Tuna Noodle Casserole Next Time?

I eat humble pie everyday.  But I wasn’t prepared for what happened tonight.  It was like having my little beating heart ripped from my chest.  Similar to Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.  Or better yet, Apocalypto.

A handful of times a year, I serve dinner at the local shelter. This is mostly out of “Colley Service Guilt”, which is even better than Catholic guilt. Most members of my family serve others.  My Grandmother was practically sainted; she used to rehabilitate wildlife in her laundry room.  Whether it be public education, medicine or in Non-Profit, MOST of “us” are givers.  And then there is me.  I was so easily derailed in my dream of being an Anthropologist for a sales job that promised to reap monetary benefits.  I was a sellout for a new shiny red beetle bug.  So, to assuage my guilt and still try to remain a productive member of my family, I try to raise my hand to volunteer when I can. (Which has caused it’s own set of problems- but that is another blog for another day.)  As if the karma of buying goats for villagers in Olduvai Gorge will erase the evils of my past capitalism…

Therefore, I should not be this hurt that the homeless of my hometown don’t like my cooking.  Is there nothing more humiliating?  I offer them my delicious meatloaf, 5 of them ask for “just the potatoes”.  I made corn souffle, and I had to promise it contained butter and beg most of them to try it.  I almost cried when only half of my Chicken Enchilada casserole was consumed.

Typically, I relish in my mere mediocrity.  I have no ego, no id.  I can comfort my children when they ask me why they aren’t  the next A-Rod or why they can’t recite Mandarin.  “Look at me!” I say,”You can grow up and be totally average and it will still be ok!”  I quote the great philosopher Nucky Thompson, “I am sorry God distributes his gifts unevenly…”  What few slivers of what appears to may be a titch of talent that I might have been given (i.e. cooking), I usually have to work incredibly hard to better.  In my attic, I have a trunk full of “Most Improved _____”  and my tombstone will read “Almost…”

But the sting of hungry people choosing salad over my zucchini gratin will not fade soon…


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