The Bird

We’ve all heard the phrase, “When one door closes, another one opens.” The more I think about this, the more I realize how passive and lame it is to live life that way. Why would we want to live such a submissive life where our fate is decided on our inability to get through a flimsy, 2” thick, obstacle? What if that is just our chance to get creative, work harder and stretch ourselves?

There is a restaurant in Hamburg called The Bird. I have heard from fellow Americans and well-traveled Germans that this is THE place to get the best American cheeseburger. (I should preference this story by saying that it is very hard to find a good, juicy burger in Germany.) Well, all of the word-of-mouth and reviews must be right, because when my friend and I went to eat there on Friday night, the restaurant was packed. It was so packed that the hostess told us we could possibly get a table, tomorrow night. Maybe it was because I have always wanted to enjoy a “Hamburger in Hamburg” or because at this point I was hungry enough to eat just about anything, but when I heard we were rejected, my heart broke. As we walked away, stomachs grumbling in unsatisfied anticipation, I noticed something glorious. There, at the far side of the restaurant, was one long table full of guys, with two empty seats at the end. Fearlessly, my friend approached and asked if we could join. The joy I felt from hearing their “yes” was almost crushed when the hostess spotted us and approached our table. I thought for sure she was politely reprimanding us and asking that we leave. I was about to stand up, broken hearted yet again, when my friend translated for me that she was getting menus for us.

After a couple beers, and over an hour later, our giant cheeseburgers arrived. While they were good and beyond filling, I think the experience itself seasoned them deliciously.

Now, say what you will about following rules and respecting authority. Yes, life and the world would be a mess if everyone just ran around doing anything they pleased. I am not advising that. But, I do think it is time we learn the difference between a decree and an obstacle. Good things don’t come to those who sit back and wait. They come to those who hustle.

A wise woman (my mom, of course) has many times told me, “It is easier to ask for forgiveness than it is to get permission.” If something does not happen or work out, I want to know that it was not because I gave up. I want to know I attempted all angles and kept trying until the answer was “yes.” Because, sometimes you just really need a cheeseburger.

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