That’s me, practicing my New Year’s resolution. In the last year I’ve had more than a few opportunities to find out I was wrong when I was sure, SURE, I was right. Mostly it hasn’t been a big deal, but lately, it’s occurred to me that I might be becoming a Little-Miss-Know-it-All. I don’t want to be her. So, I better do something about it now or it’ll creep on like extra pounds that get harder and harder to shake off.
See, I think we become more of who we are as time passes. If we aren’t working on ourselves, rigidness becomes more rigid, sloppiness more sloppy, crankiness more cranky. And the opposite happens too. Gentleness becomes more gentle, generosity more generous, funniness more funny, happiness more happy (of course these are the ones we hope for, but you’ve got to work at them).
But it didn’t bode well for me a few weeks ago when, four times in one day, I got in “discussions” about things I thought I was right about and found out I was wrong about. Completely wrong. The specifics aren’t important here. Oh. They are to you? Well, here’s an example.
Server at Decarli: “Compliments of the house. Octopus.”
A few moments of Bill and I and three dear cousins eating said octopus, which was really yummy as everything is at Decarli.
Me: “Yum, I love calamari.”
Bill: “It’s actually not calamari. It’s octopus.”
Me: “Right. But it’s also called calamari.”
Another person at the table: “Calamari is squid, this is octopus.”
Me: “This is calamari. See all those squiggly things?”
Another person at the table: “Jackie, it’s NOT calamari.”
Me: “Well, maybe they call both of them calamari when it’s fixed like this.”
And yet another person at the table: “Here’s our server, let’s ask.”
Me: Nodding. I’m sure I’ll be right.
Server: “No, calamari is squid. This is octopus.
Me: “Oh. Well, it looks exactly like calamari.”
This wasn’t the first time last year that I strongly argued a point and found out I was wrong. And even with the evidence, I had a hard time saying I was wrong. Of course, we all do that once in awhile, but four times in one day? The part that bothers me is that I spent time with people I loved arguing things that didn’t really matter. And for some reason that night, having those four sweet faces looking at me at that lovely dinner, me having taken our time to argue a silly thing, was like having a mirror turned on me. I saw it. I had become Little-Miss-Know-it-All, WRONG-Little-Miss-Know-it-All. That night, I decided it is time to pay more attention to my humility and curiosity. That’s what I’d like to become more of as time goes by. Curious. Humble. So for the past two weeks, I’ve been using these words more: “I didn’t know that.” “I was wrong.” “Oh. Okay.” What I like best about it is that it feels sort of freeing, not to have to know.
Not all meals at Decarli Restaurant offer me these big moments. But all of them are good. Wonderful food in a beautiful setting. In Beaverton, Oregon. I’m especially fond of the chicken, the braised short ribs with spaetzle, the beet salad, the polenta fries, and the cinnamon ice cream.