ret(r)ain

Can I retain
the gift of the more relaxed pace
we encountered in Europe?

It’s not just that we didn’t start eating
until so much later than usual.
It’s that when we were done eating,
the waiter did not feel it his or her place
to show up with the bill.
And so we lingered.
We talked some more.
Laughed.
Maybe even decided we would have dessert!

And then, even when told we were done,
he or she wouldn’t bring the bill.
We would have to explicitly tell them
“We’re ready to pay.”
And only then,
and even then, eventually,
they would arrive with that bill.

And amidst initial impatience
and frustration,
we began to unwind.

Can I retrain
my own expectations
to retain this gift?

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