Monday, January 2, 2012

On January 1st

On New Year's day I was walking in the East Village, just me and the dog walkers, when these trays of still-warm croissants beckoned me from the window of the Mille Feuille bakery. Naturally I went in.

"Good morning!" We exchanged greetings and well wishes for the new year, I paid and took my little white bag (its buttery contents already making dots in the paper). Then the man helping me paused.

"You're our first customer of the new year. Would you like a macaron?" He pointed to an impeccably shiny, tidy case filled with colorful little cookies.

"That is so nice of you," said I. "What's your favorite flavor?"

"Um..." he surveyed the case, "burnt caramel, pass.."

Before the words "passion fruit" left his mouth I nodded, "Burnt caramel! Ooo please!"

He took it out and handed it to me, and his co-worker jabbed his arm, "She needs a passion fruit too. Give her a passion fruit." Which he did.

"Here's to a really good new year for all of us, eh?" I said, raising my macaron in a toast. Smiles and nods, thanks and well-wishes abounded, and out I went into the day and into the new year.

Those guys probably have no idea just how much that simple gesture meant to me, but it did. I'd like to carry that same gentle kindness and civility with me into the new year.

And for the record? The burnt caramel was a really, really good choice.

11 comments:

Kelli said...

What a perfect way to start the new year.

Stephen said...

Fine, I'll try to be kind and civil too. No promises.

zippiknits said...

Happy New Year, Clara!

Macarons are lovely things. And, what a gracious little café you've found!

Grace said...

What a wonderful way to start a day and the new year as well. I hope that together we can all share that theme of gentle kindness and civility in the new year. Happy new year Clara!

Jane said...

I'm going to carry an imaginary macaron in my pocket, just so I will remember this all year long.

Debbi said...

I loved reading this, what a lovely beginning to your year and the bakery's! Thanks for sharing ...

Bullwinkle said...

Begin as you'd like to continue :) sweet story.

Ruth said...

What a delightful story. Here's to more gentle kindness in the new year. Best Wishes.

Julie said...

This put such a smile on my face! Burnt caramel sounds wonderful (wish I had one right now).

Happy New Year, Clara!

Debbi said...

It seems to be the little gestures that mean the most.

Clara said...

Dear Clara,
I've just chanced upon your blog -let's say chance, even though I do not believe in chance at all- and I'm writing now to tell you that it makes me feel at home.
I do not know why -I do not want to know why- but today, which is one of the worst day in my life, you've come to make me feel peace. Thank you,
Clara.