Name: margalit
Location: Massachusetts, United States Professional writer, educational advocate, opinionated ultra liberal mother of 18 year old twins, living life in the slow lane due to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, congestive heart failure, and diabetes.

email: margalitc at yahoo dot com

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Where do I fit in?

Tomorrow night is the dreaded Back To School night at the middle school. The Girl has asked me to go, knowing how much I hate these events. You never get to speak to the teachers, you get a bunch of Rah Rah School's Great lines from the Principal and Guidance while you're crammed into the auditorium with a bunch of other parents, all of whom seem to have known each other since birth. I'm not good at this stuff. I hate social situations as a rule, and I'm terrible at small talk. I don't know how to explain who I am, I have trouble introducing myself, and then there is the problem of what to wear. All the other parents are in their designer duds and I'm always looking particularly like a fish out of water in my t'shirts and jeans. Now that we've changed schools I don't know one single soul at this school and I'm just not all that psyched about making new friends. I just want to get through the school year without blowing up the school or myself in frustration. Is that asking so much?

In our town, most of the mom's are SAH and they have tons of money. They drive up to the schools in their Range Rovers and Jaguars and Escalades, thin as rails in designer workout clothing. Their hair is perfectly couiffed, they wear makeup, and they walk in designer shoes. They appear to have names like Muffy and Bubbles, but they're mostly Jewish so they probably are all Sarah's and Lisa's and Amy's. I know I don't fit in, I know I stick out like a sore thumb, but why do they make it so uncomfortable for the parents who really don't fit in. Being the sole parent of my kids makes me different. Being older than most of them makes me different, too. Being disabled definately makes me different. Having striped hair probably makes me look deranged and different but that one I don't care about. I'm going to grow out this hair dye if it's the last thing I do on this earth. I'm planning to die gray-haired, just as I should.

The PTO is big in this school and they're already dunning for money. It costs a lot just to join, and then you get to pay for the student directory, and lord only know what other fund raisers are coming up. I don't mind most of them because I just ignore anything that asks my child to beg our neighbors for magazine subscriptions, etc. But it does bother me that when you do volunteer for something, if they don't know you, you never get the job. I'm not taking it personally, I just have issues with the professional school moms. In our elementary school, and then again at the other middle school, there was one mom in particular that hung out in the school the entire day. She was a professional volunteer and she ran the whole class. Every time I volunteered to chaparone a field trip, they didn't need me. I thought that was a bit odd until I found out that she and her buddies did every single trip and no other moms were ever included. OK. That's weird, but I can handle it.

The high school Open House is in a couple of weeks and I'm actually looking forward to that one. I know some of the parents, because our kids are all new to the school we're all in the same place and we're all interested in checking out the new interim principal that nobody knows. That alone is worth the price of admission. I only pray that they offer something besides instant coffee to drink.
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Anonymous Carrie said...

I wouldn't want to go to that Back to School night either. Ugh. I am uncomfortable around people like that. Give me jeans and a t-shirt any day! I've worked in impoverished school districts and in wealthy school districts and I'll take the impoverished districts any day. Those rich parents who are at school ALL DAY LONG are insane and make it very difficult for the teacher to do his/her job. Maybe it will be better once the kids are in high school? It seems like parental participation drops dramatically then.

29/9/05 9:16 AM  

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