Saturday, February 18, 2012

Fortune Cookie #1 - Lesson in Patience

Kirsten and I went to eat at our favorite restaurant in town yesterday China Buffet #6. I have no idea why it is number six. I have never seen or heard of China Buffet 1 through 5. Maybe the first five failed and #6 is the first one to succeed. I have no idea, but it is the best Chinese place around. I love Chinese food.

Despite the absence of raw fish,
this is still sushi
Kirsten is not normally available for lunch, but the high school got out early. It was for this same reason there were several teenagers in the restaurant as well. Throughout the meal, I kept laughing at the kids next to us. Kirsten couldn't figure out what I thought was so funny. The table had seven students, including two Asians, who were lecturing the others on how to properly use chopsticks, correcting them about what sushi is (a style of food preparation and NOT raw fish), and explaining the difference between sushi and sashimi.

The entire group was very animated and debated extensively about any topic that was discussed. I was not making fun of them. I found them to be very entertaining and enjoyed listening to their banter, especially when it got ridiculous. My daughter begged, "Dad, don't laugh at them. They can't help it. They're theater kids." Well, that did explain a lot, but they were still fun to watch.

We finish our meal and the fortune cookies arrived with our bill. I crack mine open and read this message.

What?!? No, it doesn't.
For the moment let's ignore the fact that most fortune cookies do not contain fortunes. Lately, they contain little pieces of supposed wisdom or advice. False advertising.

That being said, this 'fortune' is wrong. Patience does not produce immediate results. Certainly not infinite patience. The only reason you would ever need infinite patience is because your results are far from being immediate. If I am getting immediate results, I don't need patience at all.

When I go to the DMV, I know that I will be there for a long period of time. That's why I always bring a good book and a sleeping bag. I am very patient because I know it is to be expected. I don't get upset and I don't complain. However, that attitude does not get me quicker results and it is nowhere near immediate.

Patience has nothing to do with getting results. In fact, sometimes being a little impatient will result in getting your way a little bit faster. It's amazing how many businesses will work faster to get you out of their establishment when you start making a scene because you have been there long enough that your mail is now coming to their waiting room.

Kirsten tells me that I am looking at it the wrong way. The immediate result is not necessarily the completion of the task you are waiting for. "Kirsten, that's stupid." She then tried to re-explain, but the results of her argument were not coming fast enough. My being patient was not helping. Once again, proving my point.  

"Dad, you are just wrong."

"We will see about that."

I got up and (much to my daughter's dismay) had a seat at the table of the theater kids. They halted their enlivened debate and looked at me. One of them with his hands still above his head from the point he was previously making asked, "Can we help you?" I produced the fortune, set it on the table and said, "Someone explain this to me."

One of the Asian girls immediately snatched it up. I was happy about that, since it was her people that wrote it. She proceeded to read it out loud, so they could all think about it. My daughter slid under our table.

She explained that patience will produce the immediate result of inner peace, which leads to less stress and better relations with your fellow man. My daughter yells from under her table, "That's what I said."

"SHUT UP! YOU DID NOT!"

I took the fortune from her and handed it to the guy sitting to her left. She huffed, "Apparently, he wanted a man's perspective." I politely corrected her. "Sorry, no. It's not because he's a man. It's because he's American." I will not be called sexist.

He then said that patience will make your life better.

Well, maybe....eventually.

I told the table they were wrong and needed to stay in school. One of the girls shot back, "Maybe you shouldn't have asked us then." However, one of the guys (the most strangely dressed one), came to my defense and said, "Wait, I see what he's saying. Anticipated results should pertain to the item...OW!!!"

The Asian girl next to him stabbed him in the arm with her chopsticks. The table then erupted into a heated argument about who was right. Four taking the original position and three who sided with me. However, since I was now being ignored and they were busy insulting each others' intelligence, it was time for us to leave.

I love that restaurant.

Wrong again! These numbers did not win.

