Soft service with a smile.

Free ice cream day at work. An email made the rounds yesterday that to help us cool down, the company would be hiring an ice cream truck to serve us for an hour. Immediately I got excited, memories of Mr Whippy and its twinkling Greensleeves theme song rolling through my head. What did I want? A fruit boat? One of those duck ones where they use two chocolate discs to make a beak? A sherbet dunk? One big flake shoved into the middle? The possibilities mere myriad and infinitely enticing.

I wanted dessert last night and eyed up the ice cream my girlfriend had bought. No, I relented, it’s free ice cream day tomorrow at work. I steeled my resolve and waited, not wanting to sully the high of this pure experience coming my way. I had some yoghurt with frozen berries and it was fine, honestly. Just fine. It was no ice cream though.

Today came and I sprung out of the house with the promise of a frozen treat on my mind (and soon enough, on my tongue). Most of today has been sweet frosty dreams interspersed with short bursts of work. How was I meant to focus on something as insubstantial as on air promotions when there was the very real promise of silky soft serve mere hours away?Today’s marketing meeting was spent trying to remind people that the department head saying “that’s the scoop” was a pun since ice cream was coming. Remind me why I’m still employed, please.

Then I had the thought. If ice cream was that magical and could bring me that much delight, why not just buy some? I was losing my shit over what I assume unicorns poop, when a whole tub was entirely within my capabilities. I’m an adult. I have income. Some of that income is disposable. Why not dispose of it in reserves of cool soft serve? I could cut out the middle man of waiting and instead indulge my every desire.

I thought again. That wasn’t the point, right? This wasn’t about the ice cream, it was about having a treat. A treat being something I hadn’t sought out, but had instead been a nice, unprompted gesture from someone who thought I’d enjoy it. When you’re not bogged down by expectations, it’s easy for the simplest action to come along and blow those lack of expectations away.

It’s very rare that I expect anyone to do things for me. I don’t think that’s fair. When it happens though, when someone makes a lovely gesture or act of generosity it makes me glow. My girlfriend does it all the time. She’ll go out of her way to make my day brighter. It might even just be a household thing that I’d usually do myself. At first it was hard not to feel guilty about someone else picking up my slack, but instead I’ve learned to just appreciate when it happens and return the favour as much as I can. It feels gratifying to make someone’s day, whether it’s picking up the bill when you’re out for a meal with a friend or doing something you know they’d love (because they mentioned it in passing conversation a year or so ago). Making people happy is the most underrated thing and if it’s within your reach without straining yourself, why wouldn’t you?

In case anyone really wanted to know, a co-worker gave me his unwanted ice cream ticket. I had two cones. In a most surprising turn of events, the sprinkle cone was way better than the chocolate dip. Today is surely a day for the ages.

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