Over the past two weeks, it has become very clear to me that many of my RACs are dominated by food: pumpkin cookies, chocolate covered cherries, coffee, frappes, Sam Adams beer, and Chips Ahoy cookies. I noted in one of my posts that this is certainly not a bad thing…food has an odd and magical way of bringing people together. Friends and family members gather around tables adorned with turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, gravy, potatoes and pumpkin pie every November, partaking in kin, companionship, and joy. You’d be hard pressed to find one person at these parties who is irritated by the wonderful dishes presented before them.
Take it from someone who has a crazy family..when your mouths are full, you can’t throw chairs, emit steam from your ears, or fight until the meal is done!
It’s pretty much accepted that yes, food can and will bring people together, even if you have to break out the Chocolate Peanut Butter Cheesecake when Papa Phil’s hearing aid goes on the fritz and Gram starts spewing a mouthful of delicious obscenities (true story). But…can food bring complete strangers together?
Yesterday, I entered my last Tuesday as a student teacher with my bookbag in one hand and Oreos** in the other. It was my intention to pass out Oreos to my first class of the day to provide therapy after a tough music theory quiz. This was to be my official RAC for the day, but I took a different path when I hit an amusing fork in the road.
(** = the “Oreos” in question were NOT actual Oreos; they were, in fact, Wal-Mart “Twist and Shout” cookies, but for all intents and purposes, the term Oreo can still apply…in fact, these cookies were almost better than Oreos! And for only $1.79!)
I entered the school work room to make copies for my classes, thermos, bookbag, lunch box, and Oreos in hand. I plopped everything down on a big work table in the middle of the room, noting three teachers already standing in line to use the copier. My Oreos crinkled excitedly in their crisp, plastic packaging. They announced their presence to the room much like a bawling three-year-old in the middle of a church sermon.
I felt badly for blatantly toting around such a delectable treat, especially when I couldn’t rightly offer it to complete strangers around me—
EUREKA! That’s it! Why couldn’t I offer my Oreos to complete strangers? Did the Wise Men offer their gold, Frankensteins, and a guy named Murray to a close acquaintance? No! They took a risk and traveled from the Orient to give awesome swag to a baby they didn’t even know. And, look what happened with that! Awesome things of gigantic proportions results from that initial meeting…just think what Oreos could do!!!
So, I surveyed my surroundings: two faculty members deep in an intense discussion, one aide waiting to use the copier, one student teacher (that’s me) waiting for her copy job to process while simultaneously wondering how to offer strangers cookies without seeming creepy.
I mean, how do you offer strangers food? Do you just say, “here…want some cookies?!?”
Me: (to the aide waiting in line) Can I offer you an Oreo?
Aide: (looking a bit perplexed, then deciding the offer trumped her fast of all things sugary) I always would love an Oreo…thank you!
Me: (turning to the other two people in the room, who are still engaged in conversation) Would anybody like some Oreos?
It was random…it was crazy…and boy, was it fun! The faculty members left in the work room politely turned down my gourmet offering, but I was giddy…giving to random people was exciting! I had to try again. I approached the school secretary, who, also, seemed a bit confused by the offer, but very appreciatively turned me down (what, people don’t eat cookies and other desserts for breakfast? Today, I had a slice of The Mom’s pumpkin pie for breakfast…with whipped cream, to boot).
Walking down the hall to my classroom, I stumbled upon a group of “Attitudinally Challenged” females from my holiday choir…girls who have attempted, and failed, to push all of my buttons at the same time. I’m pretty sure I gave them an aneurism when I approached them and said:
Me: Would you girls like some Oreos?
Me: (waiting for it)………………
Them: ……………………….thank you.
Ah ha! Gratitude from the ungrateful! Victory is mine!
I begin to walk away…
Them: WAIT! Are you still gonna have those in holiday choir?
Muah ha ha…I have them now!!!
I eventually passed out all of my Oreos to students, teachers, and my colleagues (who, oddly, somehow flocked to my desk and knew to ask for an Oreo…odd). This random, unplanned, spontaneous RAC, that began with no forethought, suddenly became the highlight of my day. I left school that afternoon with a smile on my face and plans to continue these types of acts more often. I mean, just think of it: what if I had passed out free puppies instead?!?
RAC #18: Handing out free Oreos to strangers
Result: Glee, mirth, pleasant shock and awe from faculty members , gratitude from previously defiant students, an odd sense of joy and giddyness