There’s a smart and funny title for this.

I made a huge mistake a few weeks ago.

Boaz and I were in line at an arepa restaurant with my sister Bryn; the only people between us and the register were a man and woman, standing sort of to the side. When we asked if they were in line they told us they weren’t, they were waiting for friends.

“We’ll be your friends!” said Boaz and everyone laughed.

The man laughed an especially genuine really nice laugh, and he lowered the menu he’d been looking at, and said “I’m sure there’s something really smart and funny to say right now, but I don’t know what it is so I’m just going to smile.”

I wish I’d gotten a note from him that gave me permission to respond that way in any situation.

“Brooke is sure there is something really smart and funny to say right now, but she doesn’t know what it is so she’s just going to smile,” the note would say. The man seemed distinguished and nice, and it seemed like maybe he was a doctor.

A note like that can go a long way. My mom’s cousin is a doctor, and once wrote me a note that got me out of gym class a few times in fifth grade. I used the note the week we were climbing ropes, and to this day my arms are still about as strong as two broken stretched-out rubber bands.

Now every day I wish I had a signed note that I could quietly draw out and present to people. I would have had the note laminated by now, and I’d keep it in the pocket of my jacket. One of the pockets is missing a button, and until I sew on a new on, things in that pocket are super accessible.

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