Tuesday, August 14, 2007

God don't make no junk

School is starting in less than a month. This causes very mixed emotions for me. I'm alternately: "YAY! the kids are going back to school. Get them out of our hair!!!" and "Ugh. I have to endure parent meetings and lunch duty."

See, I'm not in the "In Crowd." You know the moms: they sit in the parking lot with their Dunkin Donuts coffee after drop off; they chair various committees and sit on the PTA board; they have the prinicpal's ear (Sometimes for better, sometimes for worse).

I go to parent meetings and get there a little before the meeting begins, searching the crowd to see if there is someone I know whom I can sit with. If not, I sit on the sides or in the back, trying to keep a low profile. "In Crowd" moms are friendly, mostly, but they don't talk to me, and I think that many of them think things about me that may not necessarily be very nice. Maybe I come across as standoffish, as stuck up.

I am fully aware that this problem is mostly a problem of my own making. It may not really come across here, but I am a pretty shy person. I am loved and lovable, but I have never felt like people would like me. Growing up I was the weird kid. You know the girl in grade school whose hair and clothes were never quite right? The one who came to school and went home without talking to other kids very much? That was me. And that little girl is still inside, even though my hair and my clothes are much nicer now, I have a fabulous husband and gorgeous, smart children.

Also compounding this problem of mine is that I work for the parish where my kids go to school. I'm the Religious Ed Coordinator and communication about sacrament policies and parent meetings come from my office. I sometimes have to tell people what they don't want to hear. I sometimes have to say "no" to people in the "In Crowd." I think some people think that I am "holier than thou" because of my job and because of my shyness. I have felt a real shift in people's attitudes toward me as we've talked and gotten to know each other a little bit. There is definitely a thawing, like "Gosh, she's not the snot I thought she was!"

And the poor people I am friends with! I stick to them like glue during these meetings and dismissal times because I feel comfortable with them. I hope that I am not annoying!

So, what is a shy mom to do? I don't really have the time to sit on boards and chair committees, but I could probably help out here or there with things: work a table at the Christmas Bazaar, work an hour at the book fair. I can be more outgoing, more "smiley" around school. I can also change my attitude toward the "In Crowd" moms. They are individual women who have their imperfections, too. That they are loved and lovable as well.

I can tell the weird kid inside to settle down and relax. She has to understand that the people who don't like her don't know her. She has to understand that God loves the weird kids and the kids in the "In Crowd" the same, that He wants us to love one another as He loves us. She needs to know that she cannot control how others perceive her. All she can do is try to love others, especially those who make her feel sad inside, and be herself: the wonderful weird little kid that God made her.


gemoftheocean said...

Amy, you can't be one of the "weird kids" ;-D I've given you a blog link.

Seriously it takes all kinds. Just be "you." Only "you" can be "you."

I forget what movie had the line that said "Just be you, unless you're an a$$----, in which case be somebody else!" ;-D Seriously, you don't need to be worried if people won't like you or not, most people get over the so-and-so has cooties stage by 6th grade. 7th grade if they're "slow." On your poll -- I think a lot of us were in the "lumpen middle!" A lot of times the so-called "popular kids" are trying so hard to impress each other by being all alike, they don't realize they come off as "shallow." Not that deep inside they may really be that way, but they're internalized to the other extreme, worried about what people think of them. Cuts both ways I suppose. Personally, I was always the "new kid." Being an "only" as well I had to figure out how to make at least allies if not friends fast! Not to many enemies, but I don't know of any kids who went through life not having at least one "Scott Farkus" to avoid. [See Christmas Story" if you don't get the reference!]

BTW, I note you live in or around Newark .. my favorite actor on planet earth comes from there, James Brennan. Stage actor.

Karen H. -- San Diego, Ca.

Aimee said...

If you're the weird kid, I am in major trouble ;)

Seriously, though, I go to every school meeting the same way. If we lived closer to each other we could go to meetings together!

You know I think you are the coolest :)

gemoftheocean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
gemoftheocean said...

(I hate typos, sorry about that!) See, Amy, Aimee says so too!

Barb, sfo said...

Sending a Big Giant Hug up the NJ Turnpike to you!
As you know, I am in the same boat down here. We can't afford to live in your zip code--how about you guys come down here and join our PTA and we can make our own little "crowd?" I have met some of your "In Crowd" moms (and am related to one) so I know the drill you are going through.
Meanwhile, here I sit trying to figure out if I can get TheDad to do the PTA thing at the grade school this year. I can handle the high school one, even though I call it the "Handbag Fashion Show." TheDad is quite oblivious to the politics involved in these groups. It could work.

Amy Giglio said...

Now, you guys are really Awesome.

I didn't want this to turn into a "poor me" whine. I hope it hasn't. I am less weird (how much less is entirely debatable) now than when I was younger, so I don't feel weird anymore, but when you were the weird kid it never really goes away.

Karen, it's nice to *meet* you. I stopped by your blog this morning. My brother and sister in law are in your city.

Aim, I love you!

(((Barb))) I wrote this because of a little emailing we had done a few months ago. I have always gotten along with your sister in law. I think you've got a good idea about having TheDad do the elementary PTA stuff, especially if he's going to continue to guilt you over lunch duty. I think that men should do all of that stuff because they don't do the same kind of backstabby catty crap that women do. They do other political crap, but at least I don't have to get involved. ;)

Anonymous said...

i feel for you but i'm kind of able to speak to anyone! And that includes rounding them up for our talks on the faith by our Parish Priest. have a great term..