The Surprise

My adult daughter (20 years old) started the day the other day out of sorts and ‘pissy.’ Ah, yes, how familiar. I am trying to use a positive approach to combating morning pissiness, with her and with myself. “Oh, you never know,” I said. “I bet the day will surprise you. Something will happen today that you totally won’t expect and it will be a pleasant surprise.”

Well, off she went. I dropped her off at her program (she has special needs and attends developmental therapy about five hours every week day). Albeit, she was dragging profusely all through the morning routine and I was taking in a lot of deep breaths to help me with patience in getting her out the door. All things considered, though, we got through it pretty smoothly.

Later that same day, I met some friends for a casual lunch at a restaurant that specializes in pizza, sandwiches, and salads. There were about 5 people ahead of me in line, none of whom I knew. We ordered and paid, and the cooks placed the finished orders up on the raised counter above their cooking area and announced our names: “Tom!”…”Sally!”…”Gerrard!” The place was buzzing with hungry patrons fetching food. “Jody!”… I bounced up to the counter to grab my half-chef salad, only it was a half-chicken salad. “Oh, I ordered a ‘chef’ not ‘chicken!'” I said to the cook, pointing at the salad.
“Are you ‘Jody?'” the cook asked.
“Yes!” I said.
“Well,” said the cook, pointing to the lady standing a couple of paces to my left. “This salad is for that ‘Jody,’ ”
“Oh!” I said, backing up a step to make way for the other Jody to fetch her half chicken salad.

About three seconds later the cook made a half chef salad appear on the counter. “Jody!” he called out, looking at me, his upper lip in a curl. We two Jody’s exchanged sidelong glances and self-conscious laughs as I reached for my salad.

What were the odds of two Jody’s being called up to fetch half salads at the same time in the same restaurant? It was a funny thing: My day had surprised me. I chuckled over the thought of two Jody’s with half-salads the rest of the day.

When I picked up my daughter later that same day, I asked her, “Did you have a surprise in your day?”

“No.” she said flatly.

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