonight.

After I give my silent tributes of thanks, I bite in hungrily.

The sandwich is dry and I need water.

Thirsty. So thirsty.

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