An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

An Italian-American living la dolce vita in the Deep South

Saturday, December 31, 2016

A Panera Adventure which Inspired a New Year's Post

Early this morning I rolled out of bed and decided to surprise everyone with cinnamon crunch bagels from Panera.

This is what I was wearing when I walked out our back door: my pajamas.
Yes, indeed.

My nightgown hung below my coat, but I hoped people would think it was a tunic. I was wearing my pajama leggings, but I slipped on my mukluks in an attempt (a rather feeble one) to go for a ski resort effect, or something. I coiled a scarf around my neck for good measure and wore my biggest pair of sunglasses. My hair was in a ponytail; I hadn’t even looked in the mirror.

The only thing going for me? I was color coordinated with varying shades of black and grey (no lectures, please).

Fifteen minutes later I was walking into Panera and here were my thoughts: Please, God, don’t let me bump into anyone I know. Please, God, don’t let anyone recognize me. Please, God, don’t let a camera-yielding reporter from the Augusta Chronicle be here asking everyone for their New Year’s Resolutions.

And then this happened:

“Welcome to Panera!” boomed the chirpy Panera employee. “Wow! Don’t you look nice and put together this early Saturday morning. I just love your outfit.”

She was totally sincere.

Everyone turned to look at me – EVERYONE – and while my initial reaction was to melt into a puddle of embarrassment, I instead decided to fully embrace the moment by giving everyone my biggest, brightest, most all-inclusive smile. And people smiled back.

I'm back home now, and as I eat my cinnamon crunch bagel and sip my frothy cappuccino, I have decided to put aside my original New Year’s post (which, by the way, was appropriately introspective and nostalgic) and instead go with my Panera Adventure which, as it turns out, yielded some beautiful lessons: life is messy and full of the unknown but that messy and unknown can still be good; that sometimes we need to step out of our head and just be; that many times how we perceive ourselves is not how people see us; and that sometimes we just need to be present in the moment and roll with it.

All lessons that can be resolutions.

And so from someone who is still in her pajamas, I wish everyone a Happy New Year!


Do Not Be Anxious said...

I was at my usual Friday morning men's Bible study session at my local Panera's. Wish I'd been at yours.

Hope you and yours have a blessed 2017

Maria (also Bia) said...

Do Not Be Anxious ...

There were a lot of men in my Panera and now I'm wondering if they were there for a Bible study, too. Happy New Year!