"You don't even know what tapas are?" - The Tapas Moment
“What? You’ve never heard of that author? You don’t know that TV show? Never participated in a game of bowling? You don’t know what tapas are? How weird!” Welcome to the Tapas Moment.
There’s quite a chance that you’re familiar with at least one of these questions. It’s the moment when you discover that, apparently, it’s considered normal to be familiar with something. People react surprised when you admit that you’ve indeed never heard of that particular author. It’s weird that you’ve never even heard of that particular TV show or word. You’ve never had the opportunity to go bowling. From time to time, you’ve heard of the word tapas, but honestly you’ve never even known that it’s something edible.
Welcome to… for comfort’s sake, let’s coin a name for these moments: the Tapas Moment.
Such Tapas Moments can make you feel estranged – like an outsider. Your peers can even give you the feeling that it’s dumb to not possess such common knowledge. But is that fair?
Knowledge is a privilege
We shouldn’t feel embarrassed about this. Let’s not look down on anyone when they simply haven’t had the pleasure of familiarizing themselves with a word, a thing, or an experience. The only thing this individual needed, and what apparently many others did receive, was that one particular moment when someone else gifted them with that particular knowledge. You can be the most intelligent person in the world, but you’ll never really know what tapas are until something or someone has shared that knowledge with you. The Tapas Moment is nothing more than the moment when it turns out that a piece of information, turns out to be common knowledge in this time and culture, but it nonetheless has never been shared with a particular individual. An embarrassing “You don’t even know what X is?!” reaction might follow.
Perhaps you have migrated from a culture where this knowledge was less common, and where you had other things or traditions that would be unknown to the average individual where you are now. Perhaps you had parents who decided to never share this kind of knowledge with you. Perhaps you were part of a family where a trip to a diner or a local barbecue was considered too much of a luxury to be a part of. Possibly, you have only encountered people so far who also never had this knowledge shared with them, and therefore could never have shared it with you either.
Is a Tapas Moment occuring. Are you the one who doesn’t know what the tapas are, or the person who is surprised over the fact that someone else doesn’t know? It’s nice if no one has to feel ashamed anymore during the Tapas Moment. Let’s all grow a little understanding towards the fact that some people simply have never had the privilege of discovering the elusive tapas. Be nice, and simply share that piece of knowledge with that individual. Or even better: see it as a great opportunity to ask someone out to a good restaurant!
What was your Tapas Moment? Share your experience below!