May was a weird month. I kept getting bad news. And it seemed those around me were receiving bad news. And the bad news compiled into a quicksand hole of stress that I could feel myself struggling through as I tried to meander through each day.
Well, two nights ago, we had incredibly good news (about my son’s health). If you are wondering why I am sharing this in my overheard post, it is to explain the scream of jubilation you must have heard from your house.
Sorry about that. It was from my husband.
It went like this:
This was repeated and fist pumped and jumped through the house. I told him I had never ever seen him so happy. It made the month of May close on a sweet note.
With that said, I spent much of the month at home with my son or in the doctor’s office, so I did not hear much. But what I did overhear, I will share with you:
At The Cheesecake Factory we sat outside and to our left, was a beautiful German couple in their early twenties. They were hipster cool in an easy-not-on-purpose kind of way. They would have made the people actually trying for this look fall on their knees and rip at their hats.
They ordered a chocolate malt and a slice of cheesecake. For lunch. Or breakfast. It was eleven o’clock. Which again, was cool without trying to be cool.
I don’t think I have ever had a moment like that.
The waitress returned after a few minutes to inform them that the kitchen thought they might be out of malt. She told the couple that they might want to pick something else on the menu.
They both grinned at her and said, “This is okay. But we do not know this word, ‘malt.’ What is it? What does it mean?”
Well, the waitress was not expecting that answer. And she just kind of stood there trying to determine if she knew the answer. I don’t blame her. I am not sure what I would have said myself.
So she said, “It’s the stuff that makes a malt a malt.”
And they grinned wider.
And she hastily left, returning minutes later with cheesecake…and a chocolate malt!
“They found some malt in the kitchen,” she said.
She left the desserts on the table with obvious relief.
The couple only ate two bites of cheesecake and a few sips of the malt before they asked to take the food to go.
Then they cooly sauntered away. Both of their perfect hats faced towards a new adventure.
I volunteered at my son’s school two weeks ago (for the first time all year. It is hard as they get older. They get bigger. I get lazier). The fifth grade was doing a colonial day reenactment. They got to pick five items to make that they would have made back in the colonial days. I was helping at the book binding booth.
It was actually quite comical to hear the different conversations around me. Here is one:
A tall fifth grade boy sweetly grabbed one of the pillows his friend had made, and rubbed it on his cheek. He put his head on the pillow that was so small it barely fit into his hand, and proclaimed in the most innocent voice, “Oh. They feel so good. I should have made this.”
In the triage across from us (at the ER), there was a two year old who had ingested her grandparent’s prescription medicine. She screamed as they force-fed charcoal into her system. The mother sang Barney lyrics in an eerily high and enchanting voice, “I love you. You love me…” And then it randomly changed to, “Clean up. Clean up. Everybody do their share. Cle-”
The little girl left a few hours later: tired, confused, perfectly healthy. And the mother handled the whole thing with such gentle grace.
After they left, one nurse said to the other, “you have charcoal splattered all over your scrubs.”
The other nurse shrugged and said, “I don’t have another pair with me.”
To which the first nurse softly said, “Don’t worry. It really isn’t noticeable unless you are looking for it.”
And it was wrong. Oh, so wrong. But that mother’s last song began playing itself in my head.
In the hospital bed next to us at the emergency room, a fifteen year old boy had severed his big toe almost completely off. I did not ask how, but believe me, I was curious.
When he was being discharged (after they had performed the reattachment surgery), they gave him some interesting advice.
“Make sure you keep changing the diaper* on your toe. I know it is unusual, but the diapers will absorb the fluids that are draining.”
*I believe this is what I heard. But I could be wrong. I cannot find any information on diapers being used for wounds. So, maybe I was delirious with exhaustion or maybe it is a new thing. Please take it for what you will.
I was at Trader Joe’s purchasing peonies and a few other staples, when I went down an aisle, and saw a mother pick up a jar of Trader Joe’s Clarified Butter and say to her daughter:
“Let me just clarify something for you. This. Is. Butter.”
I laughed. And I bought the clarified butter. I had forgotten I had wanted to try it. Making it is a pain.
How was your month of May? Did you overhear anything good?
If you missed April’s “Overheard In”, you can find it here.