Life + Service = Joy (Supposedly)

14 12 2010
I slept and dreamt that life was joy.
I awoke and saw that life was service.
I acted and behold, service was joy.
~ Rabindranath Tagore

Another in a string of difficult days. This day, however, had a catch—a friend from church had a baby last week, and I promised to take her dinner. So despite the fact that my deepest desire was to curl up in a ball and cry, I gathered up the necessary ingredients (I even made an extra trip to the store!) and went to work. Not a particularly difficult recipe—a low-fat spaghetti carbonara of sorts—but still! I planned in advance! I chopped! I cooked! I tempered eggs! For a woman who has difficulty getting out of bed, this is business of the calendar-marking sort.

I’d told her husband I’d have dinner there at 6:00. I packaged everything up and managed to get over there by 6:08. Epic! Honestly, people. Less than 10 minutes late, with a homemade meal. I wanted a fricking medal.

Except…the lights were off. No car in the driveway.

I knocked tenatively. I waited patiently. After all, there’s a new baby in the house. I don’t want to disturb anyone. But…I have food! Warm breadsticks! Spaghetti carbonara! I knocked again.

Nothing.

They weren’t home. I’d talked to the husband less than 24 hours earlier to arrange the time, and nobody was home.

I drove home, sure that as soon as I got there, I’d receive a frantic phone call: “We’re so sorry! We got stuck in traffic but we’re home now and we feel so terrible!

Nothing.

I walked in the house, told Car we apparently had extra leftovers, and started crying.

And that makes me angrier than anything else. Because I managed to suck it up and make a fabulous meal—enough for them and us—and now I’m such a wreck I can’t even enjoy my part of it. I can’t even bring myself to call them to find out what happened.

So being the mature adult I am, I collapsed in a heap of tears on my bed. Fortunately, I have a husband who gently nudged me toward the kitchen. I even managed to call the new parents.

Not helpful.

I understand people can be absent-minded, especially with a new baby on the scene. That said, let me offer a bit of advice: if you happen to discover you stood up a person who brought you a home-cooked meal, the words “I’m sorry” really do work wonders. Also, the absence of those words kind of convince me you’re an ass. Just something to think about.

I just need to keep telling myself…it’s about the service, right? The intent? The fact that I’m completely awesome? Having the boys eat the same thing for dinner as Car and me? So it can’t be all bad.

Right?

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6 responses

17 12 2010
Laney

I am impressed. You handled this far better than I would have!
I agree with Meredith 🙂

16 12 2010
meredith

i think i’d have hurled the container at the front door and left the mess to freeze and go rancid.

but that’s just me.

15 12 2010
Julie

Wow. What is wrong with people these days! I’m really not surprised you didn’t get an apology though. Not surprised at all. Assholes.

15 12 2010
andygirl

oh honey, never arrange dates with a man. I kid. I’m sorry.

I want to wrap you up in warm hugs and make the bad feelings stop. wish I could. love to you.

and? not your fault these people are assholes. yeah, I said it. assholes.

15 12 2010
Peter

No apology? That’s unbelievable. Tell the Relief Society President she needs to apologize on their behalf and make you caramel chocolate apples as penance (or do you not live in that sort of ward?). I understand that things happen, but no apology? Yeah, that’s low. But probably better to cry than to put a flaming bag of dog poo on their porch.

15 12 2010
Erin

You rock! Seriously rock! I don’t think I’ve ever made dinner for someone and been remotely on time. I consider anything under 10 minutes late on time when delivering a home made meal.

I did stand up dinner once when someone was bringing it last month. John was supposed to be home same day but ended up having internal bleeding after his surgery so he had to go back in. I was at the hospital when they called. I felt awful. Luckily my front door was open so they left it on the counter for me but I can’t believe they didn’t say sorry to you! That should be automatic and said at least 5 times.

oops 3 year old is pulling me away but I think I might just send you a medal for the effort! 😉

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