Ostracized was my favorite word growing up. I learned it when I was young to challenge my pretty unimpressive spelling skills, but ended up obsessing over the meaning instead.
Some synonyms for ostracize are: exclude, shun, spurn, reject, avoid, ignore, snub, cold-shoulder, shut out, cut dead, keep at arm’s length, leave out in the cold. You get the point.
I hadn’t felt ostracized in years; since I met Jack, really. But this Sunday the feeling came back.
Fancy Hanks BBQ was catering lunch and early dinner at Princes Park Bowl Club over Summer. Sunday was the last day it was serving it up, it was also a beautiful day for bike riding to lunch. We LOVE portable food institutions that finds themselves a different home depending on situation/season. (i.e. the Burger called El Chapo from Lucky Chip in London, and the crab burger at Miss Katies Crab Shack). It’s like the restaurant is having a Gap Year, and isn’t life always just a little crazy, a little bit riskier, a bit more fun when on a long work and holiday stint.
We were salivating our way past the picturesque outdoor area where bowlers were already enjoying their American style BBQ under the beaming sun. That would be us soon we thought, and then said out loud to each other. I even think we giggled about it.
But it wouldn’t. It wouldn’t be us at all. We would never have that moment together. As soon as we got in line the very busy but still very nice Fancy Hank BBQ staff member stuck her head out from behind blocked view of the others in line and alerted us that, unfortunately, there was no food left. Absolutely none, except for some quinoa salad, but she was sure we weren’t there for that. And except for the BBQ she was serving up in that moment for lucky patrons who have already ordered.
Two minutes too late.
There was nothing we could do but drop our heads in shame and walk right back out where we came from. We were embarrassed and hoped those very same happy people wouldn’t throw left over food at us. What a waste that would be.
We sat out on the park bench and tried to figure out our next move. Finally, after a few torturous minutes of having to watch those bowlers sitting inside their fancy fenced area with colorful fairy lights over head having the time of their life, Jack found a pub to go to. No Fancy Hanks BBQ, I was sure, but it would do.
On our way to the pub we rode by an event at a pop up park that was a one-day-only thing. It was the last event of the season since the pop-up park was closing down to coincide with the end of Summer. Swing dancing music enticed us in and when we got there we saw the happiest sight in all of Sydney Road: people swing dancing for the love of it. There were people who weren’t experts, people that were, people who were literally just jumping up and down having the time of their lives. Sadly, swing dancing isn’t a hidden talent we keep tucked in our back pocket for opportune times such as this. So, again, we just watched from a far.
We’ve decided two things after having the experience we did on Sunday. 1) We will go try Fancy Hank’s BBQ at the Mercat Cross Hotel where they feed people from Wednesday dinner to Sunday lunch. 2) We will be signing up for Swing Dancing lessons ASAP.
We will never feel ostracized again.