Back about a million years ago I got into an, ahem, argument with a school chum. It dissolved into a cat fight - I mean - a lively discussion about various personal attributes. Ahem. Yes. Anyhoo, at one point she accused me of being "socially inept."
You know how sometimes something someone says really sticks with you whether it is valid or not? Well, for some reason this particular comment has a way of poking at me from time to time, especially when (like most normal humans on the planet) I inadvertently make some sort of social blunder, like pick my nose in public - I mean - forget someone's name or neglect to make a proper introduction or accidentally insult someone's outerwear or whatever.
So the other night there was an open house for potential new students at Boychild's school. Boychild has been home sick all week, and I saw this as an opportunity to pop over and grab some homework and check in with his teacher. We had a nice chat about how his reading is coming along. We wandered into the hallway, where some other school-types were milling about, and continued to chat about Girlchild's Triumphant Arrival to school not this fall but next.
By this time I'm standing across from a giant display covered in photographs from Boychild's class. I'm chatting with the adults, but my eyes keep shifting over to the display. Eventually I realize how idiotic it is that I'm not making good eye contact with the people to whom I am speaking - my gaze flitting back and forth and my attention obviously diverted. Feeling flustered, I cut and run, announcing I should be heading home.
I relay this story to Groom-boy later, and he thinks I am pretty funny (funny haha or funny strange?). It is funny because, as he pointed out, all I really had to do was say, "My! What a lovely display!" and turn the conversation toward the board so I could take a look at the photos, which I never really got to examine. Instead, which of the following impressions do you think I left:
a) My, what a strange, shifty-eyed woman. Someone call security.
b) Is she about to steal something? Someone call security.
c) Do we even have security at this school?
d) Is she lying to us about the fact she has a daughter who will start school in a couple of years?
e) Boy, is she ever socially inept, just like that girl said she was 15 years ago.
f) Is this open house over yet? The visitors are getting weird.
g) Hey! I like her hat!
h) Helloooo? Over here! Hey! Lady!
i) Is there something wrong with the display?
j) Somebody check her bag.
Let's hope it was g. Sigh. Nerd.