How did I end up at I -hop at 3.a.m. having a short stack of pancakes with an Egyptian cab driver?
I am still asking this question myself…
A friend of mine held a celebrity filled charity event this past weekend; and on Monday after the dinner a limo picked us up and took as to a local bar that plays some really good live music. The crowd consisted of my friend of 9 years that held the event, myself, a few beautiful twenty year old girls from Houston; one of which had legs longer than my body, a younger guy that looked just like Prince William, a very wealthy friend of a friend, and a “famous” person who I will not divulge here.
We were having a great time, I was just happy to see my friend and to be a part of this wonderful charity event. I opted to have dinner with friends instead of going to the actual dinner part of the fundraiser. Hard to turn down an invitation to the Palm… I am a sucker for their crab legs that are the length of my arms. And I have long arms!
I love to sit back and observe; so many of my life lessons and general evolution as a person comes from these observations. To me, observations always turn into revelations. Some are right there on the surface and some you have to dig a little deeper, but at the end you will always find a revelation.
So at the beginning of the night when the twenty something girls found out that the “famous” person would be meeting us out they were giddy like little school girls. Which I thought was endearing actually. Yes, this man is very handsome and very nice for that matter. And I am not going to lie and sit here and act like I wasn’t a tiny bit excited to see him. But mine was mostly because I had actually met him almost 9 years ago, just a little bit older than these girls were now. Here I was older, and in my opinion aged like a fine wine. So it was going to be interesting to see if he would recall.
So when we got to the place, I hung downstairs for awhile while the girls and everyone else in the party went upstairs to the private tables. The music was great. By that time I could care less about seeing this man that had the girls flushed in the face with excitement. I watched as the blonde-legs as long as my body- walked up the stairs. I laughed to myself at the conversation I used to have with my sister that made her laugh so hard she had tears falling down her cheeks…
You see, I believe I was meant to be about 6 foot tall; at least 5’10. My upper body is very long and lean. My neck is long, like Nephritides’. My arms are super long. Even the top portion of my legs above the knees, are long. My hamstrings are long. But then, and this is where my sister loves the story, I personally think God went out on a smoke break before finishing the rest of me. Lost track of what he was creating maybe? Because when he came back he gave me the calves of a 5’6 person. So what we are left with is an almost 5’7 girl. Who with heals becomes 5’10… I love my legs; I just don’t get it, that’s all.
Anyway, let me get to my observation. The ladies that were giddy and flushed were upstairs with the man they were salivating for. I was downstairs not giving a rip. So when I finally got upstairs the man making the girls hot and bothered came straight for me. We talked and he said a lot, that I won’t go into here. But I sat back and made the observation that these girls that were ten years younger than me and stunningly beautiful had not yet learned what I, sitting there observing, finally have learned.
It had nothing to do with looks or age or 10 mile long legs. It had to do with owning your power; a confidence that you can’t fake or act like you have. It is a confidence that comes with the realization of what you are made of, through pain and triumph. It is confidence that comes with the cellulite making friends with your ass and total self acceptance that comes with that. It has to do with how you take life and its lessons and whether or not you allow those lessons to deepen you and as I said earlier, age you like a fine wine.
Now, do I still get nervous and giddy? Yeah! Sometimes I do, like with the man I have written about before in my posts… so I am not sitting up here on my high horse saying I have the confidence thing down to a science. But on this night, I just happened to be the top of my game.
So by the end of the evening that man had given me his cell number, his home number, his office number, his assistant’s number and I had given him not one of mine. He was inviting everyone back to his home and wanting me in particular to drive with him and his driver. I decided then that I was going to walk away from it all and go home!
I got outside and was happy to breathe the fresh air. I flagged down a taxi and got in the front. Why? You know I have no idea now that I come to think of it. It was a van and I just jumped in the front. As soon as I heard the driver’s accent I knew he was Arabic so I spoke to him the little that I know. I have been to Egypt several times and all times stayed for at least two months. I have picked up a bit and can understand a lot more than I can speak. The driver was so thrilled to have someone who has been to Egypt as he was born in Alexandria. He truly was joyful, being he was driving a cab in the south and I am sure doesn’t get to reminisce about his home land with too many Americans.
It was then he joyfully proclaimed, “You must eat with me now!”
To some, this may have been the craziest offer ever made to them. But the beautiful thing about the Middle Eastern culture that I embrace is their open hearted hospitality and the way a meal connects and bonds those who are partaking of it. It is a way that they come together and show respect and gratitude. And it is beautiful.
So I drove with this Egyptian cab driver to I-Hop where we both had the short stack of pancakes and spoke of where our cultures are going and how better to love and honor each other.
After we were through he dropped me to the valet of the hotel so I could get my car. Wouldn’t you know my friend was standing outside on his cell phone? At 4 a.m. – he said, “Where have you been? Come with me to the house so I don’t have to drive alone.” The house being the man I spoke of earlier.
So we drove, laughing about the night and I was glad to be with my dear friend. He truly makes me laugh and has always, always been there for me through the years. We got to the man’s house and sat talking with him until the sun came up. I was a little startled when the birds began singing and I tried to recall the last time I was up when the sun was rising. I can’t remember the last time. But the conversation was nice and by that time it was just the three of us. I told my friend that I couldn’t keep my eyes open or speak for another moment so with that we said our goodbyes.
On the drive home we both enjoyed the beautiful start of morning and how the hills and trees all around seemed to be singing as loud as the birds. Just with a different language.
I was up one and a half hours later to start my day!
I could never make it as a rock star!
There you have it! How I came to eat a short stack of pancakes with an Egyptian cab driver all the while about to watch the sun come up from the deck of a man that made the girls swoon all night. Me, my dear friend and this man sitting silent watching the sun make its grand entrance… all three of us secretly wishing the other would be the first to give into the exhaustion and say let’s go! I decided to let them off the hook and be the one to give in- the fragile woman needing to go home and go to sleep :)