There are many first meetings in this world, some funny, some painful, some profound, and some changed the world.
The first moment that the sun meets the horizon, a day begins.
The first time a man meets a woman. Life is created.
The first time you went to kindergarten. The little girl that sat beside you ended up becoming your best friend for the next 30 years.
This is the beginning of the series #ToldOrUntold, where Huesthatgirl and I will share a few told or untold stories revolving around a theme. Some of these stories are from our lives and some are from those who are kind enough to let us in on theirs. Today’s theme is “first meeting”.
“I was shocked. It was the first time I realized that not everyone had the same things that I had.”
When the first KFC opened in my hometown in China, I was five years old.
My parents took me there for the first time to check out the novelty. The three of us ordered some hamburger and fries, which were strange yet delicious, unlike anything I had before. Even today, I can still taste the crispiness of the chicken, smell the aroma of the fries, and how the sweet-and-sour taste of the ketchup complemented them perfectly. As my family was munching away, another family of three sat down at the next table. It was a little boy around my age with his parents. However, different from us, this family only ordered one hamburger. The parents opened the paper box containing burger and passed it to the little boy, who excitedly took a big bite. As the little boy ate, the parents simply watched. A few minutes passed. “Is it good?” The mom asked. The little boy nodded with his mouth full. The mom smiled brightly. Not long after, the little boy finished his hamburger and the family got up and left. Their table was clean and strangely bare, a uncomfortable contrast against the mess on our table made up of empty hamburger boxes and cups half full with coke. I blurted out the question that was lingering on my mind, “Why didn’t the boy’s parents eat?” Dad explained that not everyone could afford to eat at KFC. Some families didn’t have 3 meals a day like us. I was shocked. It was the first time I realized that not everyone had the same things that I had. Not all parents were able to provide for their kids the same way that my parents provided for me. It was my “first meeting” with the concept of appreciating what I had and not taking things for granted. A big lesson for a little kid, but it really made an impact on me.
“Jumanji 2 just came out in theatres recently and I prepared myself for the sequel to the movie that haunted my childhood. The entire movie turned out to be a comedy…”
I first met Jumanji in 1995. For those unfamiliar with the movie, it was about a board game called Jumanji that came to life. It spewed vile creatures, could create mini-disasters (such as an animal stampede), and could even trap you physically in the game for an indefinite amount of time. There were only two movies that scared me and gave me nightmares when I was a child; Jumanji was one of them. I was scared of Jumanji’s monsters and disasters, scared of the unpredictability of each dice roll, but most of all I was scared when a kid got trapped in the Jumanji game for 26 years (only to be released by another kid playing the game 26 years later). As a 6 year old child, 26 years was a long time and contributed to the ensuing nightmares after I watched the movie.
As you may know, Jumanji 2 just came out in theatres recently and I prepared myself for the sequel to the movie that haunted my childhood. The entire movie turned out to be a comedy and I walked out of the movie theatre disappointed that there was not a single frightening scene.
Slightly confused, I did some research on my old nemesis, the original Jumanji, to see for myself what was so scary about the original movie. I started to re-watch, and I soon came to realize that the original Jumanji was also a comedy (it starred Robin Williams, how could it not!). Looking back, it doesn’t actually shock me that a child would be scared of the original Jumanji. Only a child could relate to another child’s anxiety of scary monsters in board games that might come to life. But throughout the years, I grew up. I understood that monsters could not in fact appear from board games and the likelihood of an invention of such a thing in the near future is quite minimal. But I did lose something. I lost the ability to “perceive” as a child perceives.
I realized that things in life need to be re-evaluated from time to time. I realized that sometimes I need to take a different perspective on things such as the people I dislike, the embarrassing moments, and my fears. I need to re-evaluate them not because they have changed, but because I have changed. I also realized that I should minimize my judgement of others, as there is no way that I’d be able to fully understand what caused them to feel or be a certain way. When others are sharing with me their feelings, I should give them the attention that they deserve
See more #ToldOrUntold stories collected by Huesthatgirl.
What told or untold “first meeting” stories would you like to share? Feel free to share your stories by commenting below with the hashtag #ToldOrUntold or email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. With your permission, I’ll be sharing your stories in the next post – The Told or Untold: First Meetings (Part II).