Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Lovers & Mixed Nuts

There is a saying that goes something like, "It takes all kinds."  Let's think about that for a moment.  It takes all kinds of people to make the world go around.  You don't have to look very far, or very hard for that matter, to see how different one person is from another.  In fact, all you have to do is show up to your neighborhood bar, grab a stool and a drink, and listen.  But I must warn you to be prepared for the shock and awe campaign that almost always follows.

The United States in particular is a real mixed bag if you ask me.  Just traveling from state to state, you will find varying degrees of cultural warfare.  I can tell you that living in Southern comfort for the past five years was a polar opposite experience to my life on the cool West Coast.  Growing up in southern California provided an education in open-mindedness that I am grateful to have had; the people, the food, the clothes, the mentality, the beliefs, the politics and the sense of community all varied greatly from one city limit to another.  

I stood behind the bar last night and overheard six different conversations.  Matters of the heart struck a common thread and before I knew it, one stranger had struck up a conversation with the couple across from them in a ping pong game of who, what, where, when and why...  with the answers varying greatly.  

And soon, all twelve strangers were engrossed in a myriad of conversation.  It was a miraculous display of cultural warfare and I was at the very center of it all.  It didn't really matter if they agreed or not; they were all immersed in their perspectives and were just loving it.  Some loved their hometowns, their former spouses, and their jobs, while others winced at the thought it.

I could hardly keep up with the newfound philanthropy at my bar.  One round of drinks for these guys on his tab, another round for her from the couple sitting across the way.  It was a heartwarming display of neighborliness from a mixed group of tourists, locals and well... myself.

One thing was very clear; we were all very different from each other.  And yet, we were still sort of the same.  The most common thread among us was obvious.  It was love.

Stories of past loves, first loves, last loves and great loves became the commonality that we shared.  And I thought; how wonderful it is to be connected through our various experiences of falling in or out of love. 

Who knows what would have happened if the conversation spanned beyond the scope of love.  Nothing is more of a buzz-kill than a political showdown at a bar and words cannot describe how thankful I am that the mixed chatter didn't go there.  In fact, at one point, I overheard someone refer to Versailles as "Just another palace" and I about fell over in absolute disbelief.  Really??

I immediately chimed in because I just couldn't help myself.  Just another palace, no way!   We laughed and somehow moved on to discuss other things.

So okay, we are all a bunch of lovers and mixed nuts.  But I have to say that it felt good to be on the same lovely wavelength, even if only for an hour or two... looking out, from behind the bar.


French Sunrise

2 oz Grey Goose Vodka
1/2 oz Grand Marnier 
1/4 oz Chambord
Splash of Orange Juice (fresh squeezed preferred)

Shake and strain and serve up with a twist. 

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