Thursday, March 2, 2017

Take a Bite of the Cheesecake

My husband is like Forest Gump. He's a friendly guy.

My husband is a friendly guy.

He's friendly to just about everyone, strangers or not. He actually goes out of his way to be friendly.

In grocery store lines, he's the guy that looks for opportunities to make people laugh, and most of the time, he's successful. Except for one time when he was standing behind two big Samoan guys who were carrying gallons of milk.

Fred said, "Nice jugs!"

The Samoans were all:

They just stared at him. Maybe they thought he was actually talking about their pecks and assumed he was trying to pick them up (in the biblical sense). I'm not sure.

But that was a rare exception.

Most of the time he gets the whole check-out line, including the cashier, cracking up at his witty remarks. But his friendliness doesn't end at grocery store lines.

Last weekend we went out to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner. Shortly after we ordered, the waitress seated a woman and her pre-teen daughter at a table adjacent to ours. While Fred and I waited for our order, we could hear that the woman and girl were speaking to one another in German. Every once in a while they would glance over at us and smile and we'd smile back (as one does in such situations).

At one point, the woman asked us the meaning of something on the menu and Fred explained. More friendly smiles ensued - nothing out of the range of normal friendliness.

Then our dessert came.

Salted Caramel Cheesecake.

Salted Caramel Cheesecake from The Cheesecake Factory
Courtesy of The Cheesecake Factory
And boy, did that get the attention of our German neighbors! We could hear them ooh-ing and aah-ing over it as the waitress put it on our table. So much so that Fred leaned over to me and whispered, "Should we offer them a bite?"

Now mind you...I'm dieting. And that day, knowing we were going to The Cheesecake Factory for dinner, and knowing I was fo' sho' going to order cheesecake to split with Fred, I had starved all day and saved my calories for this dessert. Not that I looked online at their menu and pre-decided what I was having or anything. Because that would be obsessive.

So my first reaction to Fred's suggestion that we share my coveted dessert, was this:

Well, maybe not that bad.

But truth be told, I told Fred no, he shouldn't offer them any. Not because of pure selfishness or gluttony, but because of how I knew I would respond if the situation were reversed. If I were offered a bite of cheesecake from a stranger in a restaurant, I would decline out of politeness. Even if I really wanted a taste, I wouldn't. That's just my courteously deferential-edness.

My friendly husband did not share my reticence. He offered the two cheesecake interlopers diners a bite and they said, "Oh hell yeah," (internally) and they took him up on his offer. 

I could tell they did not regret it for a second. I could tell it was a delicious cheesecake party in their mouth, and it made me happy that we could offer them that small unexpected bit of happiness. Then I took a bite of it and it tasted every bit as good as the look on their faces implied. We all shared a moment.

That simple little gesture from Fred got us all talking. Turns out, they were from Germany and vacationing here in Vegas. They asked where a grocery store was, and we told them. Then we got on the topic of dogs (as we often do) and chatted about that too, for a minute.

Shortly after, we all wished each other well, and Fred and I left. 

I don't know if they had been to the U.S. before, or to Vegas before, or what their travelling experiences had been like until then. But I hope they look back on their 2017 Vegas vacation and smile at the memory of the friendly guy and his greedy wife who shared their cheesecake and some smiles.

There are two points to my little story. One is: Take a bite of the cheesecake!

People like sharing happiness (even if one of the sharers is a sugar-starved dieter). So when someone offers me a bite of something, instead of politely declining, I'm following the example of our new German friends and I'm taking a bite. I'm going to accept that little offering of happiness and make the offerer happy in return...for the most part (see disclaimer below).

The other point is: Offer a bite of the cheesecake!

Even a friendly little gesture can make a difference in someone's day. Whether it's a bite, a witty comment, a smile, or help getting something down from a shelf (a thing my husband often does in the grocery store because he's tall), offer it up and spread a little happiness.

Disclaimer: Upon further thought, you might want to use discretion before accepting random food (or drinks!) from strangers. In this particular instance, the dessert had just arrived, everyone used their own fork, and no one double dipped. More importantly, I was with my husband and pretty certain the two girls hadn't sprinkled a date rape drug on my cheesecake. So...use much discretion when considering this advice!  

Anyhoo...I guess my story actually has three points. The third being that I have a very friendly husband who likes to make people smile. He makes the world a little happier and I'm lucky to know him. I learn from him every day. But don't tell him I said that.

This post was brought to you by Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop in response to her prompt: Write a post inspired by the word: friendly.


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