The Failed Matchmaker
You know those moments you have when someone says something and it would be the perfect precursor to a witty comeback if only you could think fast enough? Well, I have those moments a lot. So much so that I'm accustomed to the "loser" feeling, standing there, staring at them, and making unintelligible sounds whilst desperately begging for inspiration from above. As soon as their back is turned and they've gone, or the story has moved on beyond redemption, or I'm fast asleep in the dead of night; the spark of inspiration suddenly arises from it's slumber and inundates me with a choice of clever comebacks. In most cases sound reason prevails and I resist the urge to find a way to ensure this person gets to hear my witty comeback.
On Father's Day we traipsed down to Boston with no particular plan in mind, save lunch and a wander around Boston Common. Being an easygoing man, Kola was content with us picnicking in the Common. Owing to Kola's love for a burger and my addiction to Shake Shack peanut butter milkshake (don't knock it till you try it!) we picked up lunch there and wandered down Newbury Street to the common. It took every ounce of self control I could muster to keep from rushing into the many beautifully inviting stores which beckoned to me as I sauntered past. "It's Father's Day, not Mothers Day!" was my mantra as I grieved inwardly. I can only hope Kola saw this self-sacrifice and is going to reward me handsomely soon :-).
Boston Common was teeming with activity. Cool young families strolling past, a group in their early 20s doing acrobatics nearby and a growing gathering of Hare Krishna followers chanting and singing their songs. They transported me back to a time when some Hare Krishna followers came to my aunt's town in Zimbabwe and sang up and down the streets. It was a little like the Pied Piper, with all these little children running alongside and shouting "HA! RE! KRISH! NA!". I would stare from a bedroom window, mostly marvelling at the exceptionally shiny bald heads and the circle of hair slicked into a ponytail. Knowing the beats (not by Dre) that would land on every inch of exposed flesh should I decide to join in, I stayed in the room.
Having eaten and now being reminded of home, Tinashe & I decided on teaching Morayo-Hope a game we played as kids which I knew as "maflawu". That word doesn't even make sense but I have no doubt it was once an english word, now butchered beyond recognition. It is most like "piggy in the middle" except that the aim of this game is to hit the person in the middle with the ball. The person that achieves this gets to then be in the middle. It is most fun when played in a large group as we did as kids. (Maybe this is the aim of piggy in the middle - never played it!) Kola got his work out trying to keep Judah from joining the ducks in the pond for a swim.
As the sun set we sauntered back to the car, and along the way I spotted the perfect photo spot. A lovely young gent walked in our direction and I asked him if he would mind capturing this moment. He took a few pictures and asked me to check if I was happy with what he'd taken. I took a quick glance to ensure Kola was hearing this for when he hands me my phone and runs off after a 5 second photo session. As I thanked him, the young gent who was really rather easy on the eye exclaimed "You guys are such a gorgeous family." After inwardly performing my Oscar worthy speech of thanks, I wanted to shout back "And you're such a handsome man! Marry my sister here and you'll fit right in!!". For once, I had a seamless comeback but, alas, I also had a frog in my throat and just croaked something incoherent and watched as he wandered off.
I often wonder in the dead of night what would've happened if I'd been so brazen as to utter those words. Would a hot slap have landed on my cheek from Tinashe? Might he have repsonded "I thought you'd never ask. I've been watching you guys from across the pond and just had to find a way to speak to you all - and her." Then he'd turn to her and say "Might I be so forward as to invite you to dinner this evening? I'm only in town for tonight and would love to get to know you more...?".
Or maybe I've been watching too much Downton Abbey. Maybe he would have said "Errr - I was just being nice! Back off weirdo." Either way, we'll never know now. But if you happen to visit Boston Common and see a really good looking man looking forlorn and scouting around for a good looking family, tell him I said "You good looking weirdo! Gimme a call, you'll fit right in!"