Sometimes the nicest experiences come from the least expected corners of your world.
Back when we were eating out, Jeff and I would go to Fong’s (the space was once home to a Chinese restaurant) on Friday nights with the neighbors and a rotating bunch of regulars for happy hour – huge, cheap slices of the best pizza in town and a free drink to wash it down. Now the pizza was great and the drinks generous but the best part was the employees — especially the bar staff. Our list of favorites there would be pretty much all inclusive, but one of them for both of would be a young woman named Sari (pronounced like Mary but with a S). She’s quick-witted and sweet, smart and funny, beautiful and she puts up with no shit. To say that Jeff misses seeing her regularly is an understatement. I’ve always been a bit more stand-offish with the staff, that’s just how I am, but of all the people at Fong’s she’s the one I miss the most. We’ve talked books and music and travel and annoying customers. I think she’s pretty damn interesting and she doesn’t think it’s weird that I always brought a book with me to a bar.
Ok, back on task.
Last weekend, Jeff saw on Facebook (an evil network that I reject) that Sari was doing a reading as part of a multi-person event called Stories to Tell My Daughter. We hadn’t seen Sari in far too long so we decided to buy tickets and go see what it was all about tonight. Five women of different ages, upbringing, backgrounds and experiences recounted parts of their lives with openness and candor. The stories had some amusing moments but weren’t easy to hear. They were no doubt an important part of the healing journey for many of the speakers. There was a recurring theme of women learning to trust themselves, learning to value themselves, and learning to care for themselves even after some truly horrific experiences.
Afterwards, during the Q&A, one of the women noted that we give even the very littlest of girls a babydoll but little boys usually get toy trucks. I don’t remember her exact words, but they were close to this: ‘In doing so, we teach little girls that it’s their responsibility to focus on taking care of someone else almost from day one, while little boys learn to just drive up, over and the hell away from the shit they break.’