Thursday, January 19, 2012

banana splits are thoughtful

     real-life Braum's banana split via holly

It was my sophomore year of high school, and my friend Amy was waiting patiently for me to gather up my stuff after basketball practice so she could give me a ride home.  I was moving even slower than my usual distractedly slow pace because (1) I had had a bad practice, (2) I wasn't feeling well,  and (3) I was heartsick over my most recent break-up (item 3 very likely the cause of items 1 and 2).  I was on the verge of tears at every turn, and Amy could tell.   

By the time I was ready, she and a few other teammates were standing at the bottom of the gym stairs waiting for me.  "C'mon," she said, "we're going to Braum's."  

I was happy for the diversion, but I don't think I showed any excitement over the idea.  I remember riding silently in the car with my forehead pressed against the window while the rest of the girls sang along to the radio.  Once there, I stood in line with the group in front of the ice cream counter but didn't order anything.  We found a booth, and I slumped into it.  But Amy slid into the seat across from me, pushed the banana split she had paid for to the middle of the table, handed me a spoon and announced with a big grin, 

“It’s really hard to be sad while you’re eating a banana split.”  

Everyone nodded supportively and looked my way.  I realized then that they had planned this--that we had come here just for me.  For a moment I got over my melancholy self and smiled really, really big.  We shared the banana split, and they all talked about basketball and boys and about how much better off I was without the heartbreaker.  

It meant a lot that my friends were willing to put up with me and even indulge me for a little while (showing me this extra attention instead of being [understandably] annoyed with me).  I have thought back to that group of friends and that banana split many times with a smile.  

What I learned:  It's really hard to be sad while you're eating a banana split--I think that's really good advice.  

And:  Don't ask your friend what she wants to do--just do it.  Tell her you are going, take her there, order for her, give her a spoon, and make her smile.    

If it's a bummy time for your friend, Amy's direct approach is probably right-on.  If you are wanting to give comfort or cheer to someone who is struggling with something more serious, then you probably don't want to imply that a banana split can heal all wounds, because--of course--it can't.  But some good ice cream and some listening time might be a step in the right direction or a bright spot in a dark time for someone that just needs to know you are there.   For faraway friends, a handwritten note and a gift card or coupon to a favorite ice cream shop would be super kind.   Keep a little stash and some notecards handy to put in the mail at the right time.  

I think I will start a stash today . . . 

Who in your life needs some ice cream?  :)


  1. So good! I am going to do this today now:)

    1. Yay! So glad you liked it, Gina. :) Do you miss Braum's like I do? What ice cream shops are in your area of Nebraska?

  2. I love this! My grandma & grandpa used to take us to Braums:)

    1. Aw, I bet those are good memories. I had a feeling you would be familiar with Braum's. :)

  3. you had a boyfriend in high school? next thing I am going to find out is that you had more than one.

    1. HA! You read my blog?? :) Sadly, yes, more than one, and you know that. But then I found you!


blog comments are thoughtful . . . :)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...