Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rude Room Moms

Yesterday I had a rather stressful day - not normal irritation at the kids or the laundry stress - but real stress.  People were in threat of being fired at my husband's work.  We didn't know if he would be included - now we know he's safe - as safe as one can feel right now.  But yesterday I waited while I knew he was in a meeting with his boss where he expected to find out if he was next.  Luckily, he wasn't.  Whew.

When he got home, I only had a few short minutes to hear about his meeting before I went to a parent meeting at my middle son's new school for next year.  This school combines three elementary schools together, and they have new administration next year, so I wanted to go.  I thought it would be peaceful and maybe I would get to talk to people I haven't seen in a while. 

I was panicked - I wanted to hear about the meeting, but my jeans were in the dryer.  While I did dishes, my husband folded a load of jeans and tried to reassure me about his job.  It's crazy to fold clothes in the kitchen, but it was the only way I could be sure I could get dressed and hear what he had to say.  With the kids carrying on in the background, it didn't exactly reduce my stress.

So I went to the meeting and immediately saw people I knew.  I said hi.  They acted like they didn't recognize me.  I sat down next to someone else I recognized and said hi.  She didn't say much.  Her friends came to the table, and she talked to them with no problem.  Then she said she was hoping to save the table for very specific people.  Luckily my back was to her - I can't imagine the death glare I would have given her or what may have popped out of my mouth.  We were in the cafeteria and had to face the front for the presentation, so I was turned around backward on the bench with the table to my back. 

I picked up my things and moved without saying a word - as if they weren't there.  I sat next to a dad who wasn't talking to anyone.  I texted my husband and was so happy I had the phone.  Another group of room moms sat down next to me and acted like I was invisible.  No introductions.  No hellos.  No eye contact.  But I didn't know them, so I wasn't offended.

I generally talk to people I sit down next to, not because it's comfortable for me, but because we are humans who are not competing for food and therefore should be pleasant to one another. 

I texted my husband some more.  I told him how I just then remembered exactly how it felt to not fit in when I was in high school, junior high, grade school.  I told him I will never ever take my daughter's phone and iPod away for any reason.  My phone was the only thing that got me through the meeting - texting him made me feel connected to someone.  I am sure she feels the same way many days.

I told my husband I would write a story about them.  About rude, self-centered room moms that get murdered - I'm thinking tiny button batteries in the chicken salad.  When I got home, my daughter said she had the same impulse - to write like that when people are insensitive.  I reminded her not to kill anyone in words she writes at school.  At school, that's considered a threat and can send you to the alternative school, not a good place to be sent. 

She laughed when I said, "But I can write whatever I want.  Freedom of speech.  As long as no room moms really die a swift death from button batteries, I am good."  I got an immediate, "I love you, mom."


  1. You made me smile. Know how you feel. People usually stay away from me, too, outside of the salon. Really, I think my presence intimidates them. People tell me I look like Sarah Palin, or I look like an attorney or school teacher. Well, I did go to college to become a lawyer. At one time I worked heavily in politics. And, when I was a child I wanted to be a teacher.

    Anyway, those women are probably jealous of you. Most people who are bullied or shunned have certain strengths that shine through, leaving them subjected to cruelty.

  2. I don't think I'm intimidating at all at 5 foot 1 and dressed perpetually like I'm in the mood for gardening. Unless you're intimidated by sarcasm, people who occaisionally break into geek-speak, or my habit of sizing people up in 60 seconds, there's nothing to worry about with me.