Recently we met our neighbours George and Bobbie from Maine. We are all of an age. They kindly invited us to breakfast with them at their place this morning. The day began under gloomy weather – in addition to bearing the reserve befitting a Sunday – all of which suited me well. Otherwise I might have resented missing a moment of sunshine or my constitutional morning bicycle ride (a deprivation I happily endured because I recognize the need for a break from my exercise routine which is beginning to affect me adversely).
As a culinary precaution I suppose our hosts warned us in advance of the proposed fodder; namely, eggs, lox and onions, bagels, cream cheese and strong coffee. They hadn’t mentioned the accompaniments of orange juice, fresh strawberries and blueberries as well as pure peanut butter and sweet butter. This concoction was for us a syllabus from heaven! Nor were we in the least disappointed!
The rendezvous was scheduled to begin at 9:30 am. Our apartment is immediately next door to theirs. We managed to be on time – critically without observing the social snobbery of being late by precisely ten minutes. I am reminded of the quip from my erstwhile acquaintance L. C. Audette, QC, OC, “Being late is an insult to the host and an outrage to the chef!“
It is pleasant to descend into casual chatter on these occasions, immersed as we were in the intimacy of four at table and the comfort of their dining room overlooking Sarasota Bay. We had removed any possible political abrasion by earlier having settled our inclinations in that regard. What remained was the wealth of prattle surrounding family, friends and real estate upon all of which matters we successively touched. I confess to perpetual amazement at parents of multiple children; it has to be a commitment and undertaking of indisputable volatility, quite apart from the worry and expense. Nonetheless they appear to have survived largely unscathed though I suspect part of George’s seeming casualness is a learned talent. I can only assume that to react differently to the characters of four growing boys would be inopportune or badly timed at best.
The four of us undoubtedly brought to the table an equal variation of ingredients. Yet there persisted a commonality. As the French are wont to enquire, “Quelle est votre perspective?” which is to say, not “What do you do or think?” but rather “How do you look at it?” Accordingly each one of us contributed to the colloquy an individual view but a shared observation.