Tonight was a “Meet and Greet” BBQ at the kids school. They did it all by donation to raise funds for bus rides on field trips and playground equipment etc. But also it was a good way for new families to meet each other, as well as old friends to reconnect over the summer.
At least that’s the premise of it.
It was to run from 4:30-6:30 so by the time I got off work and crossed the bridge, and gathered my offspring from day care to finally saunter over it was edging close to 5:00 (giving you a glimpse of how stressful our standard dinner-bedtime times must be). So once we got there, and found parking, we managed to find the start of the line.
That’s when I found the donation pail. I had Little E drop our $20 in the bucket which was right by the pile of plates, which were of course being handed out one by one by a couple of ladies. So obviously all the “donations” are being judged by their very watchful eyes. So whatever, I donated $20 for 3 meals. All this, after mind you having to make a special stop at the bank specifically for the cash since I never just have cash on me. Then, the kids did up their burgers and we managed to find a few random seats.
I did get to meet the parents of Little E’s new best friend and get their phone numbers so that was a win. His teachers also made an effort to come over to introduce themselves to me, although I met one of them before the school year started (yeah, he has two, they switch days) and they both made THE comment about what a pleasure he is to have in the classroom and how great he is at reading etc. Probably the same comment they have memorized to say to all the parents attending tonight. It’s what I’d do if I was a teacher and HAD to say something. That, or just keep my mouth shut. Yet another good reason I’m not a teacher. Anyways, after that, Z took me over to her 50+ year old teacher for me to meet. We just happened to be wearing the same shoes, which she didn’t notice, or maybe she did, but she didn’t mention thankfully. Seriously, what are the odds that I haven’t worn these shoes since last fall, and have never once seen anyone with the same pair until today? Note to self, never wear those flats to the kids school again.
And that was about it. Then all the kids went off to play and the food dissipated and I noticed a sad but true trend. One that probably permeates our society as a whole.
For the most part, either each couple, or single parent found their own personal space to watch their own kids play and that was that. The chit chat dwindled. The new introductions slowed down if not halted completely. Even where I was sitting, at one point a kid came near once to sit, and the mom was like “No! Not there, I’m not going to crowd in that tiny space”…. A space that could’ve easily sat 6-8 people… and off they went somewhere else to be in their own bubble.
So I tried on my own to start new conversations with a variety of different people and within TWO minutes or less each of them used the excuse of “where’s my kid/what’s my kid doing?” And off they went in search of their children to get out of talking with someone new. Even though in two cases I literally saw them walk less than 10 feet away to their kid, and then just continued to stand and monitor the child silently from there. But now alone.
Why are we so afraid of making new friends? I mean I don’t know about you, but I don’t have a lot, if any opportunities to meet new people lately (apart from the guys I’ve been meeting and a few new girl friends here and there… not enough for me). And because of my situation I feel like most of the ties I had with people before have been cut or they are strained because of the distance. So here I was trying to make the best of a pre-arranged meet and greet, with no luck. I don’t consider myself a weird person. I can be quite friendly plus I’m witty and easy to get along with. I’m really good at keeping the conversation going. I’m basically my blog in person…. So I guess maybe I am weird, depending on who’s opinion you get lol.
But do these people have a whole arsenal of friends outside of the school/life? Like are they one of those people who have like 6,000 Facebook friends, but in some strange twist of fate they actually talk to/hangout/keep in touch with all of them? Because I’ll be honest, they looked just as lonely and miserable as the next person, except they didn’t seem to want to embrace my offer to talk. And I really honestly and truly don’t know how to start a friendship (especially with a chick, like a real friendship) other than a good ‘ole face to face chat.
Because I’m sure not slidin’ into any of their DM’s at any point.
-Yo Gotti/Down In The DM-