Have you ever put something on your schedule only to wish you hadn’t? You know what I mean? It’s that casual, “Why don’t you stop in for a drink?” kind of invitation that you accept only to wonder what you were thinking when the date rolls around.
My idea of a great spring Saturday is to put on my crummiest jeans and grass-stained sneakers and head to my gardens – alone – for a day of weeding, deadheading, and pruning my beloved flowers and trees; so when the time came to attend a birthday party for someone I barely knew, I was not in a festive mood. “We’ll put in an appearance and leave as quickly as we possibly can,” I told my husband – our usual plan.
Well, let me tell you, that was a plan that was quickly scrapped!
As it turns out, our hosts were delightful and the more we got to know them, the better we liked them. Things were going famously when Mrs. Host said, “Honey, you should serenade Paula.” Oh, no! They had the biggest, most complex hot rod of a karaoke set-up money can buy. My husband and I put on our pleasantest “listen politely” faces and prepared for the worst.
What a surprise!
Our previously quiet host was transformed when he touched that magic microphone. We were awestruck – and that’s saying something, as we had been professional musicians for years. He was not good; he was GREAT! He had range and balance and control and timing and phrasing. Wow, just wow.
In a time when most surprises are unwelcome, bad news, inconvenient, or otherwise disagreeable, this was such a moment of delight. Had these folks who barely knew us not generously invited us to their home to share in their celebration, we’d have missed out on enjoying a wonderful Filipino meal, meeting some lovely folks, and hearing a secret singing star perform just for us.
As a confirmed curmudgeon, this is a lesson I need to remember:
When some lovely people offer you their hospitality, you might not just want to say okay – say kara-okay!
p.s. Here’s proof of my “we used to be musicians” claim – a blast from our past – “Crippen” 1991.