Yesterday I cooked lunch for an online friend. It was one of those moments where magic happens and the blogger actually materialises into a real person and is right there in front of you. Even though she said no to the offer of Snail and Rabbit Paella, she seemed to enjoy the Wild Nettle Pesto with Purple Sprouting Broccoli on buckwheat fusilli. We had a good old chat about life, people, the lack of bloke Aussie Bloggers and various other topics. Afterwards I thought about our conversation over lunch and it dawned on me that I am a bit of an oddment. Often I feel like the odd one out, the one that doesn't get picked for either team in the school yard, the one that didn't get to the interview stage, the extra person no longer required in a threesome. And for this I am actually happy. I'm a bit of an odd peanut among the 30-something Australian blokes. I don't really follow sports, I prefer wine over beer, I prefer to hunt for my meat and not for the sport of it, I'm competitively non- competitive, I don't aspire to own a brand new fancy car nor do I care for a luxurious house, and of course I'm a vegetable garden nerd, something not so much like the average Australian bloke.
This has it's benefits but also has a down-side. When it comes time for office small talk I'm usually at a loss for words. In fact I HATE small talk, I just won't stand for it. I don't eat my lunch in the office tea room, I don't do office birthday cake, and I sure as hell don't do after hours socialising with work folk. Why? Not because I'm a social hermit (some might debate that) but I just can't relate to most normal people, they just look at me odd......"You eat what?" "You should order the Steak?""What team do you barrack for?" the later usually is a deal breaker for conversation and results in me walking off, avoiding eye contact.
I'm currently reading The Unprejudiced Palette by Angelo Pellegrini, written some 60 years ago, and I can relate to this Italian American Immigrant living in 1948, more than I can to the bloke that im sure you all have met, that guy in the next cubicle that has this week been suffering seizures of ad-hoc rapture thinking of moments when Geelong won the Grand Final on the weekend.....who did they play again I ask? The more I read this book the more it seems like I could have easily written it. Never have I read a book that I totally agree with and at the last line of every page, (not using my inside voice) give a out a "huh!....unreal" approval with a head shake of acknowledgement.
If I could only serve people a taste of the good life, I'm sure they'd become converts. I hope Lucy enjoyed her slice yesterday.