Don’t get me wrong: I wish I were more “Penns Valley”. But I’m not a native, so I can only get so far. When it comes to true-blue Penns Valley folks, one of the things I swoon over is their ability to know when to keep their mouths shut. I happen to think that you have an amazing balance of knowing details about one another’s life, but not intruding into someone else’s business unwanted.
I don’t have that.
Case in point: last Saturday’s PSU game. It was a beautiful, sunny evening, and I was out with my husband. I couldn’t have been happier. And that’s usually when I get myself in trouble. When I feel blissfully happy. I had an end seat, next to a busy aisle, so I had lots of opportunity to people-watch all day. After a while, Ryan and I just had to laugh about the enormous temptations that faced me in that aisle seat. Somehow, I had a piece of advice to offer every single person who passed by. And I couldn’t – absolutely could NOT – keep it to myself.
1. The guy next to us asked me to flag down the Lemonade Vendor. I said, “Have you ever had their lemonade?! It’s not very good. It’s too sweet – no tanginess.” He didn’t care. He just wanted his lemonade. He ordered it and enjoyed it. Despite my opinion.
2. Then there was the gentleman who was making sure that his ticket had led him to the correct seat. I glanced down at his ticket and thought I saw an “F” instead of a “C”, so I barged in, “Oh, you’re in the wrong section. You need to go way over there.” I pointed across the stadium. He looked confused. No wonder: his brother was already seated comfortably in the aisle in front of us waiting for him. Ryan glanced at the ticket and said, “You’re in the right section.” Hmmm.
3. I had been noticing that every now and then, a cheerleader would climb the steps carrying roses. I was desperately trying to figure out what they were doing. At one point, I glanced behind me and saw a male cheerleader handing his roses to a smiling woman way up in one of the top rows. Aha! I figured it out: an ex-cheerleader was going to propose to his fiance tonight and he asked the current cheerleaders to deliver roses throughout the evening! How romantic! I told Ryan what was going on. The next time a cheerleader stopped by my seat to take a deep breath before continue up the steep steps, I leaned over and said knowingly, “She’s way up there!” The young woman looked at me with confusion and said, “Actually, no. My parents are sitting right here.” She waved to two familiar faces and reached out to give her Mom and Dad some roses and a big “Thanks!”. Ryan leaned over and whispered in my ear, “It must be Parents’ Night.”
4. This one takes the cake. One of the water vendors was working so hard to climb the steps, carrying those heavy bottles, and drumming up business. Beads of sweat covered his forehead and his cheeks were bright red. As he passed by, I reached my hand out and said, “Listen, I’m going to play the part of your mom tonight. Make sure YOU are drinking water, too. Your face is flushed.” He smiled and said, “Actually, this is how I always look.” Arg! There was no where – NO WHERE – to hide.
Each time, it was like a train wreck that I couldn’t see coming. Before I knew it, I was bubbling over with unsolicited advice for perfect strangers… and every time, I was totally wrong.
So here I am soliciting your advice, Penns Valley: how do you do it?
Enjoy your home,