Nerd. Dork. Weirdo. Dense. Awkward. Naive. These are words I apply to myself. Not very helpful, but a little bit true.
Intuitive. Analytical. Logical. Practical. Compassionate. Honest. Gifted. Talented. These are better words, but they cause the first set to be true.
I don’t care much for fashion, comfort is much more important to me. And cost. I dress simply, and often in bright, uncool colors, because colors make me happy. And probably because the material was soft. I’ll buy anything that is soft on my skin. I have no heels, they hurt my feet and back.
I am really honest. I think I answer in unexpected ways, based on people’s faces when I speak, and their confusion, and then retreat.
I am a natural teacher. I am really smart. I know a lot about a lot of things. This can make me appear to be an expert as I explain things to others, and I sometimes guess the level they wanted to hear that explanation. Very few people want to talk academically or actually learn things.
A group of women are talking near me. We know each other’s kids, but not each other. They are talking about dance class at a place we can not afford. Next they talk about getting their nails done. I have never had a manicure. Next they talk about “The Bachelor” and I have never watched an entire episode. Next they complain that their husbands don’t do enough for them. I don’t think that is true, so I stay silent. Next they talk about purses they are selling. I have a purse. When it wears out I will buy another, but not if I have to attend a party to get it. So I wait and wait for an opening to join this group, but I got nothing,. Nothing at all to add to this conversation. I may try to compliment the nails or purse with a “That is pretty”, but other than that I got nothing. So the time passes with them chatting near me, and me staying silent. I don’t think they notice I am there.
So I wonder what they think. (I know – pointless exercise, just hush) Do they think I am shy? Do they think I am rude? Do they assume I am very busy? Do they think I have different friends than them? Do they even think of me at all? My guess is the last one. I am so far removed from their world that they can barely see me.
They know who my kids are, but other than that take no time to ask me anything. They never shut up for me to have a chance to ask them anything. And then the squeals. You know what I mean, that sound girls make when they see each other and hug and their voices go up 10 octaves and they talk really fast. I don’t do that. I don’t understand that. And I always react by backing up and away from that.
I do not feel inferior or superior to these women. I just don’t feel like one of them. And I don’t feel the need to be connected to them. I feel awkward when they are talking near me like that, but I don’t feel lonely or hurt. Just awkward. I understand their motives for saying what they do, I (over) analyze each statement. I catch them exaggerating, even lying. I catch them being wrong. Like thinking a flu shot prevents stomach viruses. Do I explain that the flu is a lung disease, and there is no such thing as stomach flu, but we commonly call it that for some absurd reason? If your puking and not coughing, you do not have the flu. But no, I don’t explain, because either they won’t believe me, or will not understand and it just wastes time and causes more awkwardness.
If one of them suddenly starts talking to me, I scramble for answers that fit for them. I don’t want to tell them I don’t care about that stuff, and that their high pitched chattering is extremely annoying. And if they started calling me to complain about life and so-and-so, I could not handle that, and would have to be rude. So maybe this is better. They have their life, I have mine, and we stay apart.
Better for me. Again, I worry that I am creating problems for my kids socially. I want them to go to friends houses regularly, but none of them have had the first invite, except to class parties, nothing individually. Do I have to be friends with those moms? I’m hoping this will just get sorted out as the kids get older and handle their own friends.
I don’t know how to be true to myself and also encourage my kids to reach out and be friendly. And maybe they are fine. I am only comparing my kids to the kids of the moms I don’t belong with, so perhaps it makes sense my kids don’t belong there. They are part of other groups, scouts, parties, just no playdates.
Why am I stuck on this? I keep coming back to an idea that I am different because of my past abuse. Or my IQ. Or even a social disorder, like Aspbergers. Or ADD makes me not want to listen. Why don’t I want to be a part of the other moms, and why do I so badly want my kids to be with theirs?