It was the Sunday before my Year of Giving Anniversary Celebration on December 14th and I was scrambling to get everything done that I needed to do. I had taken a break from my planning to meet up with a friend of mine who was visiting from Sao Paulo, Brazil. We went to Maggiano’s for lunch and on my way home I stopped by a small coffee shop near my apartment called Filter. Those who have followed the Year of Giving for a long time and have superpower memory might recall that I met Mark from Day 132 there as well.
I was sitting there having an espresso scoping out the café. I really didn’t need a coffee, but I did need to find a recipient and given that it was raining outside I figured that finding someone indoors where it was dry and warm was much more appealing than talking to someone while becoming a human sponge.
I grabbed a seat in the cozy café next to two young ladies who were sitting to my left. There are maybe 10 tables so often times you end up sharing a table with someone else. I didn’t know if they were together or just sharing a table, but figured I would ask the one sitting closest to me. It turned out they weren’t together and Meg, after pulling the earphones from her ears, agreed to accept my money. The other girl at some point seemed bothered by the conversation, or just bummed she didn’t get the ten bucks, and moved.
Meg is a 23-year-old who lives in Takoma Park, MD and came into the city that afternoon to go to a “good coffee shop.” She was reading Wilkie Collins’ 19th century classic epistolary The Moonstone and listening to some music while she waited for her husband JD to arrive. Meg does some really amazing work. She works for an organization that helps resettle refugees from conflict areas such as Somalia, Sudan, DRC, Iraq, Pakistan, etc. “It’s very rewarding,” she said taking a sip of her latte.
Meg and her husband got married this summer and moved here after having met at Oklahoma State University. Now a bunch of my relatives went to OU and I thought that this would be a good thing to mention. Little did I know that you don’t want to tell an Oklahoma State alum that you are partial to OU. We made quick treaty and she went on to tell me that she and her husband had spent time living abroad in Egypt and really enjoyed it. Having lived in Mexico, Spain and Brazil myself, I think the opportunity to live in another country, especially one where they speak another language, is extremely rewarding.
JD arrived covered with beads of rain from the lingering afternoon drizzle. As it turns out he left his wallet in the car and asked Meg if she could buy him a coffee. Meg smiled and slid the ten dollars across the table to her husband.