Thursday, October 16, 2008

play dating other people

It has begun, and my social anxiety disorder can't stop it. Our 3 year old, Jack, with his sass, charm, and wit is building bridges in the neighborhood that we will cross, for better or worse. As it's my nature, I am being dramatic. I don't have social anxiety disorder, at least not a clinical case, and I recognize the bright horizons of getting to know other families in the neighborhood. Still, I can't deny, and hope I'm not the only one, that it stirs butterflies in my stomach now and then. Worlds colliding and all that...

The emails and calls began to trickle in a few weeks ago, once Jack had entrenched himself in the preschool scene and began spending alternate days at a DC Parks day program for kids - mothers suggesting play dates with Jack. It's terribly cute on one hand, sure. On the other, it means meshing and placating to a certain degree. Not to mention, now that we're bound to be crossing paths with other parent/friends, I need to pay a lot more attention to how I carry myself around the neighborhood. After all, there are eyes everywhere now.

Just the other day some guy rolled through a stop sign at an intersection blocks away from us and nearly side swiped me. Of course, I raised my arms to say WTF and moved on. Now suppose I bump into that guy at the preschool pot luck dinner in a few weeks. It's completely possible. So, do you see what I mean?

This reminds me of something that has been nagging me - the concept that everyone has multiple personality disorder. I mean, when you are in your car alone, aren't there certain behaviors you execute that you would likely never do in front of anyone? Once my wife received a voice message at work from a client who failed to end the call from her car after she finished her message. Here's how it went without her knowing she had an audience:

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

MOVE!

Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep! Beeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep!

MOVE YOU FAT BLACK BASTARD!

So that's a racist side of someone, but it's likely her friends and family don't know her to be a racist at all. It makes me wonder, is our true self what we act on when we are alone? I really don't know. But I completely digress.

Like I said, worlds are colliding. I am ready for the unsolicited parenting advice, the pot luck, and, even better, the terrific bonds I will develop with other parents in the same trenches. It's no cake walk, despite the shiny fulfillment, so there has to be strength in numbers. Here's to hoping so.

See you at the tunnel slide.

3 comments:

Phil Lepanto said...

You know, I have two blogs about myself, one that I run from my campaign site and another one that I run just sort of out there... I twitter, I facebook... I think you'd be surprised how rarely your multiple selves are perceived to be singular.

If you ran into that guy at a potluck, he'd more likely tell you about some weird bald dude with a crazy temper who yelled at him before he realized you were the one he almost hit.

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