The Way Things Are



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Don’t invite Laura. She’s weird.
2006-06-05, 3:07 p.m.

Friday night, I squelched my tendency to avoid social occasions that are not a guaranteed home run on entertainment, and DW and I hiked back to San Antonio after hours (figuratively – we really drove – hiking would be silly) to attend a going-away party at Lil Guy’s school for one of the Very Popular Moms (VPM) who is moving out of state with her family.

And what is wrong with me, I ask? I sit there in a room full of people whom I have known since 1998, and I’m all standoffish and uncomfortable and feeling like I don’t fit in, and like I have nothing to talk about. I’m so weird, and I’m sure you are, too. Does 50% of the population walk into a school-parent type setting and feel like they are the ONLY ONE who doesn’t fit in? I always feel like they all hang out and socialize with each other every weekend, and I’m the only that’s not invited.

And not because they forget to invite me, but more like I’m not invited because they call each other and say “Don’t invite Laura. She’s weird.”

Of course, if I would just volunteer some more at the school, I could be all in with the cool kids again. Most of the people I saw there hugged me and said “I never see you anymore.” I would respond that I burned out on the volunteering a couple of years ago, and this year I just wrote a big fat check and called it done. In case you aren’t hip to the jive of volunteering at my kid’s school, you either have to do 20 hours of service like milk mom or playground attendant or fundraiser drudgery, or you can pay the PTC $10 for every hour you don’t work.

Guess who wrote a check for the whole $200 this year? AND I LIKED IT. Except I didn’t like that disconnected feeling, like not knowing that the VPM was moving until I got the party invite. She is one of the few that I actually really like, like I can talk to her in my own voice, and she’s just as loud and irreverent as I am.

She would never look at you and say “Oooh, that’s so NICE,” as she patted you on the arm, and looked for somebody else to talk to. She would say “Fuckin’ A,” and punch you on the arm. I like thems people.

But my point here is that after a glass of wine – just one, that’s all it took - I managed to start talking to EVERYBODY. Seems we all have something in common to talk about once a little alcohol lubes up the social proceedings. DW and I even did a very special interpretive dance to “Play that Funky Music (White Boy)”.

Hopefully I made such a good impression that the others will call each other and say “Please DO invite Laura. Did you see how well she and her husband dance?”

****

On Saturday, we loaded up with Don and followed our high school baseball team to a city some hours away, to watch them win YET ANOTHER game. We stopped at Whataburger for lunch, and as DW disappeared back to the bathrooms, he hollered at me “Order me a Number Two.”

And I swear, for the next 15 minutes, Don and I giggled and snorted about Number Two. “I’ll take a Number Two, please. Can you make that WITHOUT corn?”

Before we settle on Whataburger, we drove around the little town for a bit, just in case there was some place local and nice to eat. Nope, sorry, every place in town looked very, very dirty, which I’m sure means the food is really good, but I didn’t want to take a chance, being three hours away from home and everything. And I’m a snob, and I’m sorry, but there ya go.

But as we drove around, we saw a burger joint (very dirty and run down) called Beefy Burger. With DW driving and just staying quiet while we got on our respective rolls, Don and I heehawed about the Beefy Burger, and wondered what other kind of burger there might be:

Ratty Burger?
Catty Burger?
Goaty Burger?

And our favorite --

Sheepy Burger.

After that EVERYTHING was sheepy. One of our friends, who was also down watching the baseball game (actually, we ran into our whole town at Whataburger) has an impressive set of muttonchops, but we decided they are really sheepychops.

I’m sure you had to be there, but I find that at least I am laughing all over again, just thinking about the sheepychops and the Sheepy Burger. Mmmm, sheepy.

****

For those of you who are just paranoid enough to think I was talking about you on Friday, I wasn’t. This person has never commented here, I have never commented over there, and honestly, I really don’t think s/he knows I’m alive. And that’s really for the best, now, isn’t it? Jane tried to lure me in with an update synopsis this morning that had some extra crazy heaped on top, but I didn’t bite. Not.Going.To.Look.

But please be assured that it isn’t YOU. Or you, for that matter. Or even you.

Or is it? MWAHAHAHAHAHAHA! (No, it isn’t.)

****

Today is the first day of LG’s summer vacation. I am making him volunteer at his church/school’s vacation Bible school every morning this week, because I remember that experience as a social BONANZA from when I was but a young, misguided Baptist youth. Yep, I think I have told y’all about our Baptist youth group, but in case you didn’t tune in that day, the Baptist youth group were my very first drinking buddies.

So anyway, not that I think LG and his band of 13-year-old friends are going out drinking or anything, but I do know for a fact that volunteering at your local VBS is more fun than it sounds like. Sure ‘nuff, I called him this afternoon at his grandmother’s house, and learned that he and one other boy are awash in a sea of teenage girl volunteers.

“Gee, that sounds terrible. You and Alex and all those girls.” He laughed a little bit. I am always right, and that child should know it by now.

He has a request for tomorrow, and that is that he NOT have to go to his grandmother’s house afterward. He wants me to take him home and let him hang out and chill and be bored at his own house, not his You Need To Get Started On Your Summer Reading grandmother. Yikes. For a woman who means so well, she is every teenaged boy’s nightmare.

At our house, there’s a wheelbarrow he can stand in, and turn the hose on himself. Ah, sweet, sweet summer.

****

I leaned over to DW yesterday morning at church, and whispered, “Hey, is today the 4th?”

Looks at his watch. “Yes.”

“Today is Surly’s and my 18th anniversary.”

“Sweet. We should celebrate.”

“We already did. This morning.”

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