01 May 2013


T. used to say that I was a turtle, and this is still true. Sometimes. I will absolutely stand up and insist when a thing matters, to me or someone else, but when it comes to things that don't matter much, usually food, I can't bring myself to make a scene.*

Case in point: T. and I went out to lunch once c. 2000 at a restaurant overlooking the river in her hometown near Chicago. I ordered a mint chocolate chip milkshake, but it came out as a chocolate chip milkshake. I think we got it corrected, but only because T. either flagged the waitress down herself or badgered me into doing it. I would have left it unmentioned forever so the waitress wouldn't feel bad. (Even though the waitress probably cared not one little bit. Hey, I was 20.)

Today I got a Thai iced tea from a different stand than usual because it was late and my usual stand appeared to be out of salad rolls, but when I got it, it was awful. It was undrinkably sweet and really watery. Rather than request new - what is the point, anyway, if the sweet is what she has? - I walked behind a tree, dumped out the iced tea into the tree's roots, took my reusable cup to my usual place, and paid all over again.

And then I laughed and thought how T. would call this turtle behavior. It probably is.

(Or I could blame it on the combination of growing up 1. in the Dutch-American context where you take what you get and are grateful for it, 2. in the missionary context of eating what our host feeds us so we don't embarrass anyone, and 3. in the Liberian context of that's what is available today, so eat it.)

* I stand up and insist for a living, after all. I will also do it when meat is involved.

1 comment:

traci said...

You've helped me get out of some turtl-y things too. One of my classics is bartering or trying to get a deal. HATE that. Also, asking for directions/help sometimes is hard.