hoping to someday be a force of nature
this is a story about humiliation, courage and self doubt...settle in.
i recently found myself sitting alone at the adult table. i would usually sit with the children, however they had the audacity to run away while i was eating my noodles. when i looked up from my empty bowl, i came to a realisation that i had to stay. i couldn't run off to the kids because it was too late to do so and frankly, weird. i couldn't leave just like that because that would lead to a whole series of questions. so i stayed.
i listened in on the adult conversation, which proved to be quite boring. i have never realised how alike the adult dinner table is to the child one. there are awkward silences everywhere and when someone finally comes up with a witty story, it is apparently shameful to not laugh so hard your lungs give out. it has to be established that we all appreciate this courageous decision to share something with the table.
we were enduring a particularly harrowing silence when i was asked to contribute something to the table. to the apparently existent 'conversation'. i, my already socially awkward, frazzled, stressed self suddenly fell into panic mode. i scraped my brain for something witty, something smooth. before i knew it, i was spewing out the next four words.
"hippos have pink milk"
before this contribution, the dinner table topic theme was somewhat ordinary and mundane. everyday things, plans for tomorrow and what we had for lunch that day were the emotionally charged things i had to sit through. suddenly, it felt like i had opened the gates to another world.
"why is it pink?", "has it always been pink?", "has it just recently turned pink?", "what is the science behind this?"
OH MY LORD. i did not know the answers to these questions. i had learned this fact from a quick skim through a national geographic magazine, not the hippo encyclopedia. i was the vessel for all their hippo milk related questions and i was about to drown. i quickly diverted the subject back to our plans for tomorrow.
a certain adult had taken interest in me after this and invited me to sit in the empty seat next to her. another lady was also there. i was cornered my two chatty women who clearly understood my loathing of general conversation, yet still decided to burden me with their questions. i told them about my school, my friends, my grades and my breakfast.
i must say right now that i simply don't understand the use or point of light chit chat. if you are having 'chit chat' with someone and that is all it has been for 10 minutes it is safe to say you have hit a dud. move on, clear away the duds! adults do not seem to get this concept. they continuously question the younger generation at dinner tables. of course, they may be genuinely interested and in those cases i guess it is okay. but sometimes it just isn't okay.
i was recently being questioned about my sports life . at the moment, i play tennis, and have swimming lessons regularly. i also mentioned that i used to do kickboxing. i really enjoyed my time in the dojo, and if it hadn't been for us moving away, i would have continued. this particular sentence was returned with a sour, judgemental face. this adult clearly did not like the idea of me partaking in martial arts. why? because i am female. they proceeded to lecture me on the 'right way to be a lady' and that learning self defence was not correct decorum. i brushed the inexplicably ignorant remark away with a laugh and i continued to sit through their conversations.
this is where the story comes to a close. but do not fear, because i will be back.