Feeling excluded – much hurt!

So… a while back I sat at a table sharing a meal with two other people (one identifies as female and the other as male). As it usually does, the food weaved her magic and loosened our tongues … my table mates started to talk about American Football. I’m not sure why it’s called football because I always just see a bunch of people shoving each other and will occasionally kick the ball.

Images from typorama

(Yawn!) more American 🏈 (Yawn!) Players players players (Yawn!) NFL (Yawn!) I’m so bored, but I really want to be included in the conversation so I go like “Are you talking about football?”

Their response, ‘Yes, we are!’

I utter back, “I’m totally clueless about what happens with football!” At this point, I’m really praying and hoping that they’ll get the hint to change the subject or even try to include me in their conversation. After all, we are sharing a table. They totally ignore me and go on… NFL NFL blah blah blah. To make matters worse, I could not understand her accent. I JUST COULD NOT. I was kinda getting the hang of the Californian accent, but she’s from DC. There’s also this weird thing with Americans, they think they do not have accents. #smdh

My thoughts drift off momentarily, ‘is this how new people feel in an intimidating crowd?’ Can’t these people tell that I’m so bored? Don’t they have the decency to include me in their conversation?

💡 moment: I decide to start asking questions hoping that they’ll get the hint – I am feeling excluded and very much hurting.

“So what do you do on the creative team?” I ask eagerly.

Her response, “voice.”

At this point I’m thinking she’s also gonna ask me what I do, but… nada. Her counterpart is the drummer, but I already know that because we had been on the same band rotation previously.

More questions from me, “How long have you been here?” I had been in LA long enough to know that most Angelenos you meet are actually transplants.

Her response, “Two months.” I’m still hopeful that she’ll want to engage and ask me how long I had been here.

I ask again, “Where are you from?”

Uninterested response from her, “DC.” Then she excuses herself to go get some cake and doesn’t come back. Mind you, her plate is still piled with food right next to mine. I turn to give my attention to him but he turns around to talk to someone next to him. On the next table.

My thoughts in that moment… ‘What a bunch of self centered people!’

But yet again, I start to think that the problem might be me. Is it though?

Lesson here: try to include others in your conversations especially when seated at the same table sharing a meal.

I could go into detail at this point about how implicit biases played out in this interaction, but I will not. I will say this though, I was the only African woman in that room.

If you enjoyed reading this, please subscribe to my blog for more of my little escapades.



Changing the narrative. Telling my African story

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