Saturday, January 10, 2015

And people wonder why I don't bother with high school reunions.

The party I attended last night is a big reason as to why.

The party itself was innocent enough.  A surprise 40th birthday party for a friend, given by her mom. Her mom is a great lady and just truly wanted to celebrate this milestone for her daughter because, well, her husband wouldn't have pulled together the shin-dig that she did.

I knew that going to the party was going to leave me out of the social loop.  I knew that going in.  I knew that though there were people there who I knew somewhat, I'd most likely be on the outside of conversation.


My kiddo, ever the kid loving social child, went running and playing with the kids of varying ages-- most she didn't even know.  She's good that way.

Since the party was an open house listed from 6-9 PM, our needing to be exactly on time wasn't necessary.  It also didn't help that we got stuck in traffic on our way back from visiting Hubs at work and that I somehow had it in my mind that the party was going to start at 6:30 PM.  Turns out that when we arrived, my friends had just pulled up a second beforehand.  She didn't notice it was me because she was just thinking that her kids were at open gym and needed a pair of shoes.  We waited a few to come in.  I told K that we needed to let her be surprised.  :)

Everyone had a place to sit.  Everyone was chatting and getting along well.  It left me without a real place to drop in and slide into a conversation without looking like I was butting in.  I was thinking that K would hang around a few, but she was off like a bullet.

Drat it all.  I was stuck with no one to talk to.

Her husband came over and we talked a bit.  Someone else's husband came to talk with him.  He knows me, but his wife has kind of decided to not to speak to the likes of me any longer.

That's quite okay.  Allow me to share with you why she isn't a fan of me.

Pretty much everyone who knows Hubs and me know that we are Democrats and quite proud to be.  We are blue through and through, but respect other's choices.  We're not here to convert.  We're not here to pound you with political choices and propaganda.  We feel the way we feel.  Every now and then something will leak out, but we really don't share because my mama taught me never to discuss religion or politics.  It really is a decent policy.

At any rate, back when Barack Obama was running the first time, I had an acquaintance decide that she was going to have an impromptu play date at my house.  She invited herself and her children.  That's fine.  I thought for a split second of taking my Obama sign down in my yard just so that I didn't offend, but I decided that she invited herself and that it wasn't like I was trying to smear her in the face with my choices.  For the record, I wouldn't have invited her clan by, but social convention being as it is, I had her come on over.  I was being kind.

She pulled in and handed Hubs her keys so that he could move her vehicle.  Um, the last I checked my husband was not a valet.  She did it with such airs about her.  It infuriated him.  It irritated me.  Little did I know that would be the highlight of the play date.

I don't really recall what she had talked about that much while they were here.  I can tell you that as she was wrapping up their stay, she stated that she had to "talk to you about that sign in your yard."


She went on about infanticide and different other crap.  Since we had watched the debates, I was able to effectively and honestly answer back to each and every one of the accusations.  To come to my house and berate me for how I am to vote took balls.  (I'm sorry.  Not nice, but it is what it is.  I could be meaner.)  To assume that I was voting for a man just because he was a minority and not that I actually considered qualifications just stunned me.  She had come to my house because of the sign in my yard to get me to vote in the other direction. She knew it was there and she was on a mission to convert me.  Um, she did not.

She left.  I don't believe we've ever spoken again.  Needless to say, she didn't speak with me last night.  That's why her husband came over to talk to A, but never said a word to me.  Nice.

I told Hubs that I felt Amish.  I sort of felt shunned.  For the record, Hubs had to work late.  He wouldn't have wanted to attend the party (he's not a party guy) but he would have gone for me.

She had a few high school friends there.  One knew me and talked to me for a bit.  I pulled up a chair to the end of a table and ate the food that I had grabbed.  I realized that though she had talked my ear off, my pulling the chair up was probably not appreciated by the three other people sitting there who didn't know me.  Opportunity arose to move the chair back and to sit in at the table behind.  There I sat.  Rose, mama of the birthday girl, came to sit with me and talk.  I think she felt bad.

Cliques.  How magical they were in high school and how they always made me feel left out.  At 41, you'd think that I could get past that.  Nope.

Damaged goods!  Hi!  My name is Amy.  I'm a Democrat, an artist and in the past few years, my family and I changed to the Methodist church from being Baptist for nearly all of my life.  PLEASE IGNORE ME!  I should have come in wearing a sandwich sign, some type of headband with obnoxious things bobbling from it and one of those drug store cash lane light up necklaces.  And a boa!  I suppose that if I wasn't to fit in, dammit, I should not fit in ALL the way around.

I missed the boat on the obnoxious.  Drat.

The birthday girl came to apologize that she hadn't been able to make it all the way around the room. I told her that it was no problem.  She and her husband can't be the people expected to entertain me and my daughter all night long.  Grant you, K wanted to sit at their table and I told her no.  I said that would be rude for us to do.

