It worked. The Meyer lemon and rosemary and honey thing worked, and by noon yesterday, my voice had morphed back to normal, and when I stood up to read, my epithelial muscle bounced happily along my vocal chords; I sounded much more like a normal human being than I had 36 hours before.
Plus, my family was a big help. My mom showed up, flew in from Boise just for the occasion. And my brother left me a useful phone message: Hi. It’s your brother. Just wanted to give you a heads up for your reading tonight. If you go top to bottom and left to right, you should be all set.
Thank goodness he called.
But the highlight of the evening wasn’t standing up in front of a crowd, or wearing my new dress, or tasting how Tom Douglas interpreted courses from the dinner I read about. It was when a woman walked up to me and asked me if I have arthritis.
She seemed a little shy, at first, but her smile was kind. I read in your bio that you write for Arthritis Today, she said. Are you . . . She trailed off, uncertain what she should say next. She introduced herself, telling me she’s done some food writing, and also has rheumatoid arthritis. I told her I have lupus, and suddenly we were long-lost friends, yelling like crazy people about spoon theory, methotrexate, and hair loss, hands flying, voices trilling above the food talk around us. We hugged and promised to start our own support group, and I spent the rest of the night wondering how it had taken me so long to find her. Just last weekend, I finally admitted to myself and my husband that no matter how many people comfort me, support me, encourage me, something about having lupus makes me feel entirely alone. But now. Ahh. I found a buddy. And I don’t even know her last name.
Anyway. Here’s what I read (published over at Leite’s Culinaria), if you’re interested, a piece called Waiterly Conduct. (There’s an audio version, also.) It’s a shortened version of something I posted here in April. Click here for the original (and outrageously long) version.