the first time i went with ma-main-man to a work gathering (again, long time ago, in the US of A, when we were not yet married, i think), it was a barbecue. his boss in those days was this short indian person. i was totally intimidated. i remember that i wore jeans, a shirt, and insisted on wearing a blazer. it was blazing as of course it was summer and hello it was a barbecue (had no idea what that implied. and now that i know, all i can hear is 'beer' the rest is all noise to me). so of course i had to work hard to remember to bring that damn blazer that spent all the time hanging on the back of a chair back and it stares at me all these years later and says 'hey you were that girl'
my parents used to have friends home often. mum would cook up a storm. the friends would gather in the 'verandah' and smoke and laugh and drink. we would be brought in at some point of time for the hellos and so on. if they had kids our age, it would be semi-fun, except when it was these unruly boys whom i disliked. if they had kids younger than us, we had to baby-sit them, and sometimes that was fun, sometimes not. but the meeting with the adults was always a big worry for me. what if i spit while saying hello? what if i say something stupid? what if they all start laughing?
temples! i never know what to do in them. generally in religious settings i am sort of weirded out. i closely watch someone - like my mother in law - and follow carefully. you will often find me murmuring something like: three times in anti-clockwise direction, left hand on pallu, etc. - but still i end up looking like a total klutz many times. i am excused usually because, after all, i am the geek/dork person who is not expected to have any type of social (or otherwise) skills.
of late though, i find i have this, i dont know what to call it, a sheath? a veneer? i manage to exhibit a comfort level in most places. hip cafe? no problem. pub? too easy. temple? no sweat. class? where is the table, here, let me go through my routine of sunglasses off mobiles on silent etc. meeting? thats my bread and butter, yo. basketball court? ha ha. race? ho ho. monster's school classroom? ouch how does even a small adult fit in this desk? but always, inside me, is that little girl in the pink 'frock' and brown bata sandals at that top-whatever restaurant on the 10th floor in bangalore in the early 80s wondering what she will do if she has to pee....