Now that you’ve been introduced, I can tell you an Ana story.
One year, quite a few yeas back, I was having one of those down periods … life was ruined, everything sucked, you know the story. It was Christmas time, end of the semester, which for an educator can be a difficult time because just when everyone else is decompressing (and expecting you to do so as well) the work load is actually maxing out. Some of the people I worked with were driving me nuts mainly because, well, these people were themselves nuts. It had been cold and snowy, and the snow falls had happened at the worst times, so everyone’s cars were smushed from fender benders, and tensions were high. Unwelcome relatives were visiting. For Christmas, all my so called fiancee gave me was a hard time. Even the dog was looking at me funny. I had the South Minneapolis Blues.
Then one morning, the sun was shining and and I was laying in bed wondering what that sound was outside. I had the sense that someone had pulled up, car still running, and gone up on the porch. But I didn’t think much of it. In that (wonderful) neighborhood, it could have been somebody looking for a place to sleep, or it could have been the neighborhood association leaving off important literature about our next subversive meeting regarding community gardens. Later on, I went downstairs and saw footsteps through the snow leading to (and from) the porch. When I opened the door, there was a package about 30 x 30 x 18 cm. in size. Since the Unibomber was already in prison, I didn’t hesitate to open it.
Inside the package, very carefully arranged amidst various appropriate packing materials, was a collection of about 200 tiny cookies representing no fewer than 12 distinct varieties. A disparate diversity, in abundance, of cookie forms. And a note. “Merry Christmas. My mom and I just made these. Enjoy. Love, Ana.”
There were a lot of people hanging around the house that week that I wish were not there, that I did not enjoy being with, that I did not care for and who did not care for me. I shared the cookies with them. Every time one of them ate a cookie I thought “Somebody who loves me made that cookie. For me. And it’s going to make you fat.”
That was not the beginning of our friendship. Nor was that necessarily the best story. But it was about cookies, so I thought you should know.