Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Company We Keep

Dear Company,

Last night was an interesting one. I love sleeping, mostly because I love the rewards of sleep: Dreams!

I had an interesting dream last night about friendships and their impact on our self-esteem and emotional inner-lives.

In my dream I was looking to eat lunch, and sat in a chic bistro/cafe, hoping to get a semi-healthy sandwich to eat. The bistro was full of attractive and well-dressed people, model types, who seemed to be there for some type of photo shoot. I had been sitting for a while, and finally caught the eye of a person behind the bar. As he stood behind the black lacquered bar, in his black button up top, he shouted over the din, "We're not serving food until dinner time. You'll have to come back later." It was only noon, and my rumbling tummy did not want to wait until dinner to be fed! I felt the many eyes of attractive, unconcerned people follow me out the door.

I was still pretty hungry, since I hadn't eaten, and left in search of another place where I could get some vittles. I walked down a tree-lined street, watching the sun filter through the green leaves and a French looking bakery materialized on the side of the street. I walked through polished pine doors, noticed a couple dining in the corner with their friend, and I inhaled the tantalizing scent of fresh baked goods.

Sitting at the counter, I looked over to watch the chef prepare mousses made of red, green, and orange pepper. In real life, I loathe peppers, but in my dream I admired his work and watched him as he did his art of cooking.

The chef told me that peppers were the main ingredient of the day, and that I could order pretty well anything I wanted having to do with peppers. I had to explain to him, regretfully, that I really hated the taste of peppers, and that they gave me indigestion. (This is true in real life!) He was at a loss for how he could feed me. I told him not to worry, that I just liked the smell of his shop, and that I would look around to see if there was anything I could buy to eat.

As I perused, the diners joked with me about my dislike of peppers, and I joked back, and we settled on chatting about the beautiful day. Behind the counter, I noticed a rack of baking. A pinwheel of croissant with parmesean/rosemary butter filling caught my eye, and I asked the chef if I could buy two.

As I was paying, the friend of the diners approached the counter to pay for her own meal, and began chatting with me. She was finished her meal and headed home to finish some work she was doing. Her and I left the restaurant together chatting away, and the couple shouted goodbyes from their tables, saying how beautiful we looked walking under the sunshine.

I felt warm and giddy from that interaction that took place in my dream. When I woke up, the warm feelings were still flooded inside me. And I thought of a simple but often overlooked lesson:

How we feel often depends on the company we keep. People can make us feel awful, if we spend our time with people who want to do that. Alternatively, people can make us feel amazing with a small amount of affection and congeniality.

Not an important post by any stretch, I suppose. Just a little food for thought... Choose your friends wisely. Make sure they love you and treat you in a manner that reflects that.

Warmth and sunshine to you all, despite these rainy days,

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