Monday, October 19, 2009

She Thinks I'm Real

Just wanted to relate a quick story. I'm reading a book right now about the nature of acceptance, particularly as it relates to our everyday thoughts and actions.In particular, the book talks a lot about the impact of seeing ourselves as lesser than or negating our presence in the world. The author tells a story about a little girl going out to eat at a restaurant with her parents. She tells the waitress exactly what she wants (a cheeseburger), to which her dad replies that she will not be having that and proceeds to order something different for her. The waitress at first seems to consent, writing down what the dad orders, before turning to the girl and asking what she wants on her cheeseburger. As the waitress walks away, the little girl triumphantly says, "She thinks I'm real!"

I love that story. I don't know about you, but I can definitely relate to the sensation of feeling unreal in so many situations. Sometimes it takes the input of others to understand our own authenticity. Isn't it really exciting in those rare instances where you can feel that connection between yourself and another person? When, for lack of a better phrase, they think you're real? I get chills just thinking about it.


  1. I like this story and get what you're saying, but I have to respond on a very literal level that, as a parent, I'd be incredibly pissed if a waitress disregarded what I wanted to order for my kid and just did what the kid said. What if she wanted something unhealthy and I wanted her to eat veggies? Or she ordered something off the regular menu and I knew she couldn't eat more than the kids' menu size? My problems with the particulars of this story are distracting me from its message.

  2. Meg, I think this is the difference between being a parent and not: identifying with the kid in this scenario. Someday I'll get to your healthy place!

    Sometimes I hate writing because when I read that, it sounds snarky. I am not being snarky.

  3. My husband and I had an animated and self-righteous conversation about how we would call the manager over and make a big stink if a waitress pulled that business with us. "I hope she doesn't think we're paying for that!" was uttered by one of us. "Uh-UH!" said the other.

    Now, change the story so that it's a woman out on a date with some boor who tries to change her order, and I am 100% behind you.