Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Here it comes

Friday night is the big annual Fifties-themed sock hop at G's school. She's excited and has already planned her outfit. I'm looking forward to it with all the enthusiasm I would reserve for another root canal. This is because unlike other events, where it's pretty common for one parent to bring the kid(s), the sock hop is a family night, which means that the few people I know well enough to chit-chat with will be with their families, leaving me to languish in total boredom while G alternates between running around with her friends and appearing to announce, "Mom, I need money for popcorn/glow bracelets/root beer floats/raffle tickets/a live raccoon." (OK, I'm kidding about that last one, but if they had a live raccoon booth she would totally be all over it.) I don't mind sitting by myself per se, but three hours is a long time to watch people do the Cha Cha Slide and eavesdrop while they gossip about other people I don't know. I wonder if it would look too weird if I brought a book to read.

How have I managed to have a child in the same school for five years without connecting with any of the other parents, you ask? Beats me. There's certainly a network of parents who know each other, drive each others' kids around, socialize outside school, etc., but I'm not part of it. We went on a big group trick-or-treating expedition last Halloween because G got invited by a friend whose mother is part of that network, and no one except the friend's mother said two words to me all evening. I think it's partly because we don't live in the neighborhood immediately surrounding the school, where most of these relationships seem to flourish; partly because I work full-time and am not at the school during the day; and partly because I don't have much in common with them other than the fact that our kids go to school together.

I know if P were around the situation would be different -- he was the sort of person who could talk to anyone, and if I walked away from him for five minutes in the video store, I'd come back to find him embroiled in a deep discussion with a total stranger about the merits of Jackie Chan vs. Chow Yun-Fat. But, he's gone and I'm crap at small talk, so here we are. It doesn't help that I don't watch TV or follow sports -- he used to say that those were the two golden topics if you wanted to talk to people you didn't know, and from conversations I've overheard, he was right. He also said that most people thought I was standoffish and didn't like them because I didn't jump in and chat, and he was probably right about that too. It isn't true, though; I don't dislike very many people at all. Well, except for those beeyotches from last Halloween. I have a special frowny face for them. Here it is: >:-<


GR in DC said...

It might be too late but can you volunteer to help with some specific project so you'll have something to do and something you have to talk about "Can I get you some punch?", "One glow stick or two?", "Keep your hands away from the raccoon's mouth?", etc.?

zandra said...

You know, P and I used to talk sports, so Iguess he was right :)

Vanessa said...

GR -- That's a really good idea. Our PTA is kind of weird and insular, and when I've volunteered in the past they've usually looked at me as if *I'm* a live raccoon (lol) but it couldn't hurt to give it a try.

Zandra -- See? It totally works. :) Same for TV -- we had a lunch event at work on Tuesday and I shared a table with a lot of people who didn't know each other, and they all immediately started bonding over reality shows. Of course I had no idea what they were talking about and had to sit there like an idiot, but it was great for them.

Humincat said...

It could be worse. You could be doing what I always do, avoiding the ONE crazy lady who thinks we are BFF's, and will tell me things about her sex life and her digestive system and randomly cuss at her kids as they run by. "Come here you little shithead" usually gets the entire parent body glaring in our direction, not a very good way to make new adult friends, in case you wanted to try it. :)