A few years ago I was at a dinner party.
After the meal we were all moved to the living room and from there we sniffed butts just like dogs-okay- didn’t sniff butts.
We sat in this sort of circle and the way everyone introduced themselves was to state – with your chin pointed slightly up in the air and your jaw almost locked -where you went to college.
Then you mentioned your name.
I’d have rather sniffed a butt when it came to my turn.
I said, ” I’m sorry, I didn’t go to college.”
I freaking apologized! What the Hell was I thinking? I wanted to go back to the dining room table, grab a knife and cut my tongue out.
One of the guests looked surprised, ” Oh, I had no idea. You’re so well spoken and articulate.”
” I’m part Asian. ” I said.
One woman patted me on the arm. When she had my attention he leaned over and twinkled her eyes at me” A little bird told me you do some writing .”
I think she was trying to ‘help me’ into the conversation but I wasn’t having it.
” Did the little bird tell you the rest of the time I embalm bodies and in a pinch I get sent in to work at the crematory? You only have to be a highschool graduate to do that kind of work. The only hard part in doing cremations is to remember not sneeze when you’re putting the ashes in the urn.”
So if I could change anything from that moment in time, I wouldn’t have apologized for not being a College graduate. I wouldn’t have made my job sound like a joke.
I should have unapologetically rattled off my history as a musician, as a funeral director and as a writer- all three are things I worked very hard to accomplish.
I should have said so.