Standing in line, waiting for the pancake queue to get shorter, I was listening to old (now, I know old is a mind over matter thing, but these “omies” were older than my dad, who is in his sixties now) guys’ conversation on rugby and this and that. I once turned around smiling politely at a joke one of them made about their teams, but I did not make the least of efforts to join in the conversation. Firstly, I have no clue about rugby, and secondly, they are not talking to me. I suppose it is rude listening to a conversation not involving yourself, but if it is within hearing distance, you can’t really help but listen. My friend took her little boy to the jumping castle outside – he insisted and I gladly excused them – which left me waiting patiently for the line to get shorter.
Eventually I was the lucky one to be next… I have been quite confused lately and really had a lot on my mind, so my concentration levels (which are normally on a minus level) were even lower than usual. Having to work out the amount I had to pay went slower than usual. And even though I counted the money properly three places ago, I still needed to triple check it, perhaps a case of an OCD attack, who knows. The slightly annoyed person behind the counter stated that he trusted me and did not need to check the amount for me. A little disgusted, I decided I will be as polite as I possibly could and lightheartedly joked: “I am sorry, my maths are really bad.” (Which is not at all! Except for algebra…I mean: Who cares about their X in any way?) While waiting for the pancakes to be rolled I happened to overhear the old men’s conversation again: “The youth today can’t even do maths in their heads anymore. After the 1994 elections discipline has gone out the window. They scraped religion out of the syllabus ánd taken away PT. These subjects had a major impact on discipline.” This time, I did not turn around smiling politely. In fact, I had to concentrate *really hard* to not turn around shouting at them that I am not really a post-struggle child. That I am an “inbetwener” and my maths teacher still gave us hidings if we could not do maths out of our heads. We still had to suck up useless PT while they were making us hit and kick balls and run around the field for no apparent reason. It taught me NOTHING. It only clarified that I am not becoming the next Elana Meyer. We had religion as a subject which, with all due respect, had no impact on my discipline. I always found it strange that they taught us Bible history instead of the basic principles on how to be good. A lot of kids needed that.
Extremely disgusted I took my pancakes and joined my friend and her kid outside. I told her about the incident and she started to laugh. I saw it coming, but was not sure from which way. (She has a slight sinister way of always looking at the sunny side.) “Ahh, Sweetie” she started “look at the bright side: At least they think you are part of the youth.”