Monday, March 14, 2016

They Just Can't Help It

I witnessed something last week that in my 56 years, I have never seen. Not that I have seen and heard everything, but in my little world this made no sense. 

Like, in most organizations, they celebrate birthdays at my new job. One of the ladies on the hall, who is known or her desserts shows up with some calorie laden rich concoction. She is southern to the bone, has been around forever, and, no doubt, knows where all the bodies are buried. In lieu of a standard birthday cake Denise, the birthday girl, had requested Banana Pudding. And so it was - no cake, but a large dish of rich yellow pudding.

Everyone on the President's extended team had been notified and no doubt showed up. There were plates, napkins, and spoons for everyone. As we stood around and enjoyed the delicious southern delicacy, the tradition of birthdays was explained to me. This is such a big deal, enjoying whatever dessert is provided, that they could read off everyones name and date of their birth, noting how long it would be until our next gathering.

A good time was had by all. It only lasted ten minutes or so. Toward the end I noticed two of my coworkers (who had been at the College for many years) standing there with no dessert. They had abstained. I wasn't the only one who noticed. One of the guys said, "Yall don't want any?"

They both smiled and passed.

Then another co-worker started,"You cannot be on a diet." Noting that both of them were petite women.

Finally one laughed nervously and said, "I don't care for banana pudding."

The room became still. "How can you not like banana pudding?" Have you ever had banana pudding?" "What's wrong with banana pudding?"

After some, stammering, one of them said, "It's the wafers. Don't they get soggy? They just don't look appetizing."

Being polite southerners, we assured them that it was OK even though we tried to persuade them otherwise. 

As they walked out of the room, one guy asked one of the women, "Your telling neither me your Mama nor your Grandmama ever fixed banana pudding for you." Once again she said, "No."

"Where in the world are you from?" 

Both of them responded, "New Jersey."

"Oh lord, bless your heart. You can't help it. But there is still a chance for redemption here," one of my co-workers laughed. 

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