Back when I was in Auckland (nearly 2 months ago! already?!), DP and Miss B went out for lunch with one of his workmates and his family. They had a great time, and afterwards DP opined that my opposite number in this family (RB) and I would get along great and should make contact.
I’ve been making an effort to be more proactive about widening my social circle here in Canberra, so a couple of weeks ago I requested RB’s contact details via the husband-conduit, and early this week I sent her an email suggesting we meet up for coffee.
She wrote back immediately to say that she was sorry, but she couldn’t do this week – but that she had an alternative suggestion that I might find a bit “strange”, but that she hoped I’d consider.
It was this: one of the mums she is friendly with through her son’s school is also American, and had invited her and the family over for Thanksgiving dinner. Somehow we (and, I assume, our American-ness) had come up in the course of this conversation…so she’d invited us too.
I should probably note at this point that I had initially shelved the idea of cooking Thanksgiving dinner this year, providing a number of justifications for this decision: the weather’s wrong; I’ve got too much work on; I can’t get a turkey home without a car (we won’t talk about how many times I did just that in Oxford); yadda yadda yadda. But whatever rationalizations I was using, as this week started I was having second thoughts. I was feeling bummed. Bummed about missing out on Pie Day, bummed about missing out on the celebration of possibly my favorite holiday, and bummed that I couldn’t seem to find the motivation to make the day special somehow.
So when this invitation arrived, completely out of the blue, it was as though the clouds had parted and a ray of sunlight shone down on my path. I didn’t have to start from zero! I could help someone else make a celebration! The fact that I had never laid eyes on any of the people involved deterred me so briefly that I surprised myself. Normally I consider myself much more cautious than that interpersonally, but not this time. This time I plunged into the gamble.
And it paid off! We had a great time – the kids rampaged happily, the food was delicious, and I met some great people that I hope to see more of. And I learned a rule of thumb I’ll remember for next time I‘m presented with an opportunity to step outside my comfort zone – the applicability of this quote:
“Ever notice how 'What the hell' is always the right answer?” (Marilyn Monroe)
Note: this is never more true than when the question is, “Should I eat apple pie for breakfast?”
Happy Day After Thanksgiving. Or Friday, if that’s how you roll.