Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Kindred spirit...

I don't do small talk well.  Especially the "get to know you" kind.  Because, inevitably, someone always wants to know if we're from here and if not then where.  Typically I can skim over it with our last move.  But there's always one or two who sense something Not Right about me and want to know more.

Traveling around with my parents while they spoke at various churches during the times we lived in the US there was no hiding the fact we lived in Africa.  That's why we were at the church.  To talk about why we were in Africa to begin with.  This was before internet and the almighty Google.  My sister and I would be bombarded with questions.  Yes, there is such a thing as a Stupid Question.  Did we live in a hut? Did we speak African? Did we see elephants on our way to school? Did we celebrate Thanksgiving? Did we ride camels? Could we say something in Swahili?  (We usually acquiesced on that one but said something really rude and inappropriate.  I never said we were good missionary children.)  All the while feeling very much like exhibits on parade.  Or at least I did.  My sister typically handled public situations with much more grace than I.

A lifetime of answering idiotic questions regarding my childhood and childhood home have left me a little gun shy regarding revealing too much of my background.  I do my best to not be rude, but neither do I volunteer any more information than necessary.  I am in no way ashamed of my background--quite the opposite, in fact.  I've just had it up to here.   Because, no...I've never met Tarzan and only 5% of Africa is jungle.

Today a co-worker found out I grew up in Tanzania.  Her very first question?  "Isn't that where Freddie Mercury was from?"

Instant adoration.

I shouldn't have been shocked, really.  She's complimented me on all of my Firefly and Star Wars t-shirts and laughed out loud at the "I heart Nerds" tee I was wearing this morning.  Kindred spirit, indeed!

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