Having spent a few days away in a foreign country... Wait. Having spent a few days away from my family, the powers that be... Wait. Never mind who or what "the powers that be" might be, they're just not me, OK? Yeah, I'm white and I'm male. But I'm not a "power that is". Or whatever.
So I was away for a few days last week. That, by the irrevocable laws that (I assume) govern families throughout the universe--past, present, and future, means I have to spend some "quality time" with my kid this weekend. The same kid who's recently taken to giving me sidelong glances whenever I speak, as if I were some hideous creature from another planet, and not the loving father who, just a few short weeks ago (by my reckoning) could do no wrong in her eyes. (She's started hanging around with friends from school lately. Girls, you know?)
Anyway, tomorrow morning I'm supposed to take this little girl-thing to the local community center, where nice community center-type volunteers are going to show us how to make our own lovely Christmas wreath. Wow! (If you imagined me writing/saying that "wow" and really meaning it, you are no friend of mine...) I know, with dread certainty, that I'll be the only man (or the only so-called "grown man") there. It will seem to me as if the entire city of Miyazaki has been somehow emptied of "men."
Times like this are almost enough to turn me religious, if only because the notion of "hell" becomes a little more plausible.
But why do I feel this way about such an apparently innocuous activity? Pleas to my wife about being uncomfortable in a roomful of girls/women fall on deaf ears. "I've never heard you complain about teaching English to class full of 18-20-year-old nursing students," she says, clearly oblivious to my professional realities. "And what about that waitress that used to come here for private lessons? You didn't seem to mind being alone with her in a room for two hours." I thought about "the waitress" for a moment...
Clearly my wife (nor, likely, you, gentle reader) will have none of my bullshit.
Fact is, I'm not a very artsy-crafsty guy. It's not that I dislike it, or anything. I just really suck at it. What I see "artistically" in my mind's eye simply will not come out through my hands. I can (or, at least I think I can) do a lot of things. But I can't draw a picture of... anything. Or make a nice Christmas wreath.
My kid can draw pretty well, though. And if she's not too embarrassed by my presence, maybe she can help me make a half-decent Christmas wreath...