While singing to myself, “Hot town, Summer in the city; Back of my neck getting dirty and gritty… ” My computer alerted me to a new email. Though I am sure I was busy doing something super important (other than singing, of course), I opened up my email to see who sent me a note.
The note was from my friend Tracy. The subject was “What is your favorite Ben & Jerry’s ice cream?”
An email about ice cream?! By all means, the super important something that had my attention seconds ago went to the back burner. I opened the email to find the subject line was the only information. Tracy had a simple question, and she didn’t feel the need to add anything to the body of the email. I appreciated her brevity, especially since ice cream was the subject.
Within seconds, I sent Tracy a simple response, “Phish Food.”
Continuing to keep the super important something on the back burner, I waited for Tracy to send me another email. Maybe she was going to tell me about a promotion offering free pints of ice cream. Maybe she was going to inform me that a Ben & Jerry’s truck had overturned, leaving countless pints of ice cream scattered on the road. Maybe, just maybe, she was going to say that she won a lifetime supply of a Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and she wanted to pass the prize to me.
I waited. I clicked on the “Send and Receive” icon within my email program several times, much like one who is waiting for a call may pick up the phone receiver several times to ensure there is a dial-tone.
An hour passed. Two hours passed. Tracy did not respond to my email, answering her question.
I contemplated emailing her again, to verify she received my original response. But, I didn’t. Then I remembered that I would be seeing Tracy later that night. Tracy, Robin and I planned on getting together for coffee. So, I did my best to turn my attention to the super important something, knowing I would see Tracy later.
Surprisingly, I arrived at the coffee shop early. What? I finished the super important something before I left. Honest.
When Tracy walked into the coffee shop, I acted calm, cool and collected. I did not say one word about the ice cream. I did not inquire as to her inquiry. I merely sat down with my sandwich, and waited for the decaf coffee to finish brewing. Robin arrived shortly after Tracy and I sat down.
There we were, sitting, drinking coffee and chatting. Internally, I’m itching to find out why she asked me about the ice cream. Itching. Finally, the suspense ends.
“I bought you some ice cream.” Tracy says.
“What?! You did?” I respond. (‘YES!’ I say to myself.)
“I had a great deal with the coupons!”
“Where is the ice cream?” I asked, trying to remain calm.
“It’s in my car, in a cooler with ice.”
Tracy has recently become a coupon queen. After attending a seminar about using coupons, she jumped in with both feet. As a result, she is saving money and snagging deals all the time.
Turns out a local grocery store had Ben & Jerry’s on sale, and Tracy had coupons for Ben & Jerry’s. By combining the two, Tracy was able to score big. And, she scored while thinking of me. In fact, Tracy denied her kids for the sake of me. I know! Isn’t she the best friend ever?!
When she looked in the ice cream freezer at the store, she saw only one Phish Food. The coupon was for four pints, so she let her kids pick out three other flavors to enjoy for themselves. But. And, this is important. Tracy, for whatever reason, was – dare I say – called – to look more closely in the Phish Food section. When she bent down to get a better look of the shelf, she noticed one more pint of Phish Food all the way in the back.
“Nevermind, Kids.” Tracy says to her loved ones. The loved ones she carried for 9 months and birthed. The loved ones she caters to selflessly day in and day out. The loved ones she dismissed in a heartbeat by saying, “You guys can only have two pints; put one back.”
Man oh man, do I ever love Tracy.
Once I found out Tracy had ice cream in her car, I had a hard time focusing on anything else. The gals and I sat and chatted for an hour. I tried to partake in the conversation, though in my head I was thinking about the ice cream. Fine, fine – I was obsessing about the ice cream.
Finally, I had to fess up to my friends. I told them that I was enjoying the conversation, but really – I needed to go home and put the precious cargo in the freezer, where I knew it would be safe.
Perhaps I should feel embarrassed or shameful for my ice cream addiction. Perhaps I do. However, put a pint of Phish Food in my hands, and watch as the creamy chocolatey and marshmallowy-gooey goodness wipes away all embarrassment and shame. While you enjoy your wine, beer, cookies or cakes, I’ll enjoy my ice cream. Cheers!
Thanks to Tracy and Robin for letting our night end early, so I could enjoy my prize. Added thanks to Tracy for showing me such love. And last but not least, special thanks to Megan, Amelia and Jimmy for their selfless sacrifice.
Be kind, take care of yourself and each other, and remember to bend down and check the very back of the shelf.