Surly Thursday: Fear and Loathing at the School Barbecue

So I had a doctor's appointment early Wednesday morning. I made it early because I knew I was going to get weighed and I wanted to go without eating. This was a stupid, stupid idea. It was stupid because I know I've lost some weight and I shouldn't have been so hell-bent on the doctor's scale showing the most possible weight lost, and it was stupid because I live in a suburb that's reasonably far from downtown, which is fine in off-hours when the traffic is normal, but during what we like to call "escape from Barrhaven" when everybody's going to work, it takes an insanely long time to get there.

So I left an hour early for a drive that should take twenty to twenty-five minutes, and I was late, and stuck in traffic, and having a panic attack. I made it in around twenty minutes late, and managed not to burst into tears in the waiting room, and the doctor still saw me. And my weight loss was duly recorded and praised, but it was rather unfortunate that I was also there for a blood pressure check.

My doctor suggested strongly that I increase my medication dosage since my anxiety seems to be riding a little high. YA THINK? So to sum up - fuck you, fucking anxiety, you are HARSHING MY BUZZ.

After the doctor, I sat in my van and took some deep breaths. Then I drove to Starbucks and met The Maven and Sarah. And, well, I'm not going to talk about that now, because it makes me unable to stay surly. I drank a bunch of tea and basked in their awesomeness and we talked and laughed and interrupted each other and said no, you go first, and talked some more and laughed some more and the people that were there trying to get work done probably cursed us in their heads and wished we'd shut the hell up and two and a half hours flew by like nothing.

Thursday I started getting stuff ready for my birthday party on Saturday, and did an assignment and a quiz for my course, and it all would have been lovely, except it was the day of the effing school barbecue, which I used to be able to just not tell my kids about, but as soon as Eve was old enough to listen to her friends and read the memos she was bringing home I was screwed.

It shouldn't be that bad. I know a lot of people at the school. Some of them even like me. The weather was nice although it was supposed to be raining. It was only two hours long. Why does it strike terror into my heart and make me loathe all of humankind?

I'll get to that in a moment. I have to add that, as I was backing the van out of the driveway and talking to Eve about something, there was a horrific clunk that scared the hell out of us. I realized that, now that the huge snowbanks that made backing out terrifying are gone, my husband decided to move the basketball net from his truck's side of the driveway to my van's side. So while I was trying not to hit his vehicle's mirror with my vehicle's mirror, the mirror on the OTHER side of my vehicle whacked the basketball net. My reaction was somewhat disproportionate. I mean, it's possible - probable, even - that he wasn't expressly setting me up to wreck the van and feel like a total failure as a competent driver and human being. It's possible he was just trying to move the basketball net away from the tree. Regardless, it was a less than auspicious start to the whole ordeal.

We picked up Eve's friend whose parents weren't able to take her. We walked down the street to the school.

So here's the story. It's a big school. There are a lot of people. You think that knowing a good number of people should mean that you can find someone to talk to - maybe more than one person! - but the truth of it is that most years I end up wandering around feeling fat and awkward and lost and alone while Eve runs around getting hot dogs and freezies and going on bouncy castles with her friends. It's in a wide open field, so the sun blazes down relentlessly for the entire two hours. There's loud annoyingly perky music playing. There are about six picnic tables for about eight hundred people. I saw my friend's kids, then I realized she'd sent her husband instead of coming herself and felt a brief flash of total hatred for her. Then I couldn't find Eve and her friend for a good half hour, wherein I went from "it's cool that at least I don't have to stay with them the entire time because they're old enough to go by themselves and you know nothing's going to happen with all these people around in a contained area" to "jesus christ, I'm going to have the only kid who ever disappeared in full view of the entire school, out of a contained area". And just as an extra little bitter garnish, I realized that my husband usually doesn't come because it's baseball season and there's always been a game on barbecue night. But this time there WAS no game, and he was just sitting home in blissful silence and coolness and non-fat-social-leper-weirdness. After having put the basketball net right where my mirror would hit it. Then I found Eve and her friend.

You can imagine how well things went when I got home. Just kidding. Mostly. I do it because Eve has a great time, and I know that as a parent sometimes we have to do things we don't like for our kids. I just sort of fail on the part where we're supposed to do it halfway graciously.

