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Hot Tortillas and Soul Sisters

While I was driving home the other night my phone rang. It was one of my soul sisters, Jackie, trying to FaceTime from Florida. I picked up.

“I know you’re driving, so just drive, but I wanted to see your face.” She and I have not been able to connect due to the sheer volume of stuff happening in our lives and we were both really tired of texting.

I made a ridiculous face, laughed and Jackie continued. “So are you finally headed home?” It was another super long day with too many problems to solve and puzzle pieces to put together. Jackie knew it had been this way for a while now which is why she was calling in the first place.

“Nope, I’m going to pick up tortillas from On The Border before I go home.”

“Is Mike making the meat at home?” she asked. My girl is Dominican and can cook, so she’s always interested in what’s going on in my kitchen. Without her, I wouldn’t know my Adobo from my Mrs. Dash and ladies, there is a difference!

“Nope. I just want to sit and eat hot tortillas. Plain old tortillas. hot. In the car.”

“I’m with you. Today, even though I’m working from home, I put my butt in the car, drove to Taco Bell and got a chalupa.”

Jackie got it. Of course, she understood. When we worked at Bellevue Hospital together, before, during, and after 9/11, our code for needing time to vent and dump out the stress was “Lunch today? It feels like a cheeseburger deluxe kind of day.”Hot Tortillas and Soul Sisters by Jen Fournier

The next question was one I had to answer honestly.

“How many are you getting?”, she asked.

“Two dozen.”, I replied.

“Awww, hell” was Jackie’s response before we both cracked up.

Now, to be clear, I did not sit in my car, or anywhere else, and eat two dozen hot flour tortillas that night. I was bringing them home for us to use for tacos. And maybe breakfast burritos. And perhaps to eat in the middle of the night when life wakes me up and I’m out of ice cream. But Jackie knew that it was one of those days. One of those months. One of those years.

Oh, 2020 you are some kind of….something.

2020, the year that doesn’t look good or have a nice personality. The year when ice cream sales increased and deodorant sales declined. (fact) The year when I sat in my car, on FaceTime with my amazing soul sister, eating hot flour tortillas in an On The Border parking lot at 8 pm after work, while watching her puppy trying to eat a highlighter.

A Friend that is a Gift from God

As a woman who has always struggled with emotional eating (and real quick, isn’t that all of us really?) I can’t say that turning to flour tortillas as a way to soothe my stress is productive. Not nearly as productive as, say, working out at OrangeTheory Fitness 4 days a week. But I do that too. (Fine, sometimes only three days.) However, what I can say is that doing it, with a friend who doesn’t judge, who gets that life isn’t always pretty and will guard your secret longing for something as ridiculous as tortillas, is a gift from God.

So as you struggle with the “you’ve got to be kidding” moment of the day, give yourself a moment. If you find out that your kids’ classroom will continue to be your kitchen table for the entire fall, give yourself a moment. When you are in tears because you feel frustrated at the state of the world, give yourself a moment. And at that moment, I pray that you too will have your version of a hot tortilla with a friend who knows your heart and can pick you up.

Have you had a moment like this during the pandemic? I would love to hear about it in the comments below.



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