Tuesday, January 03, 2006
I was listening to my friend complain about the anti-social antics of her boyfriend when I realised that she was complaining of something someone else would complain about myself. Yes, I am anti-social. No, I don't believe in 'making new friends' just for the heck of it. Yes, I like to keep to myself. No, I don't like faking a smile and making small talk with random people at a random party. Labels: musings
Which reminds me of a party when I was a kid no older than 5 years old. This particular girl from my class had a birthday party that happened to fall on Mooncake Festival. I actually got dragged along because my mum and her mum were good friends. And....for kids, we even got to bring our colourful lanterns to play. Heck, I was waiting to show off my Batman lantern to my classmates, whom I presumed were invited.
And so I arrived at the party proudly carrying the Mini-Batman and off I went looking for my friends. Suddenly, it hit me. There weren't any friends of mine. Heck, I don't think there were any friends of the birthday girl either (cause lets face it, we're Standard 1 and the only friends we had besides kiddy neighbours were our classmates). And then I realised all the kids were kids of the mother's housewife gang.
But never mind that. I didn't like seeing unfamiliar faces and so I started finding fault with everything. I observed the other kids' lanterns and scoffed at their lameass round paper lanterns. Mine was awesome and nobody could match it, you know. So I decided that I didn't want to play with any of them and their ugly lanterns cause their stupid 50sen piece of paper caught fire easily (I was kinda of an elitist even back then). I think they were just as fine playing amongst themselves too.
And so, Batman and I got left alone in the corner. But no fear, since Vincent was a naughty kid. If he couldn't have fun, neither could the rest of the kids. I distinctly remember going to the table where they kept all the spare lanterns, and seeing that there wasn't anybody around, I nicked all the candles and hid them. A young asshole, I was.
But that story wasn't so much of me being a total dick. I was, from an early age an introvert. I only talked to people I was familiar with. That was partly good because I didn't talk to strangers and hence wouldn't get conned into following someone into a car or something. Nothings changed. I still don't talk to strangers and I only talk to people I am familiar with. For everybody else, I crack insulting jokes poking fun at their names and appearance.
I also remember that when my parents' friends came to the house to visit, I would hide upstairs in their room because I refused to say 'hi' to some random people who would most of the time remark, "WAH YOUR SON SO BIG ALREADY!" like as though I wasn't there. Sometimes, if I was lucky, they would pinch my adorable cheeks.
But it was not as if I was a mute or refused to talk to people. I just took a little more time to warm up to people. Like for instance, if my mum forced me to come down from my hiding place to greet her friends, I lost all akwardness and shyness after the first, "hello auntie, hello uncle". After that I could yell and even play with my toys in front of them.
And since today was the first day of school for many kids, let me tell you that I fared no better in school. I cried every single day for a month when I first entered Standard 1. I remember saying things like, "I don't want to make friends. They all stupid-stupid one." Weird kid I was. By the time it got to tea-break time, I was happily playing with everybody else. But the next day, I would cry that those stupid monkeys thought that Michelangelo was 'more stronger' than Donatello, which no self-respecting 5 year old kid of that era would ever claim.
So parents...a word of advice, because it's true. If you see your kid sitting alone playing by himself. Don't worry too much. In fact, you could look at them and be proud that your kid is such an elitist prick. When he grows up, he could be just like me - awesome.
But I have changed a lot since then. I no longer hide upstairs when guests come. I no longer mumble greetings to the guests. My parents didn't even follow me to uni (least I can say for some bapuks I know). Heck, I don't even go around ruining kids parties anymore. But for the rest.....I guess somethings never change.
"So parents...a word of advice, because it's true. If you see your kid sitting alone playing by himself. Don't worry too much."
I actually agree with you on that. It's when the kid sits alone in a corner playing with himself, during a birthday party, is when a parent should start worrying.