Saturday, October 15, 2011

don't be a harpy

Something magical happened this morning.

I was eating breakfast at ChickfilA when I heard a low humming. It built into a beautiful love song, a capella/barber shop style, by some young men. Their recipient? An old woman with white hair wearing a veil headband and a BRIDE sash. They sang to her, right there in the ChickfilA line, and she blushed like she was 16 and hugged them and took pictures with her iPhone. I don't know if they knew her and planned it, or if it was a random-type flash mob of orderly boys with lovely voices, or what. I just know that it was a beautiful scene that made my day and brought my daughter and I to our feet, clapping.

And then something horribly depressing happened.

"That's so rude," someone said. "I can't believe they think they can just interrupt our meal like that. Don't they know this is a public place? It's just so rude."

It was the woman sitting behind us with her husband and two children. They were about the same ages as my kids, but instead of being allowed to run and play in the indoor playground, they were sitting on the other side of the glass, tightly reined in by a loudly critical mom who had been complaining since they walked in. The booth was dirty. The coffee was burnt. The children-- IN THE INDOOR PLAYSPACE 5 FEET AWAY-- were horribly loud and mannerless, their parents negligent boors to allow them to, you know, PLAY IN THE PLAYSPACE.

I had held my tongue as she complained about my kids from four inches behind my back. After all, I've tried my best to give up the judging thing. I've been annoyed by other kids, too. Maybe she was just having a bad day or had a headache. And I guess they were pretty loud, but I just assumed that anyone who chose to sit on the other side of the glass knew what they were getting into.

My first instinct was anger. But then I just felt sorry for her.

What kind of person would actually get angry at four teenagers serenading an elderly bride? How dead do you have to be inside, how negative and wrapped up in yourself?

I saw magic. She saw annoyance.

And so I decided that I would add this saying to my personal list of quotes.


I think I'm going to make a t-shirt.

And if anyone is ever thinking of publicly serenading me, I promise to blush like I'm 16.



Anonymous said...

I will serenade you on the 26th. I'm going to sing 4'33. You'll love it.

Kristina said...

I'd buy that tee-shirt. Ladies size medium please.

Pinafores & Pinwheels said...

What a sad and wretched life she must lead! I feel bad for her poor kids!

Rachel said...

My daughters name is Harper. Not terribly long - and if you MUST shorten it "Harp" works fine. And yet, her grandma can't seem to get past calling her "Harpy" even though we have reminded her what it means several times. Groan....

Julie said...

My husband wanted 3 sons for this reason, the ability to have his barbershop quartet. Honestly though I don't know what his plan was exactly as all my boys will be tenors =)

As the wife of a man who breaks out into song and sometimes dance on whims in public I too find it beautiful EVERY time.

Virginia Valerie said...

A)I like your new banner! Also, welcome back to cake. We missed you here in cake land.

B)That is very sweet that those guys sang in public to her. Magical! :-)

C)I think you handled the situation well. I often don't know what to do when confronted with such a diverging opinion like that. Then I think about it forever and never resolve it. But I doubt anything you could have said (even though you were FABULOUSLY DRESSED, no doubt) would have made a difference.