Now that we’ve established my politically correct recognition on the true meaning of Thanksgiving let’s talk about the food. My Turkey Day eschewed the traditional bird in favor of its less festive, more common feathered friend– chicken. Chicken, cheese, and carbs aplenty! I could not ask for anything better on my plate.
It’s no secret that Aunt Sarah ranks at the top of the list for my dining companion of choice. Did you know she’s also the patron saint of Thanksgiving? Both Wednesday night and Thursday morning I polished off the remains of buffalo chicken ziti and a broccoli cheese bake from Lisa’s Lunchbox— a hidden treasure previously unbeknownst to me– delivered to the kitchen courtesy of Aunt Sarah. We feasted on her famous sausage rice casserole Thanksgiving afternoon. She’s still outdoing herself several days after the fact with chicken tetrazzini from Cousin Lucy’s recipe. How I don’t look like Jabba the Hut is beyond me.
Most people who work retail dread Black Friday. Once upon a time when I was employed by a corporate franchise I did too. Especially the part where I had to clock in at 3am. But I digress. I love my job and Black Friday was no exception. Things were pretty tame at my home away from home. Nobody got trampled nor were there any violent outbursts over merchandise. We even honored our normal weekday hours. The best part of my first Black Friday at the greatest shoe store ever? Knowing I wasn’t doing a sit down meal with the extended family or consuming much of the traditional fare, a coworker brought me a plate from her own holiday dinner. Her thoughtful gesture almost moved me to tears. T, you are so genuinely kind, and I truly appreciate it. And your food was delicious.
My job offers countless blessings. Not only does it provide me with a source of income and some of my very best friends, it enables me to meet fascinating people. We have the best customers. Whether they only come in once while on a vacation in Memphis or I see them on a weekly basis….we interact daily with some of the nicest, funniest, smartest, and most interesting individuals you’ll ever encounter.
I’m almost ashamed that I waited so long to mention this story on my blog. About two and a half months after I started working a married couple came in with their adolescent son at the end of the day. The wife politely inquired [in heavily accented English] about a particular brand. Intrigued I listened to the family talk animatedly in a foreign language. Curiosity got the best of me as she approached the register and I asked what language they were speaking. She smiled and told me they were conversing in Hungarian, here on a vacation, and returning to Europe the next day. I could barely contain my enthusiasm as I told them about the incredible meal I’d enjoyed at a Hungarian restaurant in LA. Her husband chimed in that it sounded like chicken paprikash. We chatted a few more minutes and I wished them a safe journey back to Hungary as I walked them to the door.
Two days later I arrived at work only to be told to look in the fridge. The Hungarian woman came in on her way to the airport with a Tupperware container filled to the brim with chicken paprikash that she made from scratch. Unfortunately she didn’t leave her name or any contact information so I had no way to thank her– but what she did reminded me that there are still good people in this world who go out of their way to be kind to strangers. That meal restored my faith in humanity.
With infinite love, gratitude, and respect,