I remember being a little kid and being stuck at the grownup’s table. We might have been at a restaurant or at someone else’s house, but somewhere where retreating to my own space wasn’t an option. I remember wanting to feel included in this grownup world, wishing I had something to contribute to the conversation, and falling short.
Part of the reason why I wanted to contribute was to spice things up a bit. I remember one instance in which some woman was talking excitedly about a new dishwasher. How on Earth could anyone be excited about a dishwasher? Nothing connected to washing dishes was interesting. Were these people’s lives so dull that this is what they got hepped up about at a party? Not me. No. I would never be that kind of grownup.
Until one day, somewhere in my twenties, when I got a frying pan that I loved and got excited about it. So excited that I felt the need to tell my friends about it. They not only didn’t tell me to shut my boring mouth, but nodded in understanding and told me about their kitchen ware that they loved.
We had become those grownups sitting at that grownup’s table.
It’s a slippery slope. The very same group of people I stayed out until all hours of the night with at college doing all kinds of things I’m grateful there wasn’t social media in the late ‘80’s to document went from talking about the parties and concerts coming up this weekend to kitchen appliances to the latest in diaper disposal technology to mini-van comparison and on and on down the slope.
Now, bless us all, we’re talking about our injuries and doctor’s appointments. “Oh, I had that done a few years ago!” One of us might exclaim in the world’s worst game of one-upsmanship. “The recovery is brutal, but I’m back to 85% flexibility and I only feel pain when it rains.”
“Yeah,” someone else will say, not wanting to be left out. “My left wrist tells me two days in advance when it’s gonna rain.”
Aren’t we the party animals?
I think sometimes, when I’m neck deep in one of those conversations, feeling superior because both of my knees are the knees that God gave me, about what seven-year-old Lori would think about fifty-two year-old Lori. Would she be horrified about her future? Would she try to jump in with a story about how she fell off her bike and had to get Band-Aids on both her shins and a palm? Would she try to disappear under the table and see if she could drift off into a fantasy land where people spoke of things that were actually interesting?
I guess I’ll never know. I’m stuck at the grownup’s table for the duration now.
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Lori B. Duff is an award-winning author who practices law on the side. Her latest book, “If You Did What I Asked in the First Place” was awarded the Gold Medal for humor in the Foreword INDIES awards in 2019. You can follow her on Twitter at @LoriBDuff and on Facebook. For more blogs written by Lori, click here. For more information about Lori in general, click here. If you want Lori to do your writing for you, click here. If you want Lori to help you market your book, click here.