October 28, 2008

I'm Not Very Good At This

Note: I wrote this last month and forgot about it... I just found in in my Drafts and I thought it was kind of funny - it showcases my social awkwardness rather nicely, I think.

I just got back from "meet the teacher" night at the kids' school.

I met Buddy's teacher. She's very sweet. She's very effective. But, it was really weird. The weirdness was all my fault. I had no idea what I was supposed to do.

I arrived at the school and there was coffee and cookies. I didn't want coffee or cookies so I followed a bunch of parents to the gym. There were chairs set out in the gym, but it didn't look like enough chairs for everybody so I was worried that we weren't supposed to go to the gym first. I wandered back out into the hallway to look for someone I could ask. I didn't see anyone I knew. I took a cup of coffee so that I wouldn't look like I was standing around because I didn't know what to do. After another look around I wandered back to the gym and sat down. The chairs were filling up but I was still very much in doubt whether I was supposed to be there or at Buddy's classroom. I wandered back out into the hall again to look for someone to ask. Where all the familiar fellow-parents were, I don't know; unfamiliar faces as far as the eye could see. Finally, I found Buddy's x-kindergarten teacher from last year. I asked him if everybody was supposed to go to the gym. He said, "Yes, I think there's a general meeting to begin with in the gym. No one will be in their classrooms yet." Then he looked at me with something close to pity in his eyes and said, "I think I have an extra agenda if you'd like to read it."

The sad thing is I'd already read the agenda... and I couldn't remember it saying anything about the evening starting with a meeting in the gym. I remember it saying that I was supposed to go to Buddy's classroom to meet the teacher at 7pm. I have it here now and it does indeed say, "7:00pm - 7:15pm Welcome (gymnasium)." Proving once again what should be painfully clear to me by now: That I'm a moron.

Anyway. I went back to the gym and managed, against all odds, to get a seat. The principal gave a very dull introduction to all the teachers and then they showed a slide show which, for some inconceivable reason, consisted of pictures of students who were no longer at the school because they'd graduated last year.

Then we were told to go to our child's class and meet the teacher. We all stood up and filed slowly through the tiny opening at the exit; shuffling along like cattle, stepping carefully to avoid crushing each other's feet or bumping into the people around us.

I went up the stairs to find Buddy's class, but it wasn't where I remembered it being. I turned around and searched from class to class and finally located it. Inside, parents were milling around awkwardly unsure of what to do next. I joined them and found Buddy's seat. There was a handout on the table in front of it with his name on it. There was also a tiny girl sitting at his seat, playing with the handout. I didn't want to take it away from her, so I stood by and waited for her to put it down. When she did, I reached down and picked it up. Her mother noticed and said, "Oh! Sorry!" I said, "No problem." I wandered over to the other side of the class where I saw some drawings on the wall. None of them had Buddy's name, though. So I stood around and waited for my turn to talk to his teacher.

She finally turned to me with a big smile and said, "Hi!"

I smiled back, "Hi," I said.

An awkward moment passed...

"So... How's he doing? Is it going okay?" I finally managed.

"Yes," she answered, "But he's having a bit of trouble with the French. I think it's because he only started in May last year. But he's catching up, I don't think it's going to be a problem."

"Oh, really?" I said, nodding.

"Yes," she answered. "Today I told him to go 'tracer et d├ęcouper son dessin' and he said, 'that means cut!'"

"Oh, that's good," I said.

We smiled and nodded some more.

I asked, "How is he getting along with the other kids?"

"Oh!" she replied, "Really great. Yeah. He's well-liked."

"Well that's good."


More smiling...

And then I said goodbye and left.

I'm just not very good at this.



Don Mills Diva said...

Bless your soul - I just want to give you a hug.

You're doing fine.

texasholly said...

OMG. I had the same experience except without the French. Seriously, is that not the most awkward situation ever? I mean really, they should serve alcohol. That would help. coffee...late...when you are nervous? Ya, wine would be much better.

If you are a moron then sign me up too. We could go stand against a wall together.

scrappysue said...

cyber hugs to you mel! parent teacher events like those (esp if u don't know many people) - can be tough!

Beth said...

Hello - I just Boo'd you. Visit my blog to see!

And, maybe the teacher just wasn't very good at speaking to anyone taller than a first grader. My daughter's teacher put on very tall shoes on purpose for our Parent Information Night and she started out the evening by telling us we all made her feel nervous. So - maybe it wasn't you. It was her.