Monthly Archives: November 2014

I should have thought of that!

french toastEvery once in a while something happens that makes you think about things in a way you have never thought about them before. Now I’m not talking about things that turn your world upside down or anything like that. Rather, this is about the things that make you want to give your head a shake because once you have thought about them in an entirely different way you wonder why you had never thought about them that way before. And the funny thing is, it’s often a rather innocuous and otherwise insignificant trigger, an innocent comment by some unsuspecting stranger who has no idea that what they thought was a common turn of phrase had become the  catalyst for the revelations you were about to make. Had they known, they likely would not have simply turned and walked away with nary a glance back. But you will remember them forever because, without a doubt they influenced your thinking if not profoundly, at least a little. And you know I wouldn’t be saying all of this if it hadn’t happened to me not so long ago.

The story starts outside a very popular eating establishment on an uncharacteristically cold day during a visit to, what we in the West refer to simply as “The Island”.  Thinking back from where I sit now, I must chuckle just a little when I say it was “cold” given that the temps on that day pale in comparison to the extreme cold warnings I am currently suffering through in my hometown. Nonetheless, there was enough wind to cause the ears and fingers to tingle so, suffice to say, it was a little frostier than we would have prefered it to be. Now we knew there would be a line for the brunch we craved because there is always a line for that brunch. What we didn’t anticipate was how long the line would be and how slow it would move. But we waited and eventually, as happens when one stands in line long enough, we were seated, handed menus and offered the requisite morning libations. So far, so good. There are enough choices at this particular establishment that you need a little time to ponder and perhaps one clarification visit from the server, in this case a very pleasant young woman who appears to enjoy bringing good food to mostly good people. After her initial visit and, having provided us with a sufficient amount of time to make up our minds, she returns to the table ready to take our order. Remember, this is breakfast so it’s not overly complicated and things go well, what with me having taken her earlier advice to switch from the apple to the orange french toast (which I have to say turned out to be the very best french toast I have ever eaten and if you are ever on “The Island” you need to let me know so I can tell you where this is) and my compatriot deciding to indulge on pancakes topped with some sort of banana concoction which turned out to be very good too. Seems pretty routine so far, no?

The thing is, after she took the orders, all the while acknowledging our rather exceptional decision-making skills, she stopped for a moment, looked us straight in the eye (well at least one of us since we were sitting across from each other) and asked: “Is there anything you strongly dislike?” Not “do you have any allergies” or “would you like that french toast well done?” or even “do you need sugar with your tea”? Just “is there anything you strongly dislike?” Which is when it happened. It’s when I realized I had never thought about the possibility that there were degrees of “dislike”. That I could dislike something more or less. Of course by now you know that, as a shallow person, I like to keep things simple.  I like walking on the beach. I dislike walking in the snow. I like my lattes without foam. I dislike having to drink them on wooden chairs. I like winning. I dislike losing. You get the picture. It’s either one way or the other. I like something or I don’t. So you can imagine how this new concept, the idea of increments of dislike, could throw me for a loop. But having recently given it some consideration I can honestly say, I should have thought of that!

Now that I do know, I’m going to start thinking about things differently. Over the next little while I just might figure out what things I sort of don’t like and what things I really don’t like. I’ll probably try to rank them. Maybe make a list. Even though, as you probably already know, I don’t really like lists very much.

Tagged , , , ,

I’m Living the Life!

chairIt finally happened. Wait. Perhaps I had better backtrack for just a moment or two. Many of you I’m sure, have noticed that I have been remiss, having not posted to the B.S. sightings section of the blog for quite some time. It’s not that things have changed all that much over the past little while. As far as I can tell I look pretty much the same as always and I believe my doppelganger chanteuse does too. And it’s not that people haven’t continued to notice. As a matter of fact, the sightings themselves have not diminished at the same rate as the writing about them has. It’s just that, for the most part, they’ve pretty much been the run of the mill “has anyone ever told you” events. Well there was one server in Vancouver who used “astonishingly like” in a sentence with regard to my likeness to Ms. Streisand. And there was the make-up salesperson in Toronto who told me how lucky I was to share her resemblance, although I must admit that I silently wondered whether she was really trying to sell me more product. But neither of those inspired me to write an entire paragraph on the encounter. Nothing really had struck as sufficiently unique, until now.

But you’ll have to wait just a little longer because I must digress. You see, there are several parts to this story so it’s going to take some time. If you’ve been following along carefully for the last 2 and a half years, you’ll know that I can oft be found at my local Starbucks, with or without a view of the sea, sipping on a nonfat, no foam latte.  It’s just what I do and I particularly like to do it in what those of us “in the know” know as “the comfy chair”. Because you see, at every one of these establishments there is a variety of seating options ranging from “not so comfortable” to “really comfortable”. As a frequent flyer (I’m so far ahead of the game that my SB gold card has pretty much been renewed indefinitely) I am, of course, prone to select the latter option whenever possible. Possible being the key word as, more often than not those comfy chairs are occupied by my compatriots and I’m relegated to something harder and much more wooden. At least for the time being, as before too long the phenomenon best described as the “Starbuck’s Shuffle” begins.

For those of you who have never experienced said shuffle, here’s how it works. First, you plunk yourself down at a table as close to the comfy chairs as possible. Next, you make yourself not too comfortable because hopefully sooner than later, you’ll be moving. Now here’s the tricky part. You need to keep your eye on the prize without raising the suspicions of your fellow sippers lest you end up in a foot race. This next step is important because the very moment (and I mean right away) that you see movement at those comfy chairs, is your cue to swing into action. What you do now is dependent on where you live. In some cities it’s ok to hover, and you can step right up and help those who are leaving, leave. In other cities convention has it that you allow the leavers to leave and only approach the chairs when their previous occupants are sufficiently out of the way.  You’ll have to figure this one out for yourself. In either case, it’s never easy but trust me, the reward will be well worth the effort.

So with this in mind, let me tell you what happened last week. As expected, I found myself sitting at a table secretly (I thought) surveying the landscape in an effort to determine which of the comfy chairs were most likely to be vacated first. I’m looking for all of the clues, an almost empty cup, one member of the party making their way to the loo, perhaps a computer being packed up, when suddenly my eyes meet those of another. And at that moment, much to my astonishment, the man whose eyes I had inadvertently met and who, until that very moment was a complete stranger, stands up and without hesitation says “my wife says we should give the comfy chairs to you because (and here it comes) you look like Barbra Streisand.” OMG! They gave up their comfy chairs for me! After all of this time, all of the sightings, all of the witty retorts to “do you know who you look like” I have had to come up with, it finally happened. I’m finally reaping the benefits of being a “look-a-like”. I’m finally living the life!

And now there’s only one problem. I’m just not sure how I’m ever going to sit in one of those hard, wooden chairs again.

Tagged , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: