If you come into Crate & Barrel and I end up helping you, you are going to get a conversation. Most likely. Unless I can tell that you really don’t want to talk. Like if you keep your sunglasses on the whole time that you are in the store and remain on your cell phone. But I LOVE talking to customers who are willing to talk. I’m so curious about their stories.
A woman came in to Crate & Barrel this past week to buy some new placemats and napkins, and I struck up a conversation with her as I rang up her items. She had an accent that I could not place. I found out she was having a dinner party but did not know what she was cooking yet. I asked her if she liked to cook, and she said, “Oh yes!” That told me that I did not need to give her any recipe suggestions…she clearly has more experience with these things than I do. I kept talking, telling her that I used to like to cook, but just haven’t lately. She at me quizzically and asked me why. I told her I was just so tired of cooking for myself, that it was so much easier to stand at the counter and eat chips and salsa and maybe some cheese than to sit down. I asked her if she cooked and sat down at the table even if it was just her. She very emphatically said, “Oh yes! I am French! It is a time of rest!” I told her that I had loved learning about French culture in high school and college…how they took time out of their days to really linger over the table. She took the opportunity to advise me…and told me that I needed to start small…but with a big plate. She said to get some fresh lettuce and a few vegetables and make a beautiful salad. To sprinkle on some cheese and add some meat. And be sure to put it on a big plate. Even if you use smaller portions, put them on a big plate. The plates are part of the beauty. Get a placemat and sit down at the table, she said. She’s going to be coming back to give me more tidbits of advice every once in a while. At least that’s what I suggested she do.
So, today, I began. This is me daring greatly. I cooked my own steak for the very first time ever.