I didn’t know it until last weekend.
I’m craving conversation.
I’m craving a different point of view.
I’m missing the refreshed feeling I get from those encounters.
All day long, I hear snippets of my colleagues gossiping. It’s so tiresome.
At home, I hear a toddler who doesn’t haven’t enough words for what he wants to say. And my vocabulary with him is so limited because his world is so small.
(I’ve taken to telling him stories about my day, grown-up talk as he goes to sleep – in Cantonese.)
Then, I hear our angry words, our tempers flare too easily and we lose the point way too quickly.
Three weekends ago, I got in touch with my roots in several ways: I went out with my cousin and his two friends. They met some 23 years ago on a flight from Toronto to Taiwan to participate in the Love Boat program. Two of them became chefs and while the caliber of my parents’ restaurant is a far cry from their digs (one of the guys used to work for the restaurant that topped the 2017 Eater 50 list!), there’s something we all understand. Also, they are early 40s and experienced the Chinese/Asian diaspora in Toronto that was also my experience.
Two weeks ago, I had time to kill after work. It’s a rare thing. Usually, I’m out of there so fast, no time to waste to get the kid and start him on dinner. But I treated myself to back-to-back ballet classes that started at 6:45 and I had nothing to do after submitting my laptop to IT for OS upgrade all Monday.
The finance guys at work sit in a cluster of cubes just next to my team and some days, we are heavily reliant on them. The one I would have most in common with is the Filipino 43yo who came to this fair city just about a year ago. His family has not yet joined him here and I was off childminding duty for an evening so I settled into the guest armchair in his cube and we could get into meaty get-to-know topics and just let the conversation take us where it goes. It took a little effort at first to let him talk about himself and not try to categorize him and his take on life into the boxes that I know, the ones I’m used to finding my friends. It cracked open my world a bit and the easy get-to-know-you was really pleasant.
A little over a week ago, I went to a party at the ballet studio I frequent. To hear the owner talk about past parties, I was missing out. So, on April 8, I attended their one-year birthday party (dashing over after a trio of our friends’ fortieth birthday dinner). I didn’t recognize people I should have because their hair was done different and they weren’t in athletic clothing but I found my groove talking to some classmates. New people, new stories. People powered by alcohol and thus being super friendly and in a setting where you check your cares and serious topics of conversation at the door.
Photograph note: H&M has some really romantic mint long dresses snapped on models running through fields of wheat. I almost want one. But then I remembered how I have this really romantic taupe skirt from H&M from forever ago. I think I picked it up in H&M in one of the European cities I visited in 2005 or 2006 (London? Hamburg? Stockholm?). It did the trick. It was by no means a costume party but I wanted to wear something that was a nod to dance.