This week's big adventure came simply from listening to KCRW, my very favorite local radio station. I was in my car the other day, listening to the incessant pledge drive, which, oddly, is something I find entertaining because during the course of asking for donations, they are offering incentives, mostly free dinners at various restaurants around LA. So for me, it's a great way to hear about all sorts of restaurants I've never been to.
I hadn't even considered donating, but when I was almost home, a dinner for two at Pace was announced and, suddenly, I wanted to donate and become a member! Dinner at Pace! One of the best restaurants and it's just down the road from me and oh how I would love to go there compliments of Pace itself. Of course, since I refuse to be on the phone when driving, I decided to call in when I pulled up to my place, as I was only a couple of minutes away. Then, the DJ announced a dinner at L'Oteria, and we know how I love that restaurant! I was so excited because I figured I couldn't go wrong. One of those would certainly still be up for grabs in a minute.
I pulled up to my building and called the radio station and the phone volunteer answered by saying, "What do you want?" And I was so confused and just sort of like, "Ummm…?" And she repeated, "What do you want?" So, I said rather slowly, "I want to make a donation?" And she set the record straight when she asked me with a bit more clarity, "Did you have a giveaway that you were interested in taking?" Then I got all excited and said, "Pace!" And she said it was already taken. I was prepared though, and said, "Ok, then, L'Oteria!" And she informed me that it was claimed already as well but that she had a couple of other choices.
What? I didn't even understand. I mean, I've been listening to this pledge drive for the greater portion of a week and they sound so desperate to get donations and get rid of these gifts and it feels like they're just hanging on by a thread and needed me and I would get whatever in the world I wanted if only I'd call! Not so. Not so.
I was pretty bummed out, after having been all set to donate and get a wonderful free dinner out of it at one of my favorite places. But I know how life operates and I decided those were just not the ones for me. Something even more perfect would come up in the future. I told the volunteer I'd call back sometime, because I didn't want free dinner at just any restaurant, I wanted it to mean something to me.
It took two more commutes for something to come up that appealed to me again, but when dinner at Farfalla was announced, I knew I had to have it. I haven't even been to Faralla here, but suddenly I was back in Aspen, where Farfalla used to be, with my family. We always went there. We always went to a lot of restaurants, but that was a staple and it was always so fun to get dressed up and have that long Italian meal surrounded by the sweet warmth of my family. And that made me so happy, that thought, that memory.
Unfortunately, I was stuck in my car again on my way to work, and I was thinking, you're just gonna have to let this one go. But, I seriously couldn't. I kept mulling it over, thinking, that's it, though, that's the place you're supposed to go, there's some reason and you've got to find out.
So I pulled over into some unfamiliar neighborhood on the fly and called in and asked if Farfalla was still available, and the volunteer said that it wasn't but gave me other options and I told her that it was all right and thanks anyway but I'd just try again some other time. She was bidding me good bye, and I was feeling deflated and kind of even sad because that one felt so right, and I know she heard it in my voice, when all of a sudden, I hear this frantic, "Wait, wait! It's available! Don't hang up!"
Yes! That's how your'e supposed to work, life! There's the kismet I know and love.
And it was so cute because she was so happy, too. She understood how much it meant to me and neither of us even knew why, but we were in it together, celebrating.
I was so excited, and, also, unexpectedly, so happy to become a member of my local radio station, like I became a true citizen of this city because I own part of KCRW, that I even said I'd do a confessional. So I got to leave this message that they would air at some point and it was very enthusiastic, especially about how thrilled I was about my dinner. And I got off the phone and smiled.
And I know it's such a simple little story, and that I can go to dinner anywhere I want at any time, but something about the whole experience felt really meaningful to me. Somehow, it illuminated how I've continued to nestle myself ever more in the arms of LA. And that it's embracing me with so much love and splendor, always.
And it also reinforced, on a small scale, that I really believe in what happens. I continue trusting and everything truly does seem to occur with a purpose and, eventually, I always get to find out why. Because every small detail, even free dinners and the shared jubilation with pledge drive volunteers, does matter. And all of life would not be without the tiniest of its components, so I do make it a point to honor that and revel in them.