A Coffee

My friend, who I’ll now call Laura, went to her cooking class and it went badly. Of course. *rolling eyes*

Ardeth decided to be extremely friendly to Laura. Extremely. I mean, my dear friend felt truly suffocated by Ardeth’s aggressive and perpetual monologues on everything.

By the end of the session Laura was forced to say that she wouldn’t be attending Ardeth’s party. “SO, you’re coming to my party!” Ardeth said as a statement and not a question while wearing a huge smile and shoulders stretched for maximum intimidation. Laura then tried to sheepishly decline without making things even more awkward and painful. Not surprisingly Ardeth acted totally understanding and kind, which was polite but only made the exchange weirder. But still, Laura was relieved to have things settled on that matter (or so she thought).

And then…at the very, very end…Ardeth came up to Laura and said, “I know you said you can’t be there Thursday but I still hope you come.” She grinned. “You can figure out some way to make it work.” Laura was surprised so she just stood there in silence and nodded.

…Laura has absolutely no intention of going.

Then on her way home she met a young man at a coffee shop who she overheard telling a barista that he was studying for a test and didn’t have enough money for a coffee (he needed to use the wireless at the coffee shop). She offered to buy him the coffee and he looked relieved and thanked her. As the barista went to go get him his coffee he commented on Laura’s Gucci sandals. He said, “Nice sandals!” The way he said it seemed very genuine. “Thank you!” Laura responded cheerfully. “Gucci!” he said with a sort of fondness. “Yeah.” Laura said nodding with a smile. “Man, I have one year left and I’ll be a registered nurse and then my first big luxury purchase is going to be a pair of Gucci loafers.” He laughed and smiled. Laura responded admiring his tastes. He got his cup of coffee, thanked her again and then left.

Laura almost cried when she told me all of this. She was so touched by that young man’s humility and sincere compliment and the sharp contrast it was to what she’s been experiencing at the cooking class with Ardeth.

Not all nurses are awesome (I had a terrible experience giving birth last January, actually). …Not everyone who asks for help will be truly grateful. But…it always intrigues me how those with a lot are demonized and so are those who are in honest need of help when, from my perspective, they’re often the most “normal”, genuine and beautifully shameless. …I’m telling you, the middle of almost anything is a really tough road to navigate well folks.

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