Friday, July 11, 2008

unemployed & stir-fry mayhem

My husband has been unemployed for almost 2 weeks and it has not been stressing us in the least.

Granted we do have a nice chunk of cash in the bank so we can pay the bills, but I think I would still have been stressing about it if a younger version of myself was experiencing this.

Not so with Version 2008 Lea. We have truly been enjoying this time together without a worry attacking us. My husband is actively looking for jobs but there is no point stressing about "What if...."s since whatever is going to happen will happen. All we can do is try our best & see what becomes of it.

On a different note, my husband and I occasionally go to this small cafe/diner. As far as we can tell the owner/chef is the only one who works there (I think we saw his wife there once working too). It's not a chic place & with the little business it gets I don't know how it stays open. However the man who works there is always all smiles and warms our hearts.

Today we ate there & were the only ones in the place. I ordered a grilled cheese sandwich with fries and my husband ordered a chicken stir-fry. It took a little while before the man came out with our food since he was the only one cooking it. He gently placed the tray with my food, a ketchup bottle & cup of water in front of me, and my husband's stir-fry in front of him. I was smiling & saying thank-you when I reached for my water. Suddenly, before I realize what's happening, I knock my cup over and drown my husband's stir-fry & rice. I gasp and am just flabbergasted that I knocked my water over like that. The man had worriedly asked if I was okay since I had gasped, then takes the water logged plate away to cook up a replacement.

Man, I felt so bad! I wanted to cry for ruining the food this sweet, older man who sits in his cafe & reads the paper when there aren't any customers had cooked. It reminded me of a time in Santa Cruz when I saw this elderly man on the bus. He looked endearingly cute with a worn, tweed jacket, gold wedding band and a red backpack. Either later that night or within a few days we saw that same old man in downtown Santa Cruz. Except this time he was holding a cardboard sign asking for money because his family was going through hard times. His head was hung low looking embarrassed to be asking for money. Straight away my husband and I went to the ATM and pulled out a $20. But by the time we got back to give it to him, he was gone. I walked up & down downtown, trying to look down side streets, to find him but I never did. Nor did I ever see him down there again. It really broke my heart. I felt I had let him down somehow.

So that's somewhat how I felt in the cafe for ruining the food. My husband comforted me, saying we can't control everything that happens otherwise we wouldn't learn nearly as many lessons, if any at all. I reminded myself several times I didn't do it on purpose. The man came back smiling with a new plate of stir-fry & I was able to eat without feeling that heavy, tear-inducing guilt. I still would have rather it that I didn't spill my water, but felt that nothing was worse for it. When we left I gave him a tip equal to how much the second plate of stir-fry cost, which made him smile even wider & thank me.