Subourbon Mom


Small Talk vs. Verbal Incontinence
September 7, 2018, 5:00 pm
Filed under: Middle Age, Parenting | Tags: , , , ,

2.-And-neither-is-small-talks.-You-suck.-Really.

I used to be able to attend adult functions and make the necessary small talk society requires. I could talk with a complete wallflower, as long as I followed my mother’s advice:  “Just ask questions. People love to talk about themselves.”

Now? Not so much.

I don’t know if it’s an age thing or sheer laziness, but mostly I think it’s because I just don’t have the energy to care anymore.

Some of the worst small talk functions are school parental gatherings.  Sometimes I’m genuinely interested, if it’s a family I like or friends of my kids, but mostly I end up pasting a smile on face and listening to what the other children did over the summer, the awards they won and what teachers are currently on the collective parental shit list.  I do all of this while making snarky comments in my head.

These events do not bring out the best in me. And I think after what I said at the last couple of gatherings, I should probably stay home.

I recently went to a “Meet the New High School Director” coffee.  I showed up, along with the other parents of kids whose parents really don’t need to be there (trust me, he’ll meet the parents of the kids who need a little extra “guidance” soon enough).  I hung out with my mom friends until it was almost time to leave, and finally decided I should actually go meet the guy.

I waltzed up to a group of moms (I knew a couple) and introduced myself. “Hi, I’m so-and-so’s mom, it’s so good to have you here blah, blah, blah…”

Awkward silence…which, of course, I had to fill.

“Well, I’m sure I’ll be in your office at some point this year!” I chirped.

“For good reasons, I hope?” he asked, looking at me oddly.

I panicked.  “We’ll see!” I said. I gave a little wave and practically ran out the door.

When I told Daughter #2 about it, she said, “Great Mom – now he thinks I’m a delinquent.”

“So do you want me to say anything to him at Back to School Night?”

“Maybe tell him I’m not a delinquent?”

“Hmmmm…nope.  I think we’re going to set the bar low and let him be pleasantly surprised.”

“You’re the worst mom ever.”

small talk1

So that was the first event.

The second, awkward, “please-let-me-suck-those-words-back-in” moment happened a few days later. Hubby and I were standing with the mother of a younger child at a school function.  She was stunning – the kind of mom that I’m secretly jealous of because she looks sophisticated and sleek.  This beautiful mom had makeup on, like most grownup women do, and I’m pretty sure she used primer (apparently it’s a thing now), too, because her face was perfectly smooth, and her makeup was flawless. Like my daughters, she has learned how to apply it and look gorgeous – I put on makeup and look like I fell onto a Kardashian’s face in a bar at 2:00am.

So, there we were, and I was talking about how my girls where more makeup than I ever learned how to use.  “Oh my God, I mean, they put on ‘primer,’ which I think is just ridiculous, because a face is not a wall in your house!”

I couldn’t stop it, even after it dawned on me that I was probably insulting her.  When the event was over, Hubby looked at me and said, “You know she wears makeup, right?”

“I know.” I sighed.  “And she’s beautiful.”

“And you know you were just going on and on about how too much makeup is bad, right?”

“Yes! I know! I could hear the words come out and I couldn’t stop it!”

“Just checking.”

Ugh. I really just should have listened to my mother’s advice and only asked questions.  Not once during either of these encounters did I do that – I simply filled any void with my verbal diarrhea.

Tonight is Back to School Night. God help me if any of the teachers address me directly. I’ll probably blurt out a question like “Was teaching your first choice as a profession?”  So to all of Daughter #2’s teachers, here is my blanket apology in advance:

You will never be paid enough or honored enough for the work you do.  Please keep trying to educate our children and fill in the gaps that we have left yawning open in their character.  Every day you rise above pettiness, exhaustion and frustration to embrace these young people as they try to make sense of a senseless world, and for that you should be shown the respect and encouragement you deserve. 

Plus, you look pretty.  And your tie goes with your pants….


4 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Love this post Lib! Great tribute to teachers who deserve it!
Sa

Comment by Sue ann

You did a great job on this story. It took me back many years. This is why I’m grateful to be older. My granddaughters deal with those school functions. My job is to attend the student programs and tell the boys how wonderful they are.

Comment by energywriter

Lib, I’ve missed your post. Glad you’re back! You sound tired!!!😘

Sent from Yahoo Mail for iPhone

Comment by Norm Armitage

Lol

>

Comment by lynchburggal70




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