Thanksgiving at Milton St

Not so long ago I was talking about Thanksgiving with a friend of mine. We both regretted not having such a celebration here. Our conversation went about X-mas and New Year´s eve, how people always complain about  dinners with relatives they only see when somebody marries or dies or it`s X-mas or New Year`s eve and they have to gather together, their typical discussions, fights, critical comments. But if you asked them why not celebrating it any other way, one they like better, one that might make them happier, nobody seems to be ready for such a change in their routines or customs or cultural inheritance and they all end up saying “I wish I could but I can`t”

My friend and I decided we could start a new tradition, in the spirits of Thanksgiving but with our own mark, a day we meet only with those we chose to have in our life, friends or family, it doesn`t matter, as long as they are those close to our hearts. Only our thankfulness was for sharing our lives through thick and thin and for all the hands we were given. We agreed on making it coincide with the US celebration, just to have a day of reference, close to December but before everybody gets crazy to meet you before the year comes to its end.

The best of intentions sometimes find some difficulties you didn`t see coming. It was a long weekend and most people took those days off and were out-of-town, or rather, city.

I had two choices, to put it off or to go on with the idea even if just a few friends could make it. And I decided to go on because my friends and I are happy to be together  regardless the number of attendees. Besides, it`s a new tradition and it takes time for it to stick.

We had a good time, even if Marie screamed when Thom went to answer the door while I was in the kitchen. It was all about a big plastic spider I had on the wall !!!

the spider

We had a good time. Little by little the energy in Milton St is changing.

Life ~ surprises

A regular Friday at work. Everybody happy because we have a long weekend ahead. The telephone barely rang so I had some extra time to do all the paperwork that I can´t when days are more hectic.

Finally, I got a phone call from one of our retailers. Not from the man I usually talk to if not another employee. We were on the phone for a while. Suddenly she asked me if I had studied at Icana and I said yes, I did. Why? She then told me her name again and I remembered exactly who she was. We had been classmates.

It was a big surprise, she said that my name was familiar but she knew who I was when she heard me laugh. We spent some time catching up, last time we saw each other was 1997!!

But then I got another surprise when she told me that in all these years, every time she had a job interview, she thought of me and remembered what I used to tell her about hunting for a job and the way to behave in the interviews. Thing is that I´ve had more jobs interviews than I can remember since I used to work as a temp and changed jobs every two months. So I was kind of expert!!

It was really unexpected but it felt good to know that my words of advice really helped her in her career and that I was present in her life even when I was not there. It was a happy ending for my Friday at work.

1997 from left to right standing Mariana, the woman who phoned and then me, with the non Halloween hat

friends ~ when you are not sure about the answers

Once I was browsing through a women´s magazine and I found an article about types of personality. It was one of those shallows articles with a very silly test where you have to punctuate answers and then see the result in the next page to find out you are the loving kind, the low self esteem kind or some of the kind.

One of the questions was “how would your friends describe you?” and I thought it odd since that´s the type of question you have to ask my friends, not me. How would I know?

How would I know? the question remained.

Later that day I met some friends and I mentioned this article and the question and we played this silly game of trying to describe ourselves in a few words. Silly or not, it turned into something more serious as the descriptions started to flow.

Some of them were surprised at the adjectives they got, some of them nodded in agreement when heard the descriptions, we discussed aspects of our personalities and ended up talking about some important matters.

When it was my turn (to be described) there was a moment of silence. Either I was indescribable or they were afraid to tell me something that might hurt my feelings. It was a long moment for me.

Pause. The first friend talked and used adjectives such as unconventional, rebel, somebody ventured quirky but I sensed they were trying to find a word and they couldn´t for some reason.

Finally, one of them said very seriously “you are a question mark” and we all looked at each other. Another moment of silence and then we burst with laughter, we almost choked! Thing is that they all agreed it was the best description ever.

I was never really sure if that was a good thing or a bad thing but from that moment on, every time somebody asks me to describe myself in a few words I say “I´m a question mark” and the answer always leads to a different aspect of that mark.

 

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