So life hasn't really changed with the social aspect.  Good to know.  I still don't fit in.  It's okay.  I don't want to.  Just sometimes, it would be nice for people to accept you regardless.  Boy, we're going to revisit this subject again and again with K.  Maybe it was nice for me to get a recent example to rip the top of that scab clean off so that I can better relate.


Friday, January 9, 2015

"Why did the kids have to go to school today?"

I stopped by the grocery to pick up a few things.  The dairy manager is one of our PTA dads.

"Why did the kids have to go to school today?"

:puzzled look:  "To be educated?"

You see, there are a bunch of schools that have today off again.  My nieces and nephew, as well as one of my best friend's children have been off since Wednesday.

Y'all, there is no reason why the children here aren't in school.  It was a little cold this morning, but nothing overlyeque.  K would tell you that yesterday WAS cold and that she could understand why there was no school.  Yesterday, the temperature was -2.3 F when we woke up and the wind chill was tickling -20 F.  I get that.  This morning, the temperature was 15 F and I think that the windchill was -1 F.

"Don't you have any pull with getting the days off," he asks while chuckling.

"Nope.  I'm responsible for the newsletter and won't be taking on anything more!"

We aren't in the snow belt.  We aren't in the secondary snow belt.  We get snow.  We get Lake Effect snow, but nothing like Chardon and where Hubs grew up.

My child wore her boots, a sweater over her uniform and made sure she zipped her coat up all the way.  She's good.

Go.  Get educated, my child.  Learn stuff.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Stuff and society.

This time of year always has me thinking about stuff.  Don't get me wrong, we do need things.  Sometimes, I am witness of the consumer of far too much.  Sometimes I am the consumer of too much stuff.  It can simply be going to the store on an empty stomach.  It can be as much as being sucked in by the notion that your child isn't going to be popular if they don't wear x, y or z.  (That's why I love, LOVE school uniforms.)  Consumerism is another big reason of why we moved Santa to observing the 3 gift rule.  You see, Santa would be out and about working on things all year.  There would be a limit that he would work with and he would be super about staying within that.  He would, however, do so well with that limit that there were so many things to open that K would get fatigue from it all.  (Mind you, the limit was about $50-60.)  Puzzles, dolls and games . . .  When the kids are younger, the stuff is cheaper.  

Hubs gifted me a turntable for Christmas.  We both discussed about how though we will now be collecting vinyl, it will be limited.  I wanted one R.E.M. vinyl and Hubs found that for me tonight.  I don't need them all.  I just had him find my favorite.  (It was $10!)  I don't need every CD purchased in vinyl.  It's not practical for a multitude of reasons.  

Our Christmas gifts tend to be somewhat limited.  Compared to what I hear, we're all on a fairly light family budget.  We do that for several reasons, but this song is very much a good one of those reasons.

But stuff.  We still have more stuff.



It's a mystery to me
We have a greed with which we have agreed
You think you have to want more than you need
Until you have it all you won't be free

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me

When you want more than you have
You think you need
And when you think more than you want
Your thoughts begin to bleed

I think I need to find a bigger place
'Cause when you have more than you think
You need more space

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me

There's those thinking more or less, less is more
But if less is more how're you keeping score?
Means for every point you make your level drops
Kinda like you're starting from the top, you can't do that

Society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me

Society, have mercy on me
I hope you're not angry if I disagree
Society, crazy indeed
I hope you're not lonely without me


Tuesday, January 6, 2015

So very young.

Last week, my friend April texted me the link to a blog.  Since I have a smartless phone, I sat down at the computer and pounded the address in with the pink-pink-pink of the keys.  The face was Erin.  I could see her in there.  It has been since high school since we talked.  We didn't part on bad terms by any stretch.  We just went in different directions.

At this point, it should be said that we lived in a town somewhat divided.  You had the rich kids on one side of town and the middlers-lower income on the other side.  April and I were on the other side.

When the schools combined, they didn't combine at our school, they combined on the rich side of town.


I was not a terribly popular kid by any stretch.  I was the skinny kid who had funky hair, crooked teeth and had looked as if I was hit with the ugly stick.  My sister who was blazing a trail 3 years ahead of me was quite the opposite.  All of the boys thought she was hot stuff.  That would be great, but hi!  I'm over here!

When the schools combined, I brought with me my best friend but no one, and I mean no one, talked to me in any type of friendly way other than Erin.

She intrigued me.  She was different.  She carried herself differently.  She spoke intelligently but non-confrontationally.

Erin is a PK.  (Preacher's kid.)  Her dad was kind enough to come across town to pick me up every Thursday morning so that we could be in choir together.

I started to read the blog.  My heart sank.  Here, one of the people who I graduated with and who has been in otherwise most excellent health was facing something big-- Stage IV Colon Cancer that has spread to her liver.

Actually, in her case, they found the cancer in her liver first.  They knew that it had originated somewhere else.

If you could belt out some prayers for her, I know that she'd appreciate it.  If you'd like to keep up with her journal, ranting and some R rated language involved, her blog is The View from the 21st Floor.

Pray for Erin.