This evening my mother (who is deaf) and her friend Shirley (who is also deaf) roped me in to interpret for them at my mothers local Pilate class. The hall in which the class was taken was as humid as hell and my choice of clothing was anything but practical.I wore black skinny jeans and biker boots with a grey hoodie. Initially people were looking around as if to say ' why is she wearing that for Pilate's?' blissfully unaware of my true intentions of being there.My mother is always quick to embarrass or in this case, to brag. Excruciatingly embarrassed already sitting beside the instructor my mother felt the need to draw even more attention to me by exclaiming' we have an interpreter here this evening' .There they were , 48 total strangers looking at me with an almost bemused expression.
Although I may have had the reddest face in the room at the beginning of the class, ten minutes in I was faced with rows of sweating and struggling seniors.Certain exercises were more , lets say, awkward to execute. I had never seen so much middle-aged VPL and squished scrotum's in all my 17 years of life and didn't really ever want to be put in that situation again. There were many times in which I wanted to just look up and laugh, but I refrained 'I must focus on interpreting' I told myself.Luckily the instructor had a cold and didn't want to strain her voice too much, so she hardly spoke throughout the entire hour.
It's strange how people look at you in a new light whenever they recognise the fact that you can sign.At the start of the class I could almost hear what the women were thinking ' why does this young thing need to come to Pilate's? she's already skinny, putting us 'past-it' ones to shame' but as soon as I settled in at the front and began to sign, they looked at me with admiration , almost as if to say ' wow, she's young but knows sign language, that's impressive'. I'm not going to lie, I love the attention, thrive of it even. Sometimes, even when my mum doesn't need me to interpret I will, I just love it.
Anyway, when I was sitting there, in skin tight jeans, unable to participate but not needed to interpret I was able to think. Not just any superficial thoughts like ' what shall I wear tommorow' or ' I wonder what dad's making us for tea' but real, serious thoughts.
I was staring at my mother and her friend for quite sometime , thinking about friendship and what it means. They say we pick our friends, but I don't think that's entirely true. In school or at work , you may not class yourself as friends with certain people , but you'll always be courteous and 'friendly' towards them. What makes people real friends? Is there ever a friendship that is completely equal, both people appreciating each other the exact same amount? As cynical as it sounds,I doubt it.
With social networking sites governing 'friendships' and allowing us to make ' friends' so easily you'd think we'd all learn to accept each other more as we are exposed to so many people on such a regular basis. But this doesn't seem to be the case.I'd be contradicting myself if I said 'you should never go on social networking site' because I'm a self confessed addict and know the practicalities of being able to contact people, for free, all over the world. I just get frustrated often by how superficial it is all becoming.
Anyway, I was looking at this synchronised sea of bobbing people, performing the '100' Pilate's exercise and I thought ' If only it was possible to know everything about every single one of these people'okay maybe 'everything' is a bit unrealistic, but basic facts, or exceptional experiences in which we could look at in awe.If everyone knew just a smidgen of information about everyone else, maybe we'd learn to respect each other more .Certain people see other people as investments, they have to be impressed by the initial encounter in order to invest their time and care into them. Admittedly I'm probably one of those people and I find this side of human nature very sad.
If we all shared more, talked more, and cared more I think the world would be a rather pleasant place.