Thursday, March 17, 2011
The Price of Reliving Childhood
At McDonald's with Jessica and her college roommate, Sue Ying, for breakfast.
It's a crowded morning, thanks to the voucher McDonald's is offering for free Big Breakfast with a purchase of five ringgit. They stand in line to buy the food while I wait at the only empty table. There's a stand in the middle of the scene holding a bunch of balloons of all colors. Funny how young people--as in college students, not little kids--hold an interest in these inflatable objects. They see the balloons with childlike excitement, which is then replaced with slight embarassment as their hand reaches out for a balloon on stick.
I watch as a guy walks past the balloon stand. He can't hide his desire for a balloon but seems to think twice before taking the necessary next step. After a little thought, he decides to take a balloon and quickly walks out of McDonald's. I continue to watch him through the windows and he realizes. That makes him more conscious, so he walks off as fast as he can to get out of my sight.
I get my sausage McMuffin. It doesn't take long before I hear another guy shouting at his friends, "what color do you guys want?" He is standing by the balloon stand. I look around for the friends he is talking to. They are already halfway through the door of the fast food joint, leaving the poor guy to make the choice of color by himself. Realizing that no one is going to respond to his question, he picks up a random red balloon (or maybe he has always had red in mind) and rushes out of the place before anybody can judge him further.
Funny how everyone loves an occasional balloon but fears that admitting to that will bring judgment. I am tempted to have my own balloon too, but I think people will stare, or worse, judge. That is enough to change my mind.