Some teens in the family, their close (and other random school friends) decided to set aside a night themed “Movie Night” ,sure enough Saturday night arrived almost out of the blue and just when one was hoping for some quiet time, a night of well deserved down-time, reading and quiet reflection.
Very little prepares you for such things, specially if you were told 3 months ago while you were driving and not paying much attention but nodding while trying to get home unscathed in peak traffic - worse for the unwise who fail to make alternative plans of their own, but that would mean diarizing and making plans for every comment made, as you would think, in passing. Be that as it may, the day had come and there was no getting away from it, I braced myself for a rowdy evening, the past coming back to remind me that such evenings seldom lend themselves to quiet contemplation irrespective of what you may think or judge by the evenings theme. As you know or may have guessed by now, if adults are around the house during such get-togethers, it is of utmost importance that they know their place, this means: they must stay well out of the way, coming in only to top up the snacks and sandwiches (with good timing also being an important requirement, noticed and commended later), no expense must be spared on chocolates, the more the more the merrier (to think I even had these instructions/guidelines down on paper at one stage of my life).
As the friends trickled in one by one and two by two, I almost immediately broke Rule No. 1, ‘Never Try To Act Young And Cool” it is most unbecoming, disturbing even, so I kept my ‘cool’ joke to myself and did what I always do in awkward situations, I smiled and waved, managing, to avoid well-placed digs with sharp elbows into my ribcage and sideways looks that could easily be used to melt steel.
There’s no need to remind you of Rule No.2, “Never Get Preachy”, always a tough ask from adults who are forever prepared to talk at great length about their experiences, the mistakes they made, how to avoid similar mistakes, the benefits of doing things in moderation, etc roping in verses or entire chapters of The Bible, Dr. Phil, Oprah, Facebook or Twitter quotes or any other section of movie or book they’d stumbled across that seemed to have the answers to life’s questions.
I closed my eyes after the last one had arrived, took a deep breath and counted to ten, turned round with a big smile and said “Welcome to my abode! I hope you have a most pleasant evening girls! Shout if you need anything, I’ll be in my quarters”, even if I say it myself, I’d delivered that line to perfection - I set my alarm clock, 30 minutes later I came out to serve the first tray of warm and cold snacks made up of variety of sandwiches cut into triangles (hey! nobodies perfect, some of the kids are like my own daughters having as good as grown up in front of me, anyway, triangles it was).
I know I should be the very last one to comment on others chatting while watching movies but even I, who likes nothing more than making comments, snide remarks and brief analysis about the storyline I am watching, was taken aback by the amount of chatting that went on during the movie.
Me? one moment I am remarking on the quality (or lack thereof) of the script and acting, the next I’m to be heard mumbling to myself something like “He should have run when he got the chance”, after another ill-advised course of action is taken by the villain.
So it came to pass that the girls surprised me by planning the next days Sunday lunch, “I’ll make roasted pumpkin, when last did I eat roasted pumpkin?!” (the exclamation mark to show that it was said with much excitement), “And I’ll make creamed spinach, chicken curry, basmati rice, potato salad, and I will go look at once to see if we have all the ingredients needed” said another, there were other mouthwatering suggestions made… “And I’ll make a delicious dessert, Bar One cake, homemade custard “ said the third… they stayed up all night, Sunday came and went and before I knew it I was being bade farewell, Sunday lunch was nowhere to be seen, maybe next time, I thought,, as I began the long cleaning up process.
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