August 2, 2008
Plate Spinning Aspirations
After a 25 kilometer/3+ hour bike tour of Beijing this afternoon, we went home for quick (much needed) showers and then to the acclaimed Chaoyang Acrobatics Show.
I sat next to my cousin Amellia. This is Amellia that asked me when I was 17 (and she was 5), "Alli Jo, were you born with those pimples?" This is Amellia that calls on Thursdays with questions galore. She's also the girl that walked up to Vince's black afro, tapped it, and said "Check, one...two..."
Tonight as the acrobats performed and we ooo-ed and ahh-ed with each jump and bend, ever-observant Amellia called me out on a common fault of mine.
It seems that I have a problem. It's gotten me in trouble on many occasions. Without realizing it, I often imitate/mock things that are new to me. Once at a restaurant, I picked up the thick Indian accent of a guy at our table. After a couple minutes, he looked across the table and politely asked "Are you mocking my accent?" I was horrified! I, indeed, was. Cynthia quickly made it better by mocking me.
The plate spinners took the stage tonight with 4 wooden sticks and 4 plates in each hand. What a skill! I pictured myself in my kitchen with 8 sticks and 8 plates, showing my dinner guests my skills. Apparently, what I pictured in my mind...translated to my actions as I sat in the dark theater.
Amellia in true form, leaned in next to me and asked a simple question, "Alli Jo, why are you shaking your hands like that?" Reality: I looked like I either had Parkinson's or was rocking out with egg-shakers.
Embarrassed and exposed. "Uhh, I guess I'm trying out being a plate-spinner..." followed by LAUGHTER, the uncontrollable kind. The kind that makes the guy in front of you turn around, not because he's annoyed, but he longs to share in your hearty laugh. In the same way, I long to spin plates someday.