My habit isn’t to eavesdrop on people, but I do at times catch snatches of conversations that are hard to keep to myself.
Yesterday, it was one about beans:
“I can’t eat so many things right now.”
“You want chicken wings? My mom can make chicken – ”
“How about tacos?”
“With the kids? Too messy.”
“You know. I can have chilli. She makes good chilli.”
“Okay! Chilli it is.”
“Problem is, I hate beans in my chilli. Can’t handle them. Especially now.”
“So we’ll ask her not to put them in.”
“Remember the time you mentioned you didn’t want beans and she served you a bowl of bean-less chilli and then she gave me mine and it was just full of beans? And I told her, again, that I can’t stomach beans in my chilli and she was like ‘Oh, you don’t like them?’”
“That was just a misunderstanding.”
“No it wasn’t. She hates me. She did it on purpose. Because she hates me.”
“She doesn’t – ”
“She’s crazy and she hates me.”
“Because…she puts beans in your chilli?”
“THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO ABOUT BEANS. You didn’t have any beans in your chilli.”
Shortly after, it was time for their appointment. I watched as they walked out of my life, presumably forever.
Memory and conviction are odd catalysts in conversation – where they will take you and where they don’t, and what that will do to the rest of your day.
It wasn’t about the beans.
It wasn’t ever about the beans.