Simple Pleasure

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After our very cold photo shoot that didn’t last as long as normal, Julie & I decided to go to the local pizza place for lunch. What a pleasure to walk into a warm restaurant filled with wonderful scents that tickle our very cold noses. The photo above is the pizza baking oven – the pizzas have to be good.

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We ordered the BLT pizza and it was so good I took J there for a date night a few days later. What a simple pleasure to eat good pizza across from the man I have loved for over 50 years.

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When I started this post an old memory was triggered – back when I was working in a Juvenile Diversion program. This was over 35 years ago but I still think about my experience taking a teen to a restaurant for a reward. Janet and I had made a contract that if she went to school for 4 weeks, I would take her out for Coke and french fries. We each kept our end of the bargain.

I think I remember it now because I chose a pizza joint down the road that didn’t have as much atmosphere, as much class, as our Friday Photo Shoot pizza place. It was a basic, small mom & pop establishment. I thought she would feel comfortable there. We walked in, sat down, and she became all flustered. She didn’t know what to do with the silverware wrapped in a paper napkin; she didn’t know how to order when the waitress approached the table. She told me she had only eaten at McDonald’s and wasn’t use to someplace so fancy.

This memory has stayed with me all these years because it illustrates how those of us who are privileged take for granted our simple pleasures of life. It is hard for us to get inside the shoes of those who have a lot less. I grew up without any frills and never remember going out to eat, but my parents acted as if we were middle class. In spite of pretty humble beginnings, I was able to attend two years of college before I got married. In the process I must have forgotten what it was like to not have. It surprised me that she was uncomfortable in a place that I felt was pretty common. I became uncomfortable with my not-quite-upper-middle-class status and I hope I never lose that discomfort. I wish I could do something to shrink the disparity between me and those who have so little. Giving donations to charitable organizations that help the poor just isn’t enough.

I want everyone to be able to enjoy the simple pleasure of sitting down in a restaurant for good pizza after having fun outdoors on a cold December day.