When I was a small child, I asked a child in class what she was insinuating. That was enough to warrant me going to the teacher's desk. They told us not to use words we didn't know the meaning of and she thought I didn't know the meaning. When I was able to tell her the meaning in my own words, it was with a look of disgruntled admiration that she allowed me to return to my seat without punishment. My mother was famous for spewing certain big words at will and we learned never to ask what the word meant or we would be told to go and read our dictionary. Needless to say, the dictionary became my friend at an early age and I was armed with numerous words to drop in sentences at will. Still, I preferred to use small words and to simplify sentences where possible. I guess it was the teacher in me and that would certainly explain why for years, I have been told I would do well in the profession.
Anyway, having children teaches you to further simplify things or be prepared to answer a litany of questions. I've learnt that there are some people who can't help themselves. To give a simple explanation, they feel it is necessary to spew the most elaborate words they can think up. I guess the point of it is to send the child to a dictionary or in this day and age, to the internet so they would be forced to do further research. The children met such a person tonight.
It so happened that we found ourselves in the church office and they became fascinated with the photocopier. In true kid-like fashion, they asked the gentleman who was using it how the machine worked. Me, I would have shown them how I lined the paper up on the glass and then shown them which button to push and where the paper came out from. If they had any further questions after that, well, I'd take it from there. But noooo. This gentleman started talking about the machinations and photographic lens and my niece shot me a look. I gave her an imperceptible nod and she took this as a cue to break the question down into simpler terms. "What we mean is how you get it to work," she explained.
The poor gentleman began talking about positioning the paper with precision and some other mess I really didn't hear. All this while, my niece is shooting glances my way as if to ask if this man was really serious with the German he was speaking, while Shakir continued to listen carefully, soaking it all up like a well informed scholar and asking well placed questions that kept the man fumbling to find answers. I finally rescued him, by telling them to just watch and they would soon see how the machine works, but we all know this could have gone on for a really long time.
Allison is mother to two active boys who challenge her on a day to day basis with their escapades. In her other life, Allison juggles a regular day job as a marketing executive in a health food organization. At night, when everyone is asleep, she dreams of being a fulltime writer and super hero.