Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Lesson in the Lunch

Okay so, I wanted to keep this month light.  I have received many e-mails asking to expand upon last month's blog entry and I have also been asked a lot of questions. I will expand and answer those questions at a later time. For those of you who are impatient my answers to your questions are: Yes, Only when tired, sometimes, no, not really but I might have to try it, and mostly on Sunday's. ;-)  Look for part 2 later this year.  I usually post TBT (Throwback Thursday) pics on my FB page and this Thursday I thought about trolling some of my earlier writings for a little gem to share with you.  I found one that I wrote in high school that is fictitious but based on something that really did happen. So for your entertainment I give you a short little essay called The Luncheon.


I sat in total confusion at the raised eyebrows.  Why were they all staring at me?  Was there food on my face?  Did I suddenly break out in hives? Was there some sort of disgusting substance hanging from my nostrils? Just as I was about to reach for my napkin I cold sickly feeling crept up my spine. My eyes widened like the china saucers before me as I realized my folly. I had just drank from the finger bowl! How could I have let this happen?  I spent many dreadful evenings with Auntie Amala setting the table, naming plates and utensils, learning how to fold a proper napkin, and the lady-like way to eat soup sans slurp and dribble--all in vain. I wished at that moment to slip into the cracks of the floor to explore the world there. I know it seems silly but I clicked my heels together in hopes my patent leather shoes would have the same gift that Dorothy had in Oz. No such luck.

Early that morning I was forced into the tub, scrubbed from head to toe, and to my dismay dried with a stiff white towel.  I was lotioned down and powdered while being quizzed on proper etiquette.  I had to sit quietly while listening to how Auntie Amala's friends will be so impressed at how she turned that rough, tomboy of a niece into the vision of daintiness that was emerging from her tutelage. 

Auntie Amala squealed with delight as she stood back to visually take me in. Now for your hair she said as she guided me to her vanity mirror. I stood in shock at my reflection. I looked ridiculous in that frilly pink dress and now she was going to top it off with some sort of manipulated configuration of hair that will make look even more absurd.  "You're going to look perfect!" she exclaimed unfurling a lacy pink hair ribbon. I closed my eyes not wanting to see the crime that was about to be committed with my curls. I slowly opened one eye to peek at the damage as Auntie clapped her hands together "Perfect!  Just wait till they see you!" I forced a smile on my face as I surveyed the perfectly primped poodle shaped mass on my head. 

Auntie Amala's sewing circle met three times a month and today was luncheon day. Every month some unlucky lass had the pleasure of being introduced to the wonderful world of social graces.  There was Bela and Esha the gossips, Hazel and Lila the cheek pinchers who caused me to believe my face was paralyzed when they were done with me, and Ann. I didn't know much about Ann. She never spoke. According to Bela and Esha, if she did speak I would have thought I was in an alcohol distillery. Just thinking about being paraded in front of those circling old hens made me cringe.

When time for the luncheon came everything when pretty well but before I could stop myself the finger bowl was in my hand and up to my mouth.  I properly dabbed the corners of my mouth with my napkin as we had rehearsed and placed it neatly back on my lap. I didn't realize my stupidity until I looked up and there in front of me was a brood of old hens with raised eyebrows. I dropped my head to stare at the floor. I didn't speak. I just sat. I hated Auntie Amala for making me do this but I was also ashamed for disappointing her.  

"You can't turn a rag doll into one of fine porcelain! Do you realize I had to make her another dress after I caught her in a tree?  It was ripped and torn all over!" I listened by the vent as Aunt Amala verbalized her frustration. I really was a rag doll. What could she expect from a girl with five brothers and a neighborhood full of boys? I could out run, out spit, and out climb half of them.  Why wasn't that impressive? 

That night as I readied myself for bed I couldn't shake the look of discouragement I saw on Auntie Amala's face. I pondered the situation till bedtime until an idea surfaced. I prayed that this would break the uncomfortable air between us. We moved awkwardly around each other that evening and the lump in my throat caused a gagging reflex several times at dinner. This couldn't go on. I was visiting for a month. I gently knocked on Auntie Amala's bedroom door and entered with a tea service cart. When she looked up I smiled and pulled a finger bowl from underneath the service. 

"One lump or two?" I asked pouring tea into the finger bowl. She chuckled as she shook her head and accepted my offering. 

Sometimes in embarrassing situations you just have to laugh at yourself.  What was your proverbial finger bowl?  Did you take yourself too seriously?  Don't bother. Laugh on.