The movie, “Eat, Pray, Love” is getting a lot of attention and it made we wonder which one I do best.
Oh, I can eat. At “all you can eat” Chinese buffets they post my picture at the entrance and when I enter, the owners pull me aside to sternly go over the rules. It’s amazing how slow they talk when losing money is involved. On dates I would quietly tell the woman I was with, “He wanted to make sure we had a good table.”
I once returned to a Mexican buffet and when I walked in, two scared little Mexican kids threw their hands up and ran into the kitchen. Their father walked out a moment later and handed me a large, felt, sombrero loaded with food and told me to just take it and go. I asked, “Are you giving me the hat, too?”
He said, “Si’ Si’, you take all, and please, you a never come back.” Pulling out of the parking lot, I noticed he was still at the door waiting for me to leave. I could swear he had perspiration on his forehead. That date suddenly got a headache and asked to be taken home.
Now “love,” I can look at two ways.
As a teenager I was the red haired kid with personality so I longed for a girlfriend growing up. I had plenty of pretty girl friends that thought I was funny but they hung out to be comforted while they cried about their boyfriend.
Then at twenty, when women wanted a humorous guy, I succumbed to quantity and not quality, possibly to get even or catch up for lost time, so in those cases I wasn’t good at love, or maybe through the years falling in love felt too good. I got married at 45 to the right one.
Now let’s look at “pray.” I’ve had so many ups and downs in my “careers,” that I’ve prayed long and hard. I’d ask for this job or that, often to make more money to try and make ends meet, so I can continue to keep trying. I was stuck on a prayer for a long time in my thirty’s, I called it the “Please Prayer.” I would say an Our Father and then say, “please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please, please,” it went on until I got tired.
I learned to use the power of prayer early in life as an altar boy, but it was a bit deceptive. I was good at it and won awards but not because I had the calling. I looked at it as another way to be on stage. I’d ring the bells. I’d carry the cross. When the priest wasn’t there, I would get on the altar and pretended I was in the movie “The Ten Commandments,” and could part the Red Sea. I would put on the black and white cassock and surplice and extend my arms pretending I was Charlton Heston and summon the Lord.
“Behold the power of God. I am the way, the truth, and the light, and get your paws off me you dirty stinking ape.” OK, I did mesh up the movie dialogue, which made the other altar boys think I was a Looney tune, but it was fun, talking to the Lord directly.
I don’t know which of the three I’m best at but I do know I’ve eaten, prayed and loved with abandon.
I now pray just before I go to sleep. I don’t ask for anything. I’m just grateful I have supper with my wife.