Month: July, 2013

The Lesson Was This

The lesson was this: if you do it right, people don’t come to your home for the food or the decoration or the plates that you are serving on. If you do it right, people come for your warmth and openness, your company and the company of others who love you, too.

It’s great to have a nice home, but it is no guarantee that anyone will want to come visit. Fancy food is nice, too;  but it’s not the food that makes people want to come to your party. It’s you—your character, your affection, your love. That’s all.


Nicest Person Ever

Ms. Pietz started the lesson by asking 7th grade students to use adjectives to describe themselves or others. She looked at me and said, “Serious.” I was appalled, insulted.  Forty-one years ago and I remember it like it was yesterday.

Students find me a little scary before they get to know me. “Are you kidding?” I ask. “I’m the nicest person ever.” Hubris perhaps, but it’s how I feel.

Puzzling over this for a long time, I realize I must not smile enough. People think I’m serious and scary. I’m smiling inside. How do I get it to come out?