Judgement Day

August 16, 2013

It’s been quite a while since I’ve found myself in front of the screen. I’ve had a lot of thoughts weighing me down lately.

Where are the squirrels that usually hang around the fence at Cunningham Pool?

Who is Taylor Swift going to eviscerate on her next song?

Why is that we live in a world so incredibly, utterly obsessed with judging everybody else that shares the same world?

Actually, that last statement is pretty broad. Let me narrow it down, or at least fill you in on where that’s coming from.

When my family went on a vacation, I accidentally came across a note not intended for me to see. In it, a friend of mine made a few disparaging comments about my family’s table manners.

I was wrecked. Utterly devastated. Packed our bags, left for home, unpacked at 2 in the morning, fueled with fury and pain and humiliation.

Here it is, five days later, and I’m fine.

So what, someone that loved me doesn’t like that I regard the table as a lovely place to rest my elbows? And more often than not, (and if you choose never to invite me for dinner, I will understand,) my napkin ends up on the floor eight seconds after I put it in my lap. And I don’t bother to pick it up. Because if I did, I’d probably spill something. And I would rather continue eating than go about the business of wiping stuff up.

Upon careful reflection, I realized that pretty much from the moment I wake until I’m fast asleep, I’m making judgements about everything and everyone I come into contact with.

My kids know this. As soon as I walked in the door tonight and saw my son bathed in the light of the computer, I decided he had spent the past three hours there, was probably looking at porn, and was destined to develop carpal tunnel syndrome by October and never go to college.

My favorite tv show right now is “So You Think You Can Dance’. Just the title says it all.

I am sure I’ve made snide comments about Madonna’s vocals, restaurants that have condiment bars, and the color peach.

We judge, all day, every day.

But I did realize in the course of writing this down, two pretty important things.

1.  Much of what I’m judging receives glowing reviews-

I love my children and believe they are the most amazing people on the planet.

I adore my friends, even, and especially, the one who wishes I had spent more time                  paying attention to Emily Post.

2.  And I should probably not to jump to conclusions so quickly, and reserve verdicts on things I know little about, to when I have done a little research.

FYI, my son was watching You Tube, “most stupid basketball plays 2012′.

That said, does anyone know of any squirrel diseases afflicting Eastern Massachusetts?

I’m really shy

August 1, 2013

and quite honestly, it’s a pain.

I was invited to a party tonight. A party thrown by a woman and man I don’t know that well, but that I think are probably incredibly cool. I know a few of the other people that were going to be there, also pretty cool. I live in a small town, so I feel like it is not only a good idea for me to make friends with incredibly cool people, but that it would also be helpful to my kids. The more friends I have, the wider the circle of people in my kids lives. It all sounds pretty silly, but trust me, every kid wants a parent that hangs out with the “cool” parents.

I didn’t make it thru the front door. I got home from work, took Katy to the library. Walked the dog next door. Picked out the dress, and removed the chipped polish from my toe nails. Took a shower. Put on the dress. Put on another dress. Put the first dress back on, and put my hair up in a knot, designed to look like I had put no thought into it all. (For about six hours, I had been debating up do or quality time with the blowdryer. Decided didn’t want to take forty five minutes to blow dry my hair, was late enough already.) Scowled at shoes. Scowled at toenails. Put shoes on, and kissed kids goodbye. Actually, tried to kiss kids goodbye, in truth, got half a cheek and a nod.

I drove to the gas station a block away. Called my friend from high school in New Jersey. We spent a half an hour talking about teenagers, sex and personal, personal grooming.

I drove the car home.

My son wasn’t happy with me; he liked the idea of having a mom with a social life. Maybe he thinks if I go to more cocktail parties he will have more time on the internet without me looking over his shoulder.

Most of my friends, and I do have friends, just not a “circle” of friends, maybe a kind of large sliver, would not think of me as shy. I come across like a golden retriever, bliss and smiles, easy conversation and, I hope, an empathetic ear.

But the truth is, groups scare the hell out me. Even brief conversation occasionally terrifies me. I fill in those moments with what seems to be casual observations about someone’s jewelry, job or kids until the feeling passes.

Social grace does not come easily to me. But writing about my lack of social grace is not nearly as terrifying. That is a mystery that might make good cocktail party conversation, that is if and when I make it to a cocktail party. And choose to come across as a self involved bitch who wants to do nothing more than talk about herself.

Oh my. Maybe I should think about moving to a really, really small town where no one speaks any English.