I don’t often get to be the passenger in a car, so getting to sit on the right side of a vehicle today was a nice change of pace. As my sweetie maneuvered us along the freeway, I took the opportunity to gaze out the window, and allowed my attention to drift and rest wherever it wanted.
People watching is very pleasurable to me; as our auto passed a variety of vehicles, I peered for a few seconds into the lives of other passengers. College kids driving solo, young parents chatting while their babies slept in the back, older parents staring straight ahead while their children watched a movie, military men and women caravanning to their post, professional truckers hauling loads of various shapes and sizes….all of us in such different places in our lives, driving with such different purposes and intentions – yet all sharing the same road.
Anyway. As my sweetie passed a semi, I looked up at the cab (like I nearly always do), and the driver noticed my gaze. I smiled – and this man literally did a huge double-take. It was as if no other person on the road had ever smiled at him before – and it was awesome to witness this big, burly, craggy older man immediately soften, simply by me sharing a very small (yet obviously very powerful) action. Wow. Cool.
An hour later, my sweetie and I arrived at his parent’s house. A yummy dish was simmering in a crock pot, and I mentioned that whatever was cooking smelled delicious. My MIL informed me that the dish was a vegetarian chili; then she corrected herself and said, “Well, it’s actually vegan.”
A few minutes later, she pulled out a cookbook to make biscuits – and I was so touched when I saw it:
I have recently begun consuming a 100% vegan diet – but no one else in the family is vegetarian, much less completely animal-free. To see my MIL make such an effort to not only respect my dietary choices, but to proactively make food options that allowed me to be included in the family meal, was incredibly touching to me.
It was my turn to be so surprised by another person’s thoughtful actions that I had no other choice but to smile broadly and spontaneously – which I absolutely did.