So, it's awfully nice when someone from the church brings you a meal just days or weeks after you've had a wee little baby, isn't it? It sure is. So, when a coordinater type person called me to ask whether I would be willing to make a meal for so-and-so and their brand new shiney sparkly baby, I jumped at the chance to be their hero.
"Sunday, Monday, or Tuesday?"
Well, that was easy. Monday. Not Sunday, because that's the day before Monday and ought not to be messed with. Not Tuesday, because that's not quite Wednesday or Thursday, and one ought to do one's best to protect oneself on such a day.
So, on Monday I made a big supper- theoretically big enough to feed my own grateful crew plus enough to throw a little philanthropy around.
Except that when I put the fettucine into the dish and began to spoon the chicken and vegetable alfredo over it, I got a bit worried about looking like a stingy generous loving neighbour.
And I couldn't have that now, could I?
So, they got a little more than I thought they really needed.
All two of them, plus the baby. But I couldn't let my church lady persona get tarnished now, could I? Could hardly afford that. Better just cook up a little extra fettucine and stir up some extra white sauce for my own family. Scrimp on the chicken and veggies a bit for my own family now. A hard working, meal-giving gal like me couldn't resent such a little bit of extra effort now, could she?
Get a nice insulating towel to wrap that generous meal up in to keep it warm for those poor parents of one and load myself and my noodles into the van to deliver my good Samaritan meal.
Find the address. Balance the vegetabley and chickeny goodness and apple pie in my arm as I reach out to thoughtfully knock and not ring the doorbell, so as not to waken that poor one little baby. Not only does this thoughtful church woman bring casseroles, she also makes it a practise to not wake sleeping babes. Will wonders never cease?
Someone scampers to the door.
I wait in eager anticipation for that gratitude to make all my stirring worthwhile and gratifying.
I get the blank stare.
"Another one?" he says, sadly lacking in gratitude or awe.
Evidently some other church gratitude snatcher had just been there. Sucking all the available affirmation clear out of this guy. Bringing him and his wifey and mommy of one a delicious hot meal. Probably had a salad too. And garlic toast. Cheese garlic toast even. With real crushed garlic, not some pathetic yellow-ish powder shaken out of a smudgey, gritty spice bottle. And I bet she had time to actually bake her apple pie. Not shove it into a ziploc bag and scribble "@375 for 45 min" on the back of an Autopac envelope decorated with flour and lardy fingerprints. She probably took the time for a shower today. Maybe got to the hairdresser's since August and sprung for a colour and cut. She probably had a nice baby card enclosed with her hot meal. Even a gift for the wee new church member.
Well, I tell you. It gets pretty hard to do some good in this town when all these impossibly perfect people get there before me.
If I'm going to get any credit around here, and maybe a nod for being a pretty darned generous church lady, I'm going to have to do something about those Good Deed Snatchers. Meanwhile, at least me and my large and hungry, but incredibly giving and self-sacrificial family could nibble on some fettucine with the occasional sliver of chicken in it.