I learned when I asked a few of my friends about the kinds of gifts they love best to give, that these people are more amazing than I even thought, that I have excellent taste in friends, and that I am an impoverished giver…but I have some great teachers.
I believe the checkout person at my food store must be trained to ask me certain questions, because I am trained to answer them.
With our friends, I’m afraid we have rote conversations too, even during very hard times. What if we try asking old questions in fresh ways? Might we get better answers?
She had no plan and no boundaries, and she wasn’t embarrassed about either of those things, but she made a lasting first impression on me. Not because she declared she planned to steal my food, but because she declared herself as open, warm, and trustworthy.
Somehow the words exchanged in two dimensions were instantly clothed, sweaty faced and blushing, complete with voices and elbowy embraces. Claudine transfigured from the solemn photo on the fridge, the book mark in my Bible, and 4 years of crayoned letters, into a picky eater, a refuser of cheek kisses, a smart and a sassy young woman who melts for purple nail polish.