I sat there, a callow youth
Shallow, unwieldy with the truth,
And fearing to be caught in a lie
My words never gave the by
To my attempt at insouciance.
I gave away the game with my name
And hoped that my meager fame
Would decry any need to explain,
But social curiosity laid its claim
And suddenly I was the luminary
With a silly, boring past to bury.
I knew I should have been more wary.
Why was I here when it was clear
These people and I were disparate?
Was I so desperate that I needed
To risk an embarrassing removal
To seek these stranger’s approval?
Was I such a egotistical *****
I craved applause when there wasn’t any?
I knew coming here I didn’t know forks,
More accustomed to dinner with sporks,
My napkins had heretofore been disposable.
Socially my thumbs were unopposable
Yet here I sat feeling totally unacceptable.
Yet I was the intended near-inlaw,
Feeling much to be the social outlaw
Recognizing glances and non-glances
Of those who were game to taking chances
To see if I remained seated to brazen it out
Or had I, with an excuse, or better, a shout
Stood and wilted, or scuttled away theatrically
Empowering chatter for those women who natter
And seem of no matter at all to the men
So they can return again to their talk of money
And find nothing in my existence slightly funny;
Finding it necessary to ignore me all the more.
But, raised as a child of little parental concern
I could teach these paragons with so much to learn
That every individual is exactly and precisely that.
They would be wise to take their feet, tip their hat,
And effuse with gratitude, issue some platitudes
And beatitudes that I could so easily obliterate
Their tendencies to pontificate and exacerbate
Their images as characters in a humorous play.
I might receive them of that burden this day
By letting them listen to the tales I could say
Transporting them from this table to non-fables
About what it means to exist with little food.
But I spare them this education, my declarations,
Because I know they desire not any perorations
From a person of my painful lack of pedigree.
I knew I must be satisfied with the planned perigee
Of this cometary gathering, the blathering and chat,
The acceptance of the crucible of where I sat
Like the Cheshire cat, smiling as if this were fine
And my status here were not firmly on the line.
I watched my intended blanch when I said
Or did something she didn’t have in her head.
I counted, the times I was addressed unpleasantly.
I knew this romance was to terminate presently.