Were you ever a witness to something that was so hilarious you feared choking to death on your food?
I was and I’m alive to talk about it.
At the time this incident occurred, I had not known my friend for very long. Since then, we’ve become good friends. I admire her and I’m very grateful she is a part of my life. I asked her permission to share the story, however, I changed the name to protect the guilty.
Lily and I had only known one another a few short months when we decided to meet for dinner at a local schnitzel house. Lily is a charming woman, always full of good cheer (not the liquid kind) and a smile for everyone. We took our places across from each other at a light oak table with matching bench style seating. The soft lighting and window decorations gave the small German styled room a cozy feel.
We pored over the menu while discussing our appetites. Both of us ordered a schnitzel dinner complete with side salad and hot tea and milk. We chatted eagerly.
The side salad arrived. We chatted eagerly while we ate. The schnitzel dinner arrived. We chatted eagerly. The hot tea and milk arrived. Lily opened two milkette containers and poured them into her tea-cup which she placed on the right side of her dinner plate.
We continued chatting like a couple of hens. Lily fixed her baked potato with butter and sour cream. Engrossed in the story she told, she picked up her tea-cup and turned it upside down while she made eye contact with me. I couldn’t help but notice that the milk poured out of the tea-cup onto the table. A little stunned, I watched Lily put the tea-cup back down on the table as she continued to tell her story as if nothing happened.
There was the puddle of milk beside her dinner plate and although she looked in the direction of it, apparently had not noticed it. By this time, my mind was talking to me so I couldn’t hear the details of the story Lily was relating.
Thoughts churned in my head. “Oh, my gosh, does she know what she just did? Is this what Lily does, turns her tea-cup over after she puts the milk in it? I can’t interrupt her story, that would be rude. Surely, she must have noticed it, she looked right at it. Maybe she doesn’t see the milk because of the light coloured table. What should I do, I don’t know her that well. I can’t possibly interrupt her now.”
With stoic expression, I kept one eye on the spilled milk lest she got her sleeve in it and the other eye on her bubbly expressions as she told me her story.
After a few moments, Lily took a pause. She picked up her tea-pot and brought it over to her tea-cup. Looking down, Lily noticed the spilled milk on the table. I watched, holding my breath. With furrowed brow, she gazed at the spilled milk for what seemed like ten minutes. Confused and dazed she said, “How did that get there? Did I do that?”
With her chin dropped and eyes wide, she looked up at me. I wished I had a picture of the expression on her face at that very moment. I choked back laughter, but couldn’t help the smile forming from the corner of my mouth. Lily burst out laughing. I burst out laughing. We cleaned up the spilled milk. We laughed, joked and giggled through the rest of the meal. Lily said, “My father always told me – don’t cry over spilled milk.”
While we laughed over the spilled milk, Lily explained that when she goes to a restaurant she always checks that her cup doesn’t have an undesirable something in it by turning it upside down before she puts her milk and tea in. She explained that she must have been so distracted and forgot that she had already put the milk in and hadn’t noticed it spill out. Was I relieved. Here I thought I had met someone with strange habits.
Lily asked me if I had seen her do it. Sheepishly, I replied with my excuses. While stunned, my mind tried to figure out if this was some peculiar tendency my new friend harboured. My etiquette was telling me it’s impolite to interrupt while someone is talking. It took many meals together before we finally stopped laughing hysterically over spilled milk.
Have you ever remained silent, sat back and observed when you saw something unusual take place?