On our last night at the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, I noticed a sign publicizing a live music performance that evening. Yair was busy tending to RV upkeep and I wanted to check out the performance, so we decided to each do our own thing and meet back up at a 7 pm ranger program.
I had expected that the performance would be a casual ensemble of folks strumming on their instruments in front of the park’s convenience store. Instead, I found my way to an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet with mood lighting, a formal stage and a duo of singing and joke-cracking performers. Unsure if I would be allowed to stay, I quietly sat down on a bench facing the stage and was promptly offered a drink.
“Hi! Can I get you some lemonade or iced tea?”
“You know, I didn’t officially reserve dinner tonight, so I don’t know if I’m allowed. I’ll just stay a few minutes to listen if that’s alright.”
The waitress goes to the back of the room and speaks with her manager. Moments later, the manager walks directly over to where I am seated. He says:
“You didn’t buy a dinner ticket, did you?”
I confirm his suspicions and am fairly certain that he is about to ask me to leave. Instead, the manager (Barney) asks the waitress to bring me a drink and tells me to relax and enjoy the performance. When Barney walks by a few minutes later, we strike up a short conversation, during which he tells me what a beautiful name Ayo is. Before I thank him for his hospitality and sneak out of the performance to meet Yair, Barney brings over a few of the fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies from dessert and says that he hopes to see me again soon. He smiles and then walks away. I skip over to Yair in a childishly giddy mood and catch him up.
From the time I was thirteen years old until I started dating Yair at nineteen, I was shown a lot of interest from guys in our community. I wasn’t cocky about it and I rarely let guys take me on a date or treat me to anything, but I was nevertheless showered with letters, chocolate, serenades and more. Barney treated me in a sweet, proper and wholesome way, but there was no doubt that he was interested in me. I love Yair more than anything else and I’ve never been the type to get my confidence from guys, but it was absolutely happifying to be treated to a free concert, drink and cookie just for being a young beautiful and smiling girl. (Squeal!) 🙂
posted by ayo