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Drabble: Learning

Drabble: Learning
Author: NightRider
Fandom: The OC
Rating: PG
Summary: Despite all he knows, there's many things Ryan's got left to learn.
A/N: Thanks to brandywine421 for her assistance and musical motivation.

There were a lot of things Ryan knew how to do. He knew how to make breakfast. He knew how to get vomit out of cheap carpet. He knew how to roll a joint. He knew how to pour concrete to make a foundation for a house. He knew how to drive a car. He knew how to wash his own clothes. He knew how to hide a broken arm for months.

There were a lot of things Ryan didn’t know how to do. He didn’t know how to properly set a table. He didn’t know how to tie a tie. He didn’t know how to plan a charity event. He didn’t know how to surf. He didn’t know how to make idle conversation around the dinner table. He didn’t know how to use chopsticks.

“Thanks for setting the table, kid,” Sandy commented as he walked into the kitchen and saw Ryan awkwardly standing next to the table with a cluster of silverware in his hand. “I really appreciate all your help.”

There were many things Ryan didn’t know how to do, but he was learning. And for once in his life, he wasn’t afraid of the consequences if he didn’t get it right the first time.




Feb. 17th, 2008 07:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, plastic silverware! I didn't even think about that! You're probably right though. I shall have to ponder that later.

I was trying to go for layers in this little drabble. Obviously the vomit on the cheap carpet didn't belong to Ryan. We can thank sweet mother for that one. Rolling a joint? I was envisioning Trey and his buddies too drunk to get it right and teaching young Ryan how to do it for them.

A fully stocked fridge? No, I doubt he ever got used to that small miracle. Also, the beauty of sampling more exotic foods. I had an idea for another drabble. Something as simple as being able to afford to go to McDonald's. Sure, the food is horrid, but to a child, McDonald's is the best thing going. :) When my nephews and niece were down visiting, I had plans to take them to some nicer restaurants. Nope, they wanted to go to McDonald's because my sister can't afford to take them there. It really is the little things that we take for granted.

I will so teach you how to set a table. We always had a formal dinner starting with a soup and salad course through desert. I won't even charge you!

YAY! To be honest, my family never ate together. We just went into the kitchen to get our food and disappeared again. We only ate together on holidays and special occasions. :)

Thanks again for the thoughtful comments!
Feb. 17th, 2008 08:25 pm (UTC)
Hee. It was either plastic silverware that Dawn lifted from her various waitress jobs when she helped herself to the take out stash, or what they'd managed to accumulate- but rarely through away as disposable. Not that anyone other than Ryan washed anything. The poor kid must have lived in filth until he was old enough for his obsessive compulsive side to defiantly emerge out of pure rebellion and self-preservation. Yuck!

You just know Ryan learned how to clean up putrid and stained cheap carpeting so a landlord, Frank, or any one of the enraged and abusive bullies would have one less non-reason to vent using Ryan as their personal punching bag. And it was the child cleaning up after the adult- or adults... or older brother.

I can see Trey showing Ryan how to roll a joint and putting child labor to use. Tom Sawyer to the end. Then again, I can see Dawn doing the same, especially when she was already hung over or high- and whining and pleading for "her baby" to do as she said. Let the preschooler play with matches- although he was probably more careful and responsible than anyone else in the HoT.

Ah, the McDonalds mystique. Is it marketing and the Happy Meal toys? The allure of forbidden fruit? Peer pressure? Subliminal messages bombarded at light frequency speed? Do kids really like the taste? Is it the awesome playgrounds? The feeling that they're being catered to? Whatever. But it's true. Up there with Mac-n-Cheese. But even a "value" like fast food would have been a luxury for Ryan. I can't even imagine how he felt watching the "M's" of the world just flaunt and waste so much disposable income. We only got a glimpse in "The Model Home" at the diner when he refused a handout, despite having nothing, and when Seth was buying him (almost literally too) lobster lunches at The Crab Shack. Ryan was more comfortable as a worker than a customer. You should definitely follow your Mcmuses. To go from never knowing where his next meal was coming from- and maybe not even being revolted by the juvie food (had he be allowed to eat it and not attacked repeatedly- hee), to the excess of the Cohens had to be mind boggling. And I'm betting he didn't just refrain from mentioning anything negative about Kirsten's cooking attempts out of insecurity or politeness. Her worst attempts had to trump anything Dawn ever tried on a rare sober day. Why else would a young boy have learned to cook- and clean and...

We had dinner together every night except Friday and Saturday. It was pretty much when we saw the 'rents since they wandered in before the 11:00 news. Dinner with Ted Koppel- quality time and current events to boot!

Special occasions meant a meal before nine or ten. Very cool!

Now, are you maximizing your "you" time?

I do wish we'd seen Ryan eating Thai for the first time, even some of the Chinese dishes he might never have even heard of. Then there's sushi. And, suddenly, in early S2... chopsticks! Even swordfish would have been something so foreign to his palate.