Dinner with the president

This is the scene where something amazing happened! Let me tell you about it…

What do you do when someone seemingly out of the blue does something really nice for you? Are you like me and you spend the next few minutes hours days months going over the situation piece by piece and wondering what exactly you did that convinced that person that you were worth it? Do you just say Thank you and go about your day? Is it something in between? It’s always so amazing to me when something awesome happens to me and it makes me kind of sad that it surprises me…

Anyway, maybe I should go about telling you what happened and then we can revisit this topic afterwards.

So this particular instance happened in France (though another one just happened to me this week and it is currently consuming all my thoughts with amazed wonder about what I did to deserve it… :-/). To get to the instance, you need a little back story. So I have this friend F. I met her last year when she was doing her post doc here in Boulder but now she has a fancy industry job in her home country of France. A few weeks before I went to Paris, we got to talking about whether she would be around while I was there and it turned out she would only be around for my very first day. It turned out to be really awesome to hang out with her then because I was totally culture shocked/jetlagged/tired from talking about my project with my boss by the end of that first day. We met up at the institute where I was working and it was so great to see a familiar face (I guess besides my boss…). She took me on a mini walking tour of that area of Paris and then took me up the Montparnasse Tower, which is HUGE and has this crazy fast elevator that takes you to the top. At the top we got to pose for a cute picture (they green screened in Paris behind us) and now I am sad we didn’t buy it (even though they wanted a lot of money for it). ANYWAY. At the top of the tower, you can see ALL OF PARIS. It was a great thing to do on my first day because I could see everything I had only heard about or seen on maps previously. Sooooo cool!

I tried to take a panorama from the top of the tower! Look at that Eiffel Tower dwarfing all the other buildings around it!
F and a jetlagged Potassium at the top of the tower with the Eiffel Tower in the background.

After we got down from the tower (elevators were not so fun going back down… there was much ear popping), we walked to a restaurant to get crêpes. They were kind of amazing. Like the best crêpes I had ever had. F told me that they are specific to the part of France called Bretagne (or Brittany for us English speakers) and she ordered their cider for me to try. It was AMAZING and totally ruined any cider I could ever have here… Anyway, it was a really great day and I am so happy I got to see F.

Fast forward to a week later when Cobalt arrived, I suggested we go to crêpes for dinner. We headed towards the Montparnasse tower and then I dragged Cobalt up and down a few streets trying to find the restaurant F and I had gone to. We got there and, after a brief awkward/hilarious incident of Cobalt and me being confused about whether people were standing outside in the rain because they wanted to or if they were waiting for a table, we were seated next to this other group of people (two men and a woman), who just got their food when Cobalt and I sat down. I oooo’d and awww’d over their crêpes and then ordered some cider for us (IN FRENCH… awww yeah… thanks F for telling me what kind to order!). Sometime after our food arrived, one of the guys turned to us and asked where we were from. I said Colorado and then Boulder so they asked if I knew about/went to the school here. I said yes I am a graduate student! They asked where I did my undergrad and I said University of Puget Sound, which not very many people have heard about but the guy was like “Oh yeah! We’re from Seattle! UPS is a great school!” The guy who asked me the first question went on to ask me what I was studying and I told them I was getting my PhD in biochemistry. He said he had an honorary PhD but that his wife had an actual PhD. She lamented that his honorary PhD diploma was bigger than her actual PhD diploma… Shucks… At this point Cobalt and I were curious about who these people were since they don’t just give anyone an honorary doctorate…

So let’s see… Seattle… famous enough to get an honorary doctorate…

Then they asked what Cobalt was up to and he said that he managed a coffee shop on campus. The guy smiled and said “Oh I know all about that… I used to be the president of Starbucks…” and then he and Cobalt had a nice discussion about selling coffee, working in the coffee industry, how Starbucks does in Europe (bad) compared to in Asia (great!), etc. Then we got off coffee and just talked about life in general. It was really neat! He and his wife (and it turns out the other guy was a cousin) have traveled all over the world and are planning on spending the next year exploring parts of the world for 3 months at a time. Cobalt and I thought that was a pretty cool idea. Then our check came and they took it and gave it to the waiter along with their check! The former president of Starbucks bought us dinner! And when we thanked him he said “I can tell you guys are going to do something amazing with your lives!” WOW!

Cobalt and I were kind of star struck about it afterwards and totally googled him when we got back to the flat. It was so cool to see this guy’s face pop up on my screen. :)

Okay so back to the main question. What do you do when that happens? How do you keep yourself from overanalyzing the situation and just be happy that it happened? Also, tell me something awesome like this that happened to you or that you wish would happen to you? Also, any comments about this very long winded post are greatly accepted. :D Any plans for the weekend? Cobalt and I have one: SLEEP. -_-

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3 thoughts on “Dinner with the president

  1. Great story. I think what you are feeling is called “Imposter syndrome”. I think we all have a touch of it.
    ~MD

  2. How exciting. I love this story. I think you will have many of these in your lives. You are open to life and it shows. You do not block these experiences from coming into your lives. Someday you two will be in Paris buying crepes and cider for a cute young couple and passing it on….

  3. I have definitely had like scenarios but I find that I look less at what I did to deserve it and more at what I will do to deserve it. In your case I would prolly aim harder at doing something amazing with my life. It’s when people do something mean to me that I start wonder what I did that made it happen. Not sure why.

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