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Wednesday, June 2, 2021
The Beverage Manager of Beantown
I met up with a friend for coffee yesterday and she has started using the term "spoons". Instead of telling people that she has "no more fucks to give", or something that could be considered abrasive, she'll say, "Too many spoons." In some cases, she'll say, that dealing with certain types of people would require a whole ladle and "I just don't have the spoons." for that level of interaction. It is interesting to think of parceling out our fucks by the spoonful. I think it is tied up with my theory that if I don't know you, I'll try once (perhaps one spoonful) giving my energy to share the truth with that person. I always try at least once to educate people, even strangers. If I am more invested, like with a good friend, relative or someone I deeply care about, I definitely have more spoons, perhaps a whole ladle to put into sharing my vision of truth. You don't want to waste a whole lot of energy on folks who you may never see again, so "Ain't got the spoons" for them might be the perfect amount. Wear a "Make America Great" hat around me, you are getting served with a coke spoon. I'll still share my truth, but don't want to squander too much truth on someone who is in active denial. I'll still tell the truth, but won't waste much of my energy doing it. I ain't got the spoons. I also had an interesting interaction with the Barista, who happens to own the coffeehouse. She is from near Boston and I told her about the time I was invited to go to The Athens of America, Beantown and how the folks who brought me were going to stay with paranoid friends who didn't want to open their home to me, so I nearly spent the night homeless. About 2 AM, I was outside the Hilton, looking as dejected as a young punk ever did, I am sure; when the beverage manager walked out and saw me. He was on his way home after a long, long day of making sure that people he may never meet could have their desires fulfilled. He said, "What's wrong, you look like you are in trouble." I told him what had happened and he said, "Do you like dogs?" I said that yes, I did and he said, "You can stay at my place, but my dog will want to sleep on the bed with you." So he took me out to Squantum on the train, telling me about how his whole neighborhood was built atop the garbage of Boston that had accumulated during the previous century. He let me stay the night in a nice big bed with a lovely pit bull terrier named beast or something like that. In the morning when I woke up, he was gone to work already and his wife sent me off with breakfast and a brown bag lunch in case I didn't meet up with my friends before I got hungry again. She even gave me train fare back to the city along with great directions for finding the train station because the neighborhood looked completely different in the light of day. The Barista from Wrightstown reminded me that hospitality is not about how we treat the people we know, but those we do not. How can a guy live nearly sixty years and nobody ever explained that to him overtly? I mean, I had lived the experience! In my industry, "hospitality" is an actual place, where you can go to get fueled up, re-hydrate or catch a quick snack. When you travel around the country, you may never even meet the people who care for you and provide you the service of caring for you. Catering to your essential needs. Hearty thanks to all those strangers who have the spoons to provide hospitality! The world would be a dismal place without you!