Sunday, September 26, 2010

Silver Linings

Do you ever feel like this?  The world, your problems, your particular situation is just too big.  Well, there are always silver linings.  Always.

Let me tell you a story about my friend Amy, who is my sole salvation at work, and her lovely family.  A couple of weeks ago life was crazy as usual.  Only on this particular Saturday one curve ball after another was thrown at her.  Her teenage son was having a dinner party for Homecoming at her house.  She was to be the cook because she is marvelous at it and is willing and is generally a good mom like that. 

So being the good mom who also knows her boundaries, she ordered some side dishes from work because she is also smart like that.

Her day started roughly at midnight the Friday night leading to Saturday.  It started because she realized that there was a final count due for an event on Saturday that she never received.  It's one of those things that if not checked on then you could potentially throw both staff and chef's "under the bus" so to speak.  So up she gets and logs onto her email at work to find the very message she was looking for giving a count change to 250 box lunches to be delivered at 11:30.

She kindly waits until 6:00 or so to text this information to the involved parties.  But you know how it is sometimes... You know you can't do anything until 6 but that doesn't stop you from worrying about it the entire rest of the night.  Yeah, it wasn't that restful for her.  But 6 rolls around and everything is taken care of.

At approximately 11:25 she drops in to the kitchen to pick up the items she has ordered from Chefland.  While there she sees a staff member wrapping cookies.  She says "Hey staff member, why are you wrapping cookies?"  Staff member says "This is stupid and I hate it. No one prepped the box lunches and now I have to do it whine whine whine, blah blah blah."  Amy responds with a panicked "you mean for the box lunches that are to be delivered to an off-site location in 5 minutes!?!"  Staff member "yeah.. blah blah blah, whine whine whine."

Amy immediately wishes death on all stupid people in the world... maybe not all but at least the portion that have reared their ugly heads this particular Saturday morning... and takes charge of the situation.  There are 80 more lunches of the 250 that need to be packed in to their boxes.  She takes over the wrapping of the cookies, gets help from other apparently stupid staff and whips things into shape all the while muttering in her head "seriously! seriously! what would have happened if I hadn't shown up!"

The lunches are late, the customer isn't all that pleased but at least it wasn't as bad as it could have been right?  And now she is free to take her food and reconvene at her own home and handle the situation there and she lived happily ever after.

Or not.

You see that particular day there was also a wedding... and a wedding cake.  She had met with bride and mom of bride for at least 8 gazillions hours discussing the intricacies of the wedding cake and had gotten herself invited to the wedding.  I picked her up because I wanted to take some pictures of said cake to put on our website.  So off we go. 

Two things should be taken into consideration at this point.
1.  The bride's thoughts on the cake were "the groom could not show and it would be better than the cake being wrong."  No pressure.
2.  The baker had asked if he could arrive at 5 (one our before the reception) to set up the cake.  Information was passed on to the mom of bride and all were satisfied.

That is until we showed up at 5:40 to take pictures of the cake and there was no cake.  And there was no baker answering the phone to assure us of a cake on it's way. And there was a panicked bride running around with a floral bouquet in one hand and a diet coke in another threatening to hyper-ventilate. And there was a mom of bride with flames coming out of her eyes.  Amy and I spent the next 30 minutes with cell phones on re-dial all the while reassuring said stressed bridal party that everything would be okay and didn't the decorations look lovely. 

At 6:20 the cake arrived, it wasn't exactly what she wanted but it was at least there.  Bridal party calms down, everyone gathers around the cake and oohs and aahs.  Snap snap of the camera and we are on our way.

As I am driving Amy back to her house and the dinner party that was to arrive at any moment (snap snap of camera was supposed to be a 10 minute venture tops) when her phone rings.  "Hello... The grill is on fire?!... Calm down.... I'll be home in 5 minutes."  At this point we both start laughing cause it's the only response we have left.  Her phone rings again.  "Hello... You used a fire extinguisher to put out the grill.... Was the chicken still on it?...  Okay, put it in the oven I'm on my way."

As we drive up to her house there is a haze over the neighborhood as evidence of the grill fire and the homecoming party is walking up her drive.  I drop her off amid not so stifled laughter and wish her well.

As I'm on my way home I get a text:  All is not lost. Bryce (her son) and his cousin are dressed up as French waiters with penciled mustaches and thick French accents.  Apparently they were in character the entire night, had finished cooking the chicken (which was not subjected to the fire extinguisher) and entertained the guests.  The party was a hit and everyone wanted to come back again for another round.  But because family is what it is, little brother of Bryce waited  until the bitter end of the evening to introduce him to the French foreign exchange student.  Suddenly Bryce didn't feel so good.  Fortunately she got a kick out of the whole thing rather than being offended by the American version of an over-the-top French waiter and all was still right in the world.

So, silver linings?  Amy was able to enjoy the evening with the best of them despite the stressful/horrific day thanks to her own sense of humor and that passed on to her family.  Laughter really is the best medicine... which means I spend a lot of time heavily medicated.


  1. When you write it down it sounds hilarious! Good enough to wish you were there- Oh wait I was! Lucky me:)
    Can't wait for our next dose of medicine!

  2. Awesome friend you have there, Lora. It really does take a good person to laugh when you want to cry :)