Friday, March 05, 2010

Unexpected, non-child-related blessing.

Today I had plans to go to my friend Elisabeth's house for lunch with some of the moms from the boys' school. I was expecting to either know everyone there or have something obvious in common with everyone. When I knocked on the door an older woman answered and I was momentarily confused and thought I had gotten the wrong house. But then Elisabeth popped around the corner and I was relieved. Elisabeth is Swedish, although she has lived in the states for 10 years, and today I met two other women from her home country. One was a young married woman, and one was an 85-year-old widow. I Americanized their names and then began to mingle with the women I knew.

Then I met Marion, an engaging 74-year-old woman who is also a widow of 4 years. Then Vienna who I didn't know, and Doris from Puerto Rico. I ended up knowing fewer than 50% of the women there. I wouldn't say I was disappointed, but it just wasn't what I was expecting.

The moms from school sat at a table together, and the other table was the "international table." Although there was a seat at either table, I sat with the women I didn't know. I had a fabulous and blessed lunch with my new friends. I spent most of the time talking with Marion, as she told me about her 52-year-old beau and her upcoming move to be closer to her daughter. I chatted a little with the Swedish ladies about the Americanization of their names, of their language, and of the failure of the U.S. to encourage language learning in our schools.

Elisabeth served a traditional Swedish Smörgåstårta or "sandwich cake." It was just amazing. Isn't it gorgeous? I could have eaten 5 servings. We had ice-cream afterwards, and that paled in comparison to the Smörgåstårta. I never ever ever ever thought I would have preferred a sandwich over ice cream. Crazy.

I'm not sure I can express why I felt so blessed afterwards. I guess because it was so unexpected and different than having lunch with a pile of people I knew. Also because Elisabeth was so hospitable and planned an interesting international gathering with a dish from her country. Plus, as much as I adore my kids, our conversation was pretty much void of kid talk. It felt great to have flowing conversation with people in a different life stage than mine.

I really have no idea who reads my blog anymore, besides my mom, Niki, and Allison! But I want to encourage "my readers" to maybe sit at a table full of people you don't know at the next social gathering you attend. I know I will.

Thanks, Elisabeth!