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Monday, February 02, 2009

It's Tough to be a Do-Gooder When Someone Beats You To It

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.



Roo said...

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!! well! i tell you joyce anne (i don't know where the "anne" came from but i felt i HAD to write it) i would have been JUMPING into your arms had you arrived at my door post looking like that.

AND i also absolutley LOVE IT when people give me unbaked apple pie ;) that i have to bake myself because that means the pie will be extra hot and extra fresh and extra amazing as well. mmmmmmmmmm. seriously. unbaked is the best ever.

!!!!!!! do you guys need extra food? we have cold speghetti leftover from supper yesturday. come on down!


Judy said...

Joyce, could you BE any more real???

Anonymous said...

That was sweet! Carol

Karla said...

I'd take your meal in a heartbeat... I'd even lick the yellow-ish garlic powder clear off the bread and slurp those noodles off my plate with sheer delight and gratitude.

"Another one?" Give me a break.

jb said...

i can say from personal experience (from the not too distant past) that i would've welcomed 2 meals with open arms.

i love food that much. :)

and i would've said something like, "wow, 2 meals? for me? judy braun? how could i be so lucky?"

svea said...

sweet joyce your meal was truely a blessing I am sure. If i may speak for the sleep deprived, lacking in exuberant appreciation young couple, THe dear mom broke into tears at her shower on Sunday expressing appreciation for the meals they were getting, though she also mentioned that they were almost crazy with exhaustion, And as someone who coordinated meals for quite a while I say a huge Thank you for taking the time to make that yummy meal, and hope your family did not go hungry. I echo Ruths invite we have leftover rice and potstickers here if you get the munchies, and you will ALWAYS be greeted with heartfelt excitement! big hugs to you!

joyce said...

ok... You guys do know that I'm KIDDING, right?

I mean, the part about there being two suppers is true... But there being any deep seated resentment and disgust?!

Come ON, people!!
(there goes my church reputation again.... Darn.)

Jenn said...

Great story Joyce!

gloria said...

i didn't get a meal *pouts*

p.s. verification word is "saine"... yeah right!

svea said...

sweet cheeky friend I must say my feelings might have been slightly bruised if i had been in your shoes, but you are a trooper with tougher skin than that, you just told your tale with such dramatic poeticism that it evoked all these mommy emotions in me, maybe i took your fabulous story to heart, blame it on the preggo hormones ( still got 4 months to do that so i got to use it up) btw notice i am totally commited to you site meter , second visit of the day and the girls just went to bed. =)

gophercheeks said...

Hahaha Too funny Joyce! I thought the cold winter air has contributed to split personality disorder??!

My split is in Mexico right now... munching on salsa and Sol! True story!

joyce said...

ah, Svea. I spent the better part of the afternoon worrying that I'd been too cheeky....You are sweetness incarnate. In any case, I'm obliged to bring you double meals thrice daily after writing such a sarcasm-loaded piece and having your pregnant self subjected to it.
The poor guy did look exhausted. And I remember well that ONE teeney, tiny (even ten lb is teeney tiny) lump of body parts can absolutely and overwhelmingly wear two full grown adults OUT.

Never mind meals. We ought to bring boobies on a tray.
Now THAT would be service.

Linda said...

If that were me...I would have mixed up the 2 meals I made and would have been horrified that my family got the most chicken.