Friday, December 22, 2006

Dinner with Sister Bailey

So tell me, did Chuck-a-Rama class up their buffet in the past ten years or is the 4th South location a cut above the rest? The last time I hit the buffet was a LONG time ago. I think my Grandma Durham resorted to taking us there when we refused eat her boiled kale, dandelions, and ghee.

The thought of going to Chuck a Rama the past several never even crossed my mind, and the only reason I went last night was because I was asked to attend “Dinner with Sister Bailey”. She bought dinner for all the international students in the stake. I’m not international, but I’m in the Relief Society Presidency and Sister Bailey asked Shanna and me to come and bring the international girls in our ward. So we brought Domonia from Madagascar.

I thought I would just go and eat some salad or something, but I ate much more. Oh, and apparently I hit the wrong side of the salad bar. Domonia started at the opposite side and met me at the end with a beautiful plate of spring greens, spinach, sunflower seeds, dried cranberries and poppy seed dressing. My arms dropped in disappointment when I looked down at my iceberg lettuce mixed with the typical red cabbage and shredded carrots, topped with Ranch dressing. Oh well. I tossed some spinach on there, blue cheese and called it good.

The dinner was a lot of fun. I would say about twenty people showed up. I met a bunch of girls from Peru, Puerto Rico, a guy from Hawaii (international enough, I suppose) and a guy from Bolivia named Diego. He sat across from me. The conversations were funny because accents were flying around everywhere. My favorite misunderstanding was when Shanna asked Diego what he does and he said, “I’m a teller.” Shanna shouted with surprising enthusiasm, “You’re a tailor!” In that split second she had plans for him to alter several of her dresses.

Another funny part of the night was when Diego asked me what I did. I explained I work for the Utah Arts Council and I schedule art exhibits, plan professional development seminars and do a lot of writing, editing and some design work. He was impressed with my job and asked me how long I’ve been working there. I said six years and he seemed quite surprised.

“Did you go to college?” he asked,
“Yes, I went to BYU.”
“Went…you are all done?”
“Uh huh.”
“When did you start your job?”
“Six years ago.”
“No, how old were you?”
“No, how old were you when you started your job”
“Twenty-two” I repeated.
“No,” he laughed, shaking his head as though I didn’t understand the question “when you first got your job how old were you?”

“Twenty-two, I’m twenty-eight now.” Shanna chimed in “Twenty-two…plus six years…”

Domonia started giggling and leaned in to me saying, “Guys are funny that way. They should just ask us how old we are.” Shanna seriously thought we were experiencing a language barrier, but really he was trying to figure out my age by formulating some algebraic equation. He thought I didn’t understand him, but really he couldn’t comprehend me being older than twenty-two. I know, I look young for my age. That’s always a nice compliment. Once you’re over twenty-one of course.

Domonia told me this guy she met recently went to all extremes asking her whether she went on a mission, if she graduated from college, how long has she been in the United States, does she have brothers and sisters, how old are they? Until she finally just said, “You know what, I’m thirty years old.”

I think it’s nice that Sister Bailey does this every year for the international students. She travels all over the world and loves getting to know people and their cultures.

I’m so excited it’s Friday. It has been a long week at work with very little to do. Things will pick up significantly after the New Year when I have a grant deadline and exhibit to gear up for.

Merry Christmas everyone! I don’t know if I’ll post something before Christmas so have a great time with your family and friends and enjoy the warmth and spirit of the season.

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