54 comments:

  1. You are correct and theater kids, while entertaining, know not of what they speak. I too wonder what became of China Buffett 1-5. I guess it will forever remain an ancient Chinese secret.

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    1. In the meantime, I am thankful for #6.

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  2. First -- the numbered place. Maybe it's the sixth owner? :)

    Second -- those lucky numbers. I've played them before when I get them and they never make me rich. One day maybe!

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    1. Apparently, not an ancient Chinese secrett

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  3. Also, I'm not for sure why my iPhone autocorrected 'buffet' to 'Buffett'. Maybe Siri is a Parrot Head or is upset that my tax rate is less than Warren's. I heart technology.

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    1. Duh. More than Warren Buffett's. Maybe I should get off the Internet and do the job I'm paid to do.

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    2. It's all good. I don't have one of those smartphones yet. They seem to be a lot of trouble.

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    3. Steve Jobs could have been a fan of Jimmy Buffet?

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  4. One of my friends didn't realize that fortune cookies actually contained a piece of paper, and he ate the whole thing.

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    1. I think that means it has to come true.

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  5. Your daughter sounds way too existential for your typical angsty teen. That is an old soul child you have there; Kirsten and I will have to hang out over dim sum and hit the vintage clothing stores when you guys are in P-Town. . .there's a very good chance I may adopt her as well, so be prepared.

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    1. She would so love you if you took her to vintage clothing stores. Every time we are in a big city she has already done the research and knows where they are. She loves them.

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  6. I'll take her to "Decades". Found a red wool Chanel coat with a leopard collar there once for $40. Kirsten will think she's died and gone to heaven. :)

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    1. She will be very excited. She's been leery of meeting up with people 'we don't know.' This info should help to break the ice.

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  7. Dude! Why is no one addressing the fact that sushi is NOT Chinese, but Japanese? It has no place in a Chinese buffet. You need to find a new Chinese restaurant or they need to call themselves "Fusion" or an Asian buffet, NOT Chinese. Sorry. I'm a bit anal about discrepancies like this.

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    1. Then you would hate this place. They have Mongolian BBQ as well.

      I agree that it is mislabeled, but I love the food, so I overlook the discrepancy.

      I also get a kick out of the misspelled labels over some of the food.

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    2. Mongolian bbq is, of course awesome. Also in Asia. A place that sells Chinese, Mongolian and Japanese is Asian.

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    3. Occasionally, I will find french fries and even a pepperoni pizza (it sucks) on the buffet. They get pretty far from even the Asian side of things sometimes. But 90% of their food is Chinese. Specifically Mandarin.

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  8. I am completely addicted to Sushi. I have it twice a week, like clockwork. Great post. Love how you "brought" your sleeping to the DMV! I might have to steal that one from you LOL!

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    1. There is no place in town that has the GOOD sushi. All we have here it the little sushi rolls. I love the good stuff but don't get it very often.

      I hate the DMV. I have to take a day off work to go there. Luckily, we don't have to go very often.

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  9. I prefer eavesdropping on college students, specifically from UC Berkeley. If I find myself seated next to a group majoring in Philosophy, I know it's going to be a good day.

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    1. I love to people watch and listen to them. It's so much fun.

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  10. My laptop published a comment before it was all dressed and ready.

    I kid you not, a few years ago, I cracked open a fortune cookie that read: your alone with good company of cats.

    My what is alone!?! I don't like cats.

    Had I known that theatre kids were so good at interpreting the damn things, I would have asked, well, myself. I attended a theatre arts high school, but only briefly. I am a horrible actress, and an even worse singer.

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    1. That one was pretty specific.

      I would have been a theater kid if I had been in a bigger school that had theater. The few times we did plays, I was always in them.

      I got some good parts since most of the others felt silly being the characters on stage. I have no shame, so I never minded regardless of how insane the character might be. I never could and still can't sing.

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  11. Great story.

    I love fortune cookies though, as you said, they don't contain fortunes. One night my husband and I got the same fortune. I felt cheated.

