Texarkana, TX 57° View Live Radar Wed H 70° L 48° Thu H 79° L 50° Fri H 55° L 35° Weather Sponsored By:

Relishing those 'egg salad moments' with friends

Relishing those 'egg salad moments' with friends

June 19th, 2017 by Gina Barreca in Opinion Columns

The egg salad moments of life are the best: those times where you connect so deeply with somebody that you have exactly the same idea; pick up the phone only to find them already on the line; text each other simultaneously so that your words cross in a network fine as lace, or where you both—without ever mentioning it—bring lunch having prepared precisely the same food even though you've never cooked it, not even once before, in your life.

You've had those moments, right?

About three years ago, I was frantically trying to figure out the blueprint for the last book, trying to write something funny and true, and it was like trying to ice skate on the ocean. I hired one my former students, Krissy, to work with me in the office, paying her minimum wage out-of-pocket to help me keep track of the paperwork and to tell me when something I thought was uniquely hilarious was, in fact, as original and witty as a fortune cookie, except slightly less personal.

I'd known Krissy for years, first as an undergraduate and then as a pal when she'd headed off to AmeriCorps and returned to get her master's degree. She had become a kind of daughter to me and Michael, and was the kind of person who provides the friend version of AAA service: You could call her if you were stuck on the side of the road in the middle of the night—whether figuratively or literally—and she would help get you back on the right road.

Krissy was in the middle of her own drama, figuring out what to do after graduate school, deciding whether to continue her studies or leap into the world of teaching. I kidded that she could afford to make mistakes because she was young; she kidded me about being able to afford mistakes because I was experienced (meaning "old"). Although both statements were true and offered back pats of comfort, we knew they were slightly absurd. We were both anxious.

As the deadline for submitting my manuscript approached, I was rearranging chapters, running titles by friends and grabbing at reassurance with a kind of frantic hope usually reserved for people on their way to the gallows instead of on their way to the publishers. Krissy, too, was coming up to her final submissions of paperwork: Should she take the job at the girls' school in another state or remain close to the university and find work as an adjunct?

Due to the miasma of vulnerability hanging over us, I decided to make a particularly nice lunch for us one Monday. I recreated my mother's recipe. A reluctant and begrudging cook, my mother was schooled in food preparation by an unloving and ungenerous mother-in-law; her own mother never taught her. For some reason, however, my mom had mastered the art of egg salad. And yet I'd never made it in my own kitchen. That evening I did. The next morning I bought bread from our local bakery and headed to the basement office with a bag filled with homemade goodness.

Krissy walked in about an hour later. She was carrying an even bigger bag than usual, had a giant smile and a light in her wide blue eyes. "Guess what?" she cried, all enthusiasm. "Egg salad! I made it myself. First time ever!" Had Krissy said "Guess what? I hacked into NASA!" I would've been less surprised.

And yet, of course, I wasn't.

Egg salad moments are the chance collision of ideas, thoughts or emotions between two people who are close but don't occupy the same household. Like a sun shower or a rainbow or a shooting star, or some other easily explained yet rare phenomena that surprise and delight us, they illuminate our lives.

I finished the book and Krissy took the teaching job; we remain the best of friends. We'll still text at the same time and say "Egg salad!" which means, of course, "Guess what? I was just thinking about you." It's what we all need to hear.

Getting Started/Comments Policy

Getting started

  1. 1. If you frequently comment on news websites then you may already have a Disqus account. If so, click the "Login" button at the top right of the comment widget and choose whether you'd rather log in with Facebook, Twitter, Google, or a Disqus account.
  2. 2. If you've forgotten your password, Disqus will email you a link that will allow you to create a new one. Easy!
  3. 3. If you're not a member yet, Disqus will go ahead and register you. It's seamless and takes about 10 seconds.
  4. 4. To register, either go through the login process or just click in the box that says "join the discussion," type your comment, and either choose a social media platform to log you in or create a Disqus account with your email address.
  5. 5. If you use Twitter, Facebook or Google to log in, you will need to stay logged into that platform in order to comment. If you create a Disqus account instead, you'll need to remember your Disqus password. Either way, you can change your display name if you'd rather not show off your real name.
  6. 6. Don't be a huge jerk or do anything illegal, and you'll be fine.

Texarkana Gazette Comments Policy

The Texarkana Gazette web sites include interactive areas in which users can express opinions and share ideas and information. We cannot and do not monitor all of the material submitted to the website. Additionally, we do not control, and are not responsible for, content submitted by users. By using the web sites, you may be exposed to content that you may find offensive, indecent, inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise objectionable. You agree that you must evaluate, and bear all risks associated with, the use of the Gazette web sites and any content on the Gazette web sites, including, but not limited to, whether you should rely on such content. Notwithstanding the foregoing, you acknowledge that we shall have the right (but not the obligation) to review any content that you have submitted to the Gazette, and to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content that we determine, in our sole discretion, (a) does not comply with the terms and conditions of this agreement; (b) might violate any law, infringe upon the rights of third parties, or subject us to liability for any reason; or (c) might adversely affect our public image, reputation or goodwill. Moreover, we reserve the right to reject, delete, disable, or remove any content at any time, for the reasons set forth above, for any other reason, or for no reason. If you believe that any content on any of the Gazette web sites infringes upon any copyrights that you own, please contact us pursuant to the procedures outlined in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (Title 17 U.S.C. § 512) at the following address:

Copyright Agent
The Texarkana Gazette
15 Pine Street
Texarkana, TX 75501
Phone: 903-794-3311
Email: webeditor@texarkanagazette.com