Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Work and ritual

Adjusting to work after caregiving has been and continues to be interesting.

There are a lot of changes for me. Ostensibly I'm in charge. But really it is my son who has been shouldering the responsibilities and making most of the decisions. If we are in a meeting and someone asks me a question I notice I look to him for confirmation of my answer. It reminds me of how dad and mom used to turn and look at me when someone would come or something would happen. Except for the 20 years that they were my senior that is.

I've been fascinated though by some of the rituals I observe. And that's how I feel a lot that I am an observer and kind of outside looking in. There are rituals I see or at least that's what I'm calling them.

One of the more interesting is the lunch ritual. There are four of us now most of the time since I've been included. I haven't been participating regularly too long though. For quite a while it seemed like I always had something else to do. Or I just didn't want to eat out for some reason or another. But I'd go with them sometimes. Now I go more. And I must say that I enjoy these lunches very much.

I enjoy them now more than I did at first. I don't know why. I suppose it had something to do with the short time that had elapsed since Dad's death. Or maybe not.

The guys, that is the three other guys, are funny about lunch. They spend quite a bit of time thinking about the next one and talking about previous ones. They like to plan ahead. But they don't really agree on food likes and dislikes.

My son and I are members of the adventurous tribe. We like to try new places. And if it is a bit on the quaint side then so much the better especially if it turns out to be good. And good for us is more than just the food but also the way we are made to feel in the place.

Then one member of our group is from the I-am-eating-nothing-new tribe. He could also be in one of those V8 Juice commercials about the people that don't eat vegetables. He picks the green beans (well green anything) out of stuff.

Then another one of us is more in the middle. He'll try the new places but he's not so happy about it.

The three of them like to tease each other, too. They are merciless sometimes. Often it is funny to me. Sometimes it irritates me to no end. Frequently it makes me reminisce those years when I was the same age and doing some of the same things.

We've made a few new discoveries lately. One is this little Thai place. It isn't very large and located in a store front space in a strip mall but pretty nice. The owner usually waits on us unless he's really busy in the kitchen. He writes the lunch menu down every day on the back of a little restaurant check form - like from the pads. There are 4 sections each specified by a number 1 through 4 and having two or three choices. So you pick one thing from each of the 4 sections and that's your lunch. Except that he competes with the buffet places and he doesn't have room for a buffet so he just tells us if we want more that he'll brink it over. It's like $6 or so. The food is really good. Usually I have Pad Thai and a spring roll and some green curry something and some red curry something else. Except it changes but you get the idea. And I can only eat 1/2 of mine. I can eat a bit more now than when I started. Because Dad and I never did eat very much for lunch. So it is like getting back into the swing of things.

Another place is this really kind of dumpy looking Mexican (as in more New Mexico Mexican) place down in Norman. We like it a lot but it is more expensive. The guys worry about the cost quite a bit.

Then there's this newest place that's by a grocery store and is a family run place and it is Tex-Mex more. But it is good food.

The guys have these friendly arguments over rather trivial issues. Well, sometimes not so trivial either. The arguments lie dormant for awhile - sometimes a long while. Then are resurrected on the most innocent and unexpected triggers and argued with vigor and passion albeit briefly. Only to be returned once more to indefinite slumber upon conclusion of the lunch and not the argument. Topics vary widely and cover the entire spectrum of human thought and activity. Whether we know anything about the topic is totally irrelevant.

Sometimes things are argued in third person. This is funny to me but strangely enough makes me want to join in myself. So then it is "Well, Terry thinks ... "

And right now Terry thinks it is time for slumber.


~Betsy said...

It's so good to see you are getting out and about in the working world. Your lunch companions sound like a good bunch. Enjoy!

Lori1955 said...

Sounds like you're getting a handle on how things work in this world. Doesn't it seem like we have lived in an alternate universe for years? I would be with the guy picking the green out of my food. :)

nancy said...

i'm glad you are joining the others for lunch. i think you were right in that earlier it was just too soon after your dad's death that you didn't want to hear others talk such trivia. at least that's how it was with me. i wanted to be alone.

but it seems you are finally starting to take steps to get out in the "real world" it's a tough thing to do but one we are all adjusting to slowly.

congrats and keep it up!

Joanne D. Kiggins said...

Sounds like a really diverse group of gentlemen. I'm glad you're getting out and about and learning how to cope with the outside world. ((HUGS))

*(·¸*Chris*¸·)* said...

Re-entering a world you watched from your porch for so long can be a bit fascinating at times. I'm glad you are lunching with the fellows. My dad used to savor those lunches with the guys.

Quaint is good with me. I get uncomfortable in fancy places with names of food I can't pronounce. I love my meat and tators like any good midwestern girl would!