Young and Dumb
A long time ago when I was a kid I liked people just like me. If you were loud and obnoxious and just a little rude you belonged in my circle. But if you were none of those you did not exist. The world included me and my kind and nothing more.
Yes, I was young and dumb, but one day it all came to a crashing end.
I was working at a restaurant full of people just like me. We were loud, obnoxious and for reasons I’ll never understand – Employed.
I had been there for almost a year. I remember faces coming and going. Those who were in my cycle I missed when they let but those who were not I barely noticed.
For many they were nothing more than moving objects. Their lives non-existent. Their names a mystery.
One evening while on a break I announced with my usual excitement that a movie was coming to town that I wished to see. Figuring my circle of friends would join me I began making plans for an evening of fun.
To my dismay all of them said no.
How could they, I asked. Clearly we were all the same. Not only did we eat the same food, laugh at the same jokes and work at the same place, we obviously liked the same movies.
Quiet and Polite
Grumbling and mumbling I began to face the reality that I would be going at it alone. The mere thought of doing anything alone was shocking and saddening. But the movie had to be seen. I was told it was a classic and the experts were never wrong.
Without warning a soft voice appeared to my right. She was about my age or maybe a little younger. I was pretty sure we worked together for a long time or did she just start? Do I know you, I wondered. You look familiar.
She was quiet and polite and sort of invisible. Another one of those moving objects I told you about. I glanced at her name tag and remembered we worked the same shift.
We saw one another 30 hours a week but for the life of me I had no clue who she was.
The Unexpected Date
Overhearing my complaints she too was counting the days for the movie’s arrival. She confessed she was going alone and suggested we go together.
Guessing we’d have nothing to talk about but at the same time not wanting a solo trip I agreed.
Looking back the movie was forgettable but the company was not.
Thanking her for coming along I suggested we treat ourselves for a quick pie and coke at a nearby restaurant. I figured our conversation would be just as quick.
Three hours later I paid the bill.
The Amazing Evening
This quiet and polite person who I saw, foolishly, as an object was funny, curious, and smarter than I’ll ever be. I realized than it was I who was the object not her and a dumb one at that.
It wasn’t long before I began to question the circle I was a part of. Thoughts begin to surface – Is there more to life than what I know?
Her father was a minister. Her mother a teacher. I was not the religious type nor all that interested in advanced education. Keep in mind I knew all the answers. Why would advance education apply to me?
But as our friendship grew so did my interest in other things.
How many others like her are out there, I wondered. Could it be that the quietest person in the room is the most amazing person I’ll ever meet?
I can still remember the thrill just thinking about that.
I started branching out. I learned religion, farming, planting trees, hanging out with people who were nothing like me. At one point I learned the proper way of handling baby chickens. Trust me, there’s a system.
And my circle? Let’s just say it crumbled.
I cannot remember the movie we saw or the others that followed but I do remember the lessons I learned.
We kept in touch throughout the years. The last I saw of her was just before I moved away. Looking back she had a lot to do with the way I am today.
Amazing how one person can change things especially when they were once viewed as nothing more than an object.
Was I really that young?
As for you, my favorite reader, the next time you’re out at a gathering search for the quietest person in the room. Don’t be surprised if they are secretly the life of the party.
Happy Friday Everyone!!!