Mango martinis & QR codes — #ChoosingAResponseToChange

Part of vacation is eating out – or maybe part of vacation for me, is eating out.  Some of that is probably because I didn’t most of the last year and a half, so I feel like I have some catching up to do.  The first nice restaurant I went to I discovered the change . . . at the table was a little sign that said kindly and factually, for the menu, use your phone camera to scan the QR code and then open the menu in your browser to decide what you want.  Bada-yada-blah-ba-deebah.  That was my first thought. And then really, I mean Really, I mean REEEEEEEALLLY???  The nice wait staff came over, and perhaps it was the look on my face or my general appearance of being over a certain age, but she smiled and asked if I would like a paper menu.  If you know me well, you can guess what I said . . . “Why of course not, this will work marvelously, and yes, I am on vacation and would like to start with a Mango Martini that you have on special tonight, thank you very much.”  No, I’ve never had a Mango Martini before thanks for asking, but in that moment when I realized I was not about to let the challenge of my age and lack of technological prowess be known by someone who sensed the whole QR code thing was NOT my cup of tea, it seemed a Mango Martini was exactly what I needed.

I scanned the QR code which, as you know, is a box of gibberish located on nearly everything as it has been for years that I have ignored continuously.  I told someone at the beginning of the QR code mania, I sorta believed that little box of unintelligible weirdness might be demon-speak.  I think some part of me probly existed during the pre-enlightenment period.  So I open the menu in my browser on my phone, and I’m sorry, but even with tri-focals, really???  So of course I use those two fingers to enlarge it on my touch screen which means I only see two or three items at a time and the sentences of description in fragments for me to swipe back and forth to get the full understanding.

Seriously, how OLD do I sound right now?  I’m simply being honest.  I get it.  The realization that handing a hundred people the same menu throughout the day is a sanitization nightmare, and that making paper copies simply reduces the forests that I love to walk through except for ticks.  And I will get used to reading menus on my phone I’m sure, but I had to have my moment of “the stupid pandemic even changed my eating out at extremely nice restaurants tooooooo????”

While I was still making my way through the miniscule print on the touchscreen of my phone, the MM came and I took a big swig quite proudly like I’m used to this sort of thing.  The nice wait staff asked if I liked it, and I said it depends, was it shaken and not stirred?  To which she looked at me in total puzzlement and said she could ask the bartender.  I smiled and said she probably was not a James Bond fan, to which she smiled that young person smile, cleared her throat politely, and said she’d be back to take the order.  What she would like to have said?  O.k., boomer.  Have you seen those commercials where the guy is offering self-help training classes to not become your parents?  Yeah, that.

I did get something ordered that was quite tasty, said a rational no to another MM, though honestly?  It was dangerously good.  And then as you might guess, she pointed to the little machine on the table for the ticket and payment.  I left cash for the tip – some things I will stay old school until actual cash and coins are no longer a thing.

I wonder sometimes if I would have been one of those people in Jesus’ day that would have been like, “there are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day,” about a woman who had been disabled for 18 years.  To which Jesus reminded them that they fed and watered their animals on the Sabbath (also work), “so should not this woman . . . be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?”  And he called them hypocrites, you know, the whole do as I say, not as I do syndrome. (Luke 13:10-17)

Here’s what I know –  I do not want to become a grumpy and negative human about every change that happens that means I need to learn and get used to something new.  And by the way, I do not believe becoming grumpy and negative is by definition chronologically age related.  I believe it’s a perspective we can allow to creep up on us if we are not careful about how we choose to live and see life on a day to day basis.  Do I choose joy, or expect something bad?  Do I give thanks, or do I more easily list everything that did not go my way?  Do I laugh at myself when I hear those “shaken not stirred” references in my head and out of my mouth, and then be glad I knew James Bond very early in my life when Sean Connery played him?  Do I decide that there are new entertainment heroes worthy of watching while being grateful that I have others to look back on as well?  We all have choices how to move into the tomorrows that come into reality each day.  We probably cannot authentically be joy-filled for ourselves, others, and all the things every day, but maybe we can be more often than not, and that’s enough.

If you happen to go to a place where they are serving mushroom ravioli in a white cream sauce and one and only one Mango Martini and only if it’s not detrimental to your spiritual or physical health, tell the wait staff your pastor sent you and that yes, our congregation at Grace is just that fun and NOT grumpy or cantankerous, o.k. at least mostly not grumpy, about change. Maybe in the intersection of real life with real faith, we’ll make a real connection.  I’d love to say that for more information, scan the QR code at the bottom of this blog, but I still have NO idea what they are or how they come to be . . . #QRnotnoramI, #QRlessandjoyfull!  And no, I have no idea if that’s how hashtags work or if they’re even supposed to be in blogs.  But maybe I’m getting closer . . .