Second Annual New Year’s Revelations

After the most challenging year of my life, here is what is on my mind….

I would rather sleep soundly than get the last word in and later toss and turn regretting my sassiness.  There is no real reward in being a comeback queen.

I have been thinking a lot about friendship.  I think that people throw that word around too much.  Once someone told me that a certain famous actor was his friend.  When that celebrity came into my last cafe, I said, “Oh, we have a mutual friend.”  He didn’t recognize the person’s name.  Hmm.  Sometimes someone will call Adama and request something from Marsha or one of the servers, and tag on the words, “I am a friend of Deeahna.” We can discern those pretty easily, since my name apparently presents a challenge. If you don’t know how to pronounce it, reasonable to assume we are not friends, at least not by the definition that I am about to put forth.

I think that a person is like a parcel of land.  This parcel might have on it several houses. Some of them are old, solid, with tall, century-old trees and might even be a little haunted, at least in appearance.  Some are not quite as old.  If you are my age, the old ones might be 50 years old, and if you are invited in, childhood trauma awaits you.  Another one might be only half that age, and house all of the highs and lows of my marriage and divorce.  I think a lot of them are built in our teen years.  Also on this parcel of property, there are empty plots of land. These can be surrounded by fences, have no trespassing signs posted, or ones that state “danger-mine field.”  And a few are just open meadows. Anyone can walk through.  Access to these houses and plots is either granted by the owner, or acquired by shared experiences.  If we grew up together, you might have the key to the really old ones because you were there. Or I might just open the door and let you in.  The degree to which someone is a friend has to do with the access that has been granted by the owner and by what you then do with that access.  If you understand where the mine fields are and know enough to tread lightly….friend.  If I open some of those doors and draw the curtains for you, and you respond in turn…..friend.  But if you are just walking around the public access areas, or if you are jumping around the land mines with little care, or if you keep walking through the doors I open but never open any doors of your own, well, we simply know of each other. Personally, I look for the people that, when I give them the key, I can trust them with the contents of the house.  And those people know that the no trespassing signs do not apply to them. The degree to which someone is another person’s friend has to do with how many keys are held and how many of the houses, including the dark corners of the old, scary ones, you have walked around in, and maybe even helped to tidy up.

Guilt or Gelt

Today I went to Trader Joe’s to make a few purchases, among them some kind of dark chocolate to use for Hanukkah gelt.  I put a few blocks of chocolate in my cart, planning on breaking them up and wrapping the pieces in foil.  I advertised “cutthroat” dreidl and I need to be ready.  Then I spied some dark chocolate-covered almonds and thought that they would serve my purpose with less work.  But I forgot to take the bars out of the cart, so I had to go back and return them, right after I left.  For some reason I felt the need to explain to the two checkers, and when one of them failed to understand, the other one explained.  “She is using them for guilt.”  “No”, I said, “gelt.  Vegan gelt.  You know, like the chocolate coins wrapped in foil.”  “Oh, we used to carry those.”  “Yes, but they were milk chocolate, so I couldn’t have used them anyway.” “Well, we have some gluten-free cookies.”

I’m sorry.  I will admit that I didn’t say anything, just looked at him with a “you’re kidding me, right?” look and walked out wondering what the gluten-free cookies were going to do for the animal kingdom.

Roller Coasters

It was slow yesterday.  I wish that I knew what each day at Adama held in store for us. Even as a child I never liked roller coasters.  I remember getting off one at the St Nick’s Annual Fair and my brother having to win me a stuffed animal to stop my tears. For my children, Papi was the one who was in charge of visits to amusement parks. They talked me into Magic Mountain once, and got me on a roller coaster that went backwards.  I was sick for three days.  I struck up a conversation with an old school mate last year.  In one message he claims to think about me every day.  Then I don’t hear from him for weeks. Like me or don’t, pay attention to me or don’t, want to see me or don’t.  But don’t ask me to take a roller coaster ride with you. Not the literal kind, nor the figurative emotional kind.  I had a boyfriend who always kept me guessing.  When I got myself off of that roller coaster, suddenly he couldn’t live without me, loved me more than any woman he had ever loved including his ex-wife, and begged me to tell him what he could do. But I was done.  After him, I have tried to make a point of being intentional about letting those I love know it. There are too many ups and downs that are uncontrollable.  I have no idea whether we will serve 20 people today, or 200.  But I want love to be a given.

Sweet Tooth

I have a sweet tooth.  Actually, teeth.  I have gained about 6 lbs. since we opened.  I mean, I have to control the quality of the items in the bakery case, no?  If not me, then who? Sometimes the restaurant is a cruel taskmaster, but I have come to the conclusion that no matter what curve balls life throws in my direction, if I can munch my way through them, I am good.  However, nothing in my closet fits, so something has to give. One thing that I would like to see change is the amount of peace that I have with my body.  It needs a break from my constant criticism.  If it had its own will apart from mine, it would have abandoned me a long time ago because of all the nagging.  My mother used to tell me that what was fat about me was my head.  She meant my perception.  We used to do the master cleanse together, but a few days in, I would eat cookies on the sly.  I think she did, too, but we didn’t want to ruin the other’s inspiration.  Even when I was what I can recognize now as undeniably thin, my poor body never got a rest from complaint. I have looked at old photos of myself and wondered who that skinny woman was until I realized it was me. I think its time to embrace my body, endearingly call it “voluptuous” and eat a cookie.


I never want to be the kind of person who jumps around with joy and feels awash in blessings from above when things go “my” way, and later whines when they don’t.  If you trust that your needs are known when they are being met in a recognizable way, then just plainly trust.  Period.

Its so easy when Adama has a night of customers cozying into the booths and nooks, ordering drinks, and exclaiming over desserts, to feel like we have arrived and its smooth sailing from here on in.  That was last night.  Tonight, though, I have already sent one server and the bartender home, and had plenty of time to linger over dinner and chat with my son.  I have a couple of times in my life had bills that I knew would take some creativity on my part to get paid.  But this is the first time in my life that I come to the end of my funds weekly and wonder if the whole thing is going to crash down on me.  And, yes, its a little daunting, but there is something about coming to the end of your own resources that opens your life to miracles.

Getting Started

I am a writer.  I am not claiming to be a good one, but I am one.  I got a message from one of my siblings once, after having read a post of mine on the Adama fb page.  It was a comment telling me that other restaurant pages don’t contain comments of such a personal nature.  For good or for bad,  I have always at least taken into consideration the input of this occasional self-appointed editor of my life, and so I immediately stopped being as publicly open with my heart, not wanting to potentially harm my very new venture.

I have only read one book by Stephen King.  I generally avoid that genre, as it tends to stay with me for a long time.  The book I read of his was called, “On Writing.”  Apparently he would just as soon stop breathing as stop writing, and although I am not that kind of writer, the written word has always been my chosen form of expression.  I highly recommend that book; his story is inspirational on many levels, if none other than to witness the love, respect, and devotion he has for his wife.  I loved that it wasn’t a “make it big and trade her in” kind of story.

So while other business owners might not wear their hearts on their collective sleeves, this blog will be the window to mine.