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    1. I went with a group once and a girl got one that said, "You are pretty."

      She liked it.

      Delete
  12. Six and eight are lucky numbers in Chinese culture because they sound like other words that mean good things. That is why they fought really hard for the 2008 Olympics and started it on 08/08/08

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    1. I didn't know that. I knew 8 was a lucky number, but never noticed the date they started.

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  13. If 99% of life is waiting, then patients makes the 1% immediately gratifying? Just a thought.

    I also want to bet on those numbers. If they have not yet hit, they may still.

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    1. Maybe I am supposed to keep playing them until they do.

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  14. It's 100% true. If you want something, take it. If you wait around for it 'infinitely,' it'll just be gone before you get to it.

    Also, I don't know the Chinese numbering thing, but I DO know the numbering of Vietnamese restaurants. Pho 79, Pho 86, etc. That's the year they came to America. An owner told me about that.

    So basically, I'm useless to you. (We all knew that anyway)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. We have no Vietnamese restaurants here, but if they each had numbers, I think I would have been prone to ask as well.

      All this discussion has made me really curious about our restaurant. I may have to ask what the #6 means next time I am there.

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  15. That fortune cookie does seem to hold a bit of a dichotomy, doesn't it? Infinite patience, immediate results? Uh, don't think so. I'm with you ;-) There are time I have to be patient because the other alternative is to rant and rave to no avail. I won't get what I want any sooner, so I just have to deal with it, but there's no inner peace to that. Just a fact of life.

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    1. It just didn't sit well with me. My daughter says I would have less stress if I could just let stuff go.

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  16. I love that she told you not to laugh at them because they're 'theater kids'!

    Anyway, I am so impatient I can hardly wait for water to boil. Infinite patience? What's that?

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    1. Me too. I stand in front of the microwave screaming, "COME ON!!!"

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  17. "I was happy about that, since it was her people that wrote it."

    Bwahahahahahaaaaa. :)

    I learned from a fortune cookie that "winter" in Chinese is apparently pronounced "dong-tian". I lol'd and wondered what Jesus (and his followers) would think of that.

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    1. You're the first person to comment on that joke. I didn't know if anyone caught it.

      Welcome aboard.

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  18. I was patient. Then my kindle fire came. That was a result. Right?

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    1. I would love to have a Kindle Fire. My son got one and loves it. That would be worth the patience.

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  19. I always wanted to be one of those theater kids, but I was too good at math. ;) Nowadays, I'm more of a pull-my-finger type of gal. That's why I like jokes like this: "When I go to the DMV, I know that I will be there for a long period of time. That's why I always bring a good book and a sleeping bag." That's funny! Subtle humor usually eludes me, but the idea of taking a sleeping bag to the DMV? Priceless! Thanks for the laugh!

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    1. Thank you. I'm glad you liked it. I just found your blog a few days ago. Welcome to my side of the Internet.

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  20. I know I have already taken up space here on your comment log, but you have received an award so please visit my blog and check out my post:)

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    1. Thank you. I will visit now and address it tomorrow.

      Delete
  21. Fantastic post. And I feel you for the #6 confusion. In my town, we have "Original Thai 2" which is odd. How can the second one be original, and why is there no #1?

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    1. I have no idea how they decide these things, but I have decided that I am going to ask next time I am there. There has to be a reason.

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  22. And I thought my dad was embarrassing lol...!

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    1. She has threatened to stop leaving the house with me. Although, sometimes she gets into it and is worse than me.

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  23. If you have patience you will have the immediate effect of not being frustrated beyond reason that things are not moving faster.

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    1. I believe that is what my daughter was trying to say. I think she gets frustrated talking to me.

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  24. Stopping by from finding the funny.

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    1. Thank you. I just discovered it today.

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  25. This was funny stuff! I loved your points about Chinese restaurants 1-5 and about the fortune cookies. They really should be called wisdom cookies, amirite?

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    1. They really could. So many do not have fortunes. Thank you. He had a lot of fun that day.

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