curry stained carpet.

There were 26 people present at my host mom’s dad’s birthday
party at her mom’s house. Got that? I was introduced to two of them about 45 minutes into the celebration. I happen to think that it wouldn’t have
been too tough to walk in and say, “hey everyone, this stranger is Beth and she
is staying with us.” But instead, I was the girl, shorter than the youngest
child present, standing in the background of several different conversations smiling awkwardly. I decided to be proactive and say, “Hi, I’m Beth. I’m staying with Chris and
Margaret. I’m from the states…” so I think by the time we ate, I had met four
people. So I sat down by some folks who had no interest in speaking to me, and
ate my curry. I was bringing a bite up to my mouth when John (age 14) walked
by and roughly bumped my arm, and 23 pieces (ish) of rice covered in bright yellow curry
skipped about the floor, leaving stain after stain after stain on the white carpet. John mumbled, “sorry”
and kept walking, even bumping into someone else. I looked down at the mess, looked up and saw
people watching and if I had felt comfortable at all, I would have said, “I
leave you these stains to remember me by…by the way, I’m Beth from the states.”

 

…it got better. A few hours into the celebration, I had some pretty nice
conversations about how Granddad and Nana met and how he “honorably won her.” I heard Uncle Brian’s every thought on philosophy after he heard what I studied in college (“university” here, their “college” is our “high school”). I even heard a family secret from Nana that most of the family has never heard. So, perhaps having to win their affection made them more affectionate toward the petite stranger. 

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