I’m sure some of you who read this are also fans of This American Life. Always original, never boring. Sometimes sweet, sometimes frightening, almost always enlightening. Well, the bandwidth costs for their podcast are through the roof ($10,000+ a month). Help support it by donating today. Even $1 or $2 will help. And I will mail you a surprise (in your mailbox, with a handwritten and personal thank-you note) if you do. (You’ll have to email me your address though. I’m terribly bad at keeping bits of information like that. I guarantee I don’t have it.)
I had the privilege of attending a wedding reception last week. I was tired, burned out from work. Wasn’t sure I would even really enjoy the experience, but I went, and I’m glad I did. The bride was beautiful, in her mother’s vintage dress, her wavy auburn hair pinned up, veil cascading around her. The groom was handsome, tall, black tux, smiling. I watched from across the room as an older man with a box in his hand, a wrapped gift with a shiny silver bow, walked up to someone and talked to them.
A small thing.
But for some reason, watching this scene, I had a thought about gatherings of people. This man had an Andy-Griffith smile, clapping his friends on the back, making connections with people he maybe hadn’t seen for a while.
Everyone in the room was sharing the experience, getting imprinted with this set of feelings, expressions, connections. Stamped. On their souls. Stamped with the imprint of the smiling man, the lovely bride, the sound of the music, smell of the desserts, the vision of the glowing sunset on temple hill that faded away into the night as they all, one by one, got in their cars and drove away.
I can hear them now.
“So… first I’d like to thank you all for attending this conference call today. We’re here to discuss our core product—chips. People like chips. We all know people like chips, but we need some new ideas. We can’t just make great chips anymore… we need to really distinguish our brand from the other chips on the shelf. Ideas?”
“Well Rob, Chipotle is HOT right now. Why don’t we try some chipotle chips?”
“Chipotle. Great idea, Debbie. I’ll write that one down.”
“You know what Rob, I was just in California last week… people LOVE California.”
“California Chips! That’s great John. Thank you.”
“Ooh! Ooh! You know what else? In California, they like things to be ‘all-natural’. Organic.”
“All-natural. Okay. We can work with that. What else?”
“California creamy chipotle chips?”