When my husband and I were first dating, we often went to the movies. Our tastes were very different, but we both enjoyed a good comedy and there was almost always one worth seeing. One evening he told me he’d really like to see the new movie, “Grease.” I was a little surprised but went along with his choice. After a quick stop at the snack bar, we settled into our seats and the movie began.
Less than five minutes into it, my husband turned to me with a look of horror on his face. “I think this is a muscial!” he hissed. I agreed that it was. Scowling, he took another bite of popcorn and turned his attention back to the screen. He watched in suspicious silence for a while longer before he began to look even more alarmed. “And it’s a love story!” Given half a chance, I’m sure he would have left the theater there and then. But as far as I was concerned, we’d paid for the movie and hadn’t even made a dent in our soda and popcorn supplies, so we were going to ride it out.
When the movie was over, I asked him how how he liked it. “It wasn’t too bad,” he admitted. “Considering.” I told him that’s exactly what I thought, too. It certainly wasn’t one of my favorite movies, but it was good enough that I’m glad we didn’t walk out.
Fast forward more than forty years to a recent Saturday night when my husband and I decided to go out for dinner. There was a slight chance of rain in the forecast so we considered ourselves lucky that the restaurant had a sidewalk table under a big awning, just in case. We placed our orders and settled back to enjoy the live music coming from a restaurant across the street. All was going well until it started to rain….very, very, hard.
We quickly moved our table as far back from the street as it would go, thinking that would protect us. And it did, for a while. But soon the street in front of the restaurant was covered in water that was also lapping up against the curb. Our waitress asked if we’d like to move inside, but we told her we were fine. (We’re not eating inside restaurants right now.) By the time she came back with our food, the water was beginning to cover the sidewalk as well. Every once in a while a car would venture down the flooded street, creating waves that did reach our table, so we learned to lift our feet whenever we saw one coming.
I know this sounds like a miserable experience, but it really wasn’t. A few other diners had also chosen to stay outside, the servers were all carrying umbrellas to stay dry, and the temperatures were quite comfortable. The atmosphere was almost festive. As I told my husband, “it’s like beach-side dining, without the sand.”
Sometimes in this life, things just don’t turn out the way we had expected. What sounded like a good movie turns out to be a musical love story. What we thought would be a good night for dining outside turns into a night of heavy rains. But if we can just let go of our original plans and simply go with the flow, sometimes things turn out to be just fine. As a wise person once said, “it’s all about attitude.”