Off to the drugstore. Hopefully as a side effect, the anxiety meds will also treat the overwhelming tendency to be a petty cow.


Julie said…
Hmm, if the mess help with petty cowishness, sign me up!!

I'm wondering if this school BBQ thing is a suburban thing. Never heard of them in the downtown schools. Or maybe I'm just oblivious to what goes n around me. Hmm.
StephLove said…
Does school get out soon for you? No more school = no more school events for a couple months.
Nicole said…
We only have our bbq in September. In June, we have our STAMPEDE BREAKFAST which is why I will be donning my brand new skirt and my straw cowboy hat and belly up to the grill to flip pancakes for two hours. Strangely, I'm looking forward to it.
We don't have a school BBQ but we do have a School Beach Day - along with 500 other schools in the city (seriously they drive from all the way across Vancouver to come to OUR beach!!). It's insane. It gives me heart palpitations.

Yesterday, I bought something called "Chill Pill" for someone I may be living with that suffers from anxiety who may have decided to go cold turkey off his meds much to my opposition. For whatever reason, this person seems willing to take these Chill Pills though (because they're natural perhaps??) so I'm hoping to hell that they actually do something.

Hope your meds work out for you. *fist bump* on the weight loss!
Sarah McCormack said…
You can bask in my awesomeness any time, so long as I can bask in yours! we need to do that again!

as for the rest of this blog, I can't comment as I am too busy focusing on(and blushing over) the part that involves me!
Anonymous said…
Happy birthday!
Sasha said…
Crap. It hadn't occurred to me that Meena will eventually be able to read the memos. I'm screwed, aren't I? Can we make a pact or something? I'll go to your BBQs if you come to mine? Or wait, that would result in twice as many BBQs. Never mind.

Yours in social leperedness (& other perceived inadequacies that probably nobody else even notices).

Lynn said…
Our school's BBQ was this past weekend, and for the first time we let our oldest just run amok with his friends, and it was weird, but cool. The most interesting thing, for me, was that most of his friends were there alone - as in, their parents had just given them some pocket money and sent them out and told them to be back in two hours. I guess age 10 is the age when we can start thinking about that? It's both terrifying and exhilarating. Anyway, my point here is that you might have two, three years tops of BBQ left before you can just send Eve over (if you can talk yourself out of hyperventilating the entire time she is gone, which I feel like I would do if we let the Captain just wander off on his own, but am trying to keep the panic at a low simmer).

In other news, I saw at least three moms that I know sitting under shady trees texting/surfing/tweeting on their smartphones for over an hour while their kids ran around and occasionally checked in for more money. So perhaps a smartphone is your saving grace?
Magpie said…
heh. i sent my husband and child to the school picnic, because it was at 5:00 and i leave the office at 5:45 and get home at 7 thank-you-very-much. was i sad to miss it? um, no.
Ms. G said…
Story of my life. My stomach sinks just thinking about it.
But it's over, right?! It ended with a Birthday! Hope you had a Great One : )
Dimitra said…
So when I finally saw you, as I'm running past you, and realized you were at the BBQ, I had an irate 10 year old waiting for me to go home with her to bring her rabbit to the BBQ, when I clearly put my foot down before we left for the BBQ that she was NOT to bring the rabbit in the first place...
My son was busy stroking a variety of reptiles facing his fears...
My husband (who I guilted into coming) was being the social butterfly, oblivious to the whereabouts of our children...

Next year I'm bringing a me at the fire truck
clara said…
There's not much worse than having to go to something like that when you are just not in the mood. My sympathies, even though it was two weeks ago now.

Our school had a CARNIVAL this year, which was absolutely insane. I was so done making small talk with people I was actually envious of my husband, who only knows two people, and could walk through the crowd without doing the "oh hey! hey how are YOU?" thing. Also, the noise. Also, the barbecued food is revolting but I always buy it because it's for the kids. Handily we only live five blocks away so I am not far from my bed / fridge / television.

Plus this year we won a cake in the cake walk, so. Cake.

Popular posts from this blog

Clothes Make the Blog Post

Books Read in 2021: Four-Star YA Horror

Mean Spirits