Yesterday morning, I was having coffee with a friend at a local eatery known for its cakes and pastries, when I received news on the phone. Very good news.
Considering the circumstances, and our milieu, we decided to celebrate with pastry, and chose what felt apropos at the moment, a Napoleon.
The pastry was lovely to look at, but after a few first delicious bites, it was too rich, too sweet, and my friend and I put down our forks and kept talking, accompanied by a bit of intermittent nibbling.
I tend to be like this. I take the nibble approach to pastry—and good news. Perhaps I find it hard to take the sweetness all at once. And while I think that’s partly true, it’s just as true that savoring an accomplishment (or a cannoli) in measured bites can be more satisfying.
Think of the Russell Stover hearts you received on Valentine’s Day as a kid. Once you removed that dark red cellophane, did you gobble up the chocolates in one sitting—or did you stash the box under your bed so you could savor the candies one anticipated day at a time?
Whether you are more likely to gulp down good news or nibble your way around and into it, it’s also true that the actual experience is never quite what you expected it would be. After sharing the news, and floating around on cloud nine for a bit, it’s pretty much back to busy life and work as usual.
Later in the day, we did pause before the evening’s activities began for a family toast with sparking grape juice to celebrate everyone’s recent good news: the completion of the first year of college; the celebration of First Holy Communion; the powerful advancement to another pole, and PR, on the high school varsity vaulting team; a plentiful commencement of trout fishing season; and my news—which I’m inclined to keep in its pretty box and cellophane wrapper for now.
We then rounded out our Friday night with pizza, salad, and a movie. It wasn’t how I’ve anticipated it would be when I’ve imagined receiving such good news, but it turned out to be the icing on the cupcake—and that cupcake tasted just right.