Monday, December 12, 2016
What Makes Things Special?
Do you remember the last time you ate French Fries? I do.
It was last Christmas, and I had been running errands. I stopped at Burger King and got a small $1 order each of Fries and Onion Rings--nothing else; just Fries and Rings. The weather was cold and dark. But the fried food smelled so good! I pulled my car into a nearby parking lot and devoured the lot immediately without the least trace of guilt or remorse. There was no ketchup and the onions were the reconstituted kind but I didn't care. I was hungry, I hadn't had such things since the previous Christmas, and it was a treat. It tasted so good.
Today I went to the Post Office to mail a Christmas present. That's how I knew it was Time. There's a McDonald's on the corner on the way home.
I got a large order of Fries, and this time I remembered to request ketchup. The Fries were so hot and tasty. I didn't wait a moment, and I started eating them one by delicious one in the car as I drove home. When I got in the house, I was finally able to open the ketchup packets to enjoy with the rest of the Fries. I ate every crumb, and I even finished every packet of ketchup (which was astoundingly good, surprisingly). Were the Fries perfect? No, some were a tad underdone but I did not care. The point is that this was an event.
An event. In my family's funny verbal lexicon we called that sort of situation a "Bavencher"--that's when you take an ordinary day and add a little rare joy to it. (Buona ventura. A good venture.....that seems to be where we must have derived the term even though none of us ever spoke Italian but it doesn't really matter, does it?)
If it's something you do all the time, then it's Not a Bavencher. It's gotta be unusual. I only buy Fries once a year when I've done Christmas errands. The errand-running is typical enough but the time of year is special, and the Fries make a Bavencher.
Now, reasonably, I could buy Fries more often. I pass by McD's every single time I go to the Post Office, the grocery store, where-ever. That corner is right there--unavoidable. But I do avoid it. Nothing, absolutely nothing, is special if you have it all the time. It's a matter of choice, of self-control, even self-denial. Things are sweeter if we have to work hard for them, and if we don't just give in too easily because they are there all the time anyhow.
Plan a Bavencher for yourself. Work hard for it.
Trust me, it's worth the effort.
Life is good. So are French Fries.