I am not going to make this too self-indulgent. I am just going to blog it out and move on.
I went to a meeting at school today followed by an assembly. I got myself out of my scruffs, had a long bubble bath and made sure I did not smell with all manner of sprays and deoderants. Went throught that wake-up call stuff that the stay at home mum of a certain kind goes through when they realise they don’t have any knickers that really hold it all in and tights were never than much fun but not working, you have actually forgotten just how little fun they are. Then into a bra which has some padding that has gone askew somehow even though only worn once. Wonder once again where 20 years and my lovely figure went.
In other words, dear reader, I made an effort to look like a proper mum. I went into school and already two mums were there chatting in a friendly fashion. I had no idea how to butt in without appearing rude and just stood there like a spare part feeling more and more uncomfy. One mum was definitely of the yummy variety and there was huge relief that the other was at least wearing a fleece not dissimilar to my own. Another mum arrived looking glamorous and I could feel myself shrinking more and more into myself.
My part in the meeting was brief before going to my daughter’s assembly and dance demonstration. There were rows of chairs but only the front row had parents on it. I did not have the confidence to sit next to anyone so lurked on the second row hoping my daughter would manage to see I had turned up.
Banter flew between the women. Laughter, in-jokes and coos at a new baby. I watch the clock. Please somebody or something rescue me! How do other women always know the right thing to say and do?
The children filed in and there was my daughter looking all blonde and slender. My mood picks up at this point but her face is crumbling because she cannot see me. Eventually, I see a boy point her in my direction saying I imagine “Your Mum the really fat and ugly one is over there”.
I see the dance and I see how my daughter is really good but also not drawing attention to herself unlike some of the little prima donnas in her class. I am glad she is mine.
I get quite tearful at one point as I realise this is my first visit to the school hall since Dad died and how he used to sit, often uncomfy, but he would be there supporting his grandchildren on. I know exactly what he would have said today, “Wasn’t she marvellous?” and he would have said that whatever the true quality of the performance. You see now why I miss him because he was like that with me too. With everyone else, I don’t measure up.
I could go back to the meeting but I scurry away having gone through enough trauma for one day. I never fit in. It must be quite embarrassing when people are thinking “Why is she here?” and so on.
I was the outsider at school because I committed the cardinal sin of being interested in learning. Add to that a contempt for boys and rubbish sports skill and you can imagine I am sure.
At college, I fitted in fine despite being a different class to most of the other students. I even got invited to “in-crowd” parties. It was, dear reader, my finest hour.
I get confused. In the virtual world, people seem to find me OK and even actively like me. So how come it doesn’t work in real life?
I know it must be me who gets it all wrong. So here I am with qualifications coming out of my derriere and not a clue how to speak to people or to make friends. Can I go back and just be slim, good at sport and wanted please? You can have the 0-Levels back, they are of little use on a daily basis.
Worth saying now that is what was so amazing about BritMums Live last year where some folks seemed actively pleased to see me. I am so not used to that and it was lovely. So if you just happen to be a shrinking violet like me, do come to BritMums Live 2013 and we can paint the town purple together.