So what is the winter social? You poor Euros don’t know what you’re missing. You hang together at some naval bowling alley and eat M&Ms and cheap chicken wings and try to forget all about it by downing warm lager/beer. All this whilst forking out money for items that you never knew you needed and are still not sure you want but in the effort to keep the great charitable wheel turning and supporting the objectives of the PTA (parent teacher association). So no, this would not work in Europe because we are all too mean spirited. Furthermore being forced to socialize (a word that has us drawing a deep intake of breath) with a group of people, with whom our only connection is an institution, has us fleeing for the wet and boggy marshes.
There is a reason why I have never joined the British Tot to Toddler Group of DC. Just because we have toddlers is no reason to think we are going to like each other. We will eye each other with suspicion and the suspicion will only be strengthened by the fact that we have signed up in the first place. Our introductions will be varnished with superficial smiles and the minds will be ticking. It is all just too excruciating.
Now I know this is not the case in the US but I cannot get over my residual distrust. Yes I should be at the Kindergarten Social, the Third Grade Social and then be looking forward to the Winter social but I lack the genetic make-up.
So how did I get onto the committee? Actually I am not sure I am even officially on it. I don’t know. I had placed myself 6000 miles away and 1800 metres/6000 feet up a mountain. I had plaster in my ears and was consumed with my search for a white oven.
I ignored the various emails that started to smell whiffy on the subject. The very word Winter Social does it for me. Socials are what are held at the sort of retirement home you do not want to end up in. Senior residents are collected and gathered together in the calmly toned rec. room to enjoy a night of bingo. Occasionally things are mildly enlivened when an old biddy with her new purple hair rinse gets into a tussle with Ms. pink hair rinse over Don, who they both have set their failing but amorous sights on. In fact as far as I am concerned there is quite possibly a lot more fun to be had on such an occasion than swilling warm beer and being told to stop one’s conversation as once again… your turn to bowl is up. Lastly the shoes, these are possibly one of the most distressing aspects, that smell of shared, seriously cheap, fake leather.
Unfortunately my attempts at remaining aloof and apart in my French Restoration Comedy were to no avail. The missive finally arrived “ZXY and I want your confirmation that you’ll help with the winter social.” Now I spent a year being taught textual analysis and this is what I can only define as a “NOT opt-in invitation.” For fear of offending, I of course said yes, with reservations. “Why?” says my ever liberally disposed husband. Because I aim to please and that is another bane of my life along with black gilt wings, Alexander’s obsession with hand soap and yes, this my dear blob.
The thing is, of course we should support our school. I feel this even more deeply given that we are non resident legal aliens and effective parasites of the system. We supported the playground and in the first year had no idea what the PTA was and so gave them lashings of money on Back to School Night (Euros will need to wait for another entry on that – it is the parents who go back to school not the children.) The recipient of my cheque/check looked a little stunned.
The only thing is that right now I would like to continue writing cheques…. at least until I have a husband who lives with his legal alien and we are bored enough of each other to welcome an m&m fest, and till my blossoming little US citizens have matured enough to not keep me awake at night with fears of My Fair Lady.
Now to all this I need to append the following juggernaut of a disclaimer. The women on this committee are all very nice. I tend to prefer them without the bit in their mouth and I also tend to prefer my cap less feathered but, regardless, I look forward to convening, feasting and ranting (but not socializing) well into the future. Some even urged me to blob, and blob I have, but the innards are starting to spill.
No, but sure… I’m game.