“What do you mean the neighbor is throwing a party?”
End of the school year for the elementary kids, so the neighbor decided to throw a party for them. The only problem is that I was picking my son up from school and driving straight to the bayou. Getting there late at night as it was.
‘Look, just go spend 30 min over there, have him eat some ice cream, and then hit the road’
Well, they didn’t start for 30 min after I got him home. So we sat around for that. And then we went over…
It turned out to be about 15-20 kids, all of their moms. And me. And they were in no rush.
My son ran off to go play, and I was stuck there. With these moms who knew each other and me.
The moms are having conversations about the minutiae of how much they are involved in their kids lives. Programs they were sorting out for the summer. Clothing size issues.
The only conversation that wasn’t related to the kids was a discussion about how important their ministry was to them and that they were spending the summer “focused on spreading Christ’s love.”
Another mom had a giant mug that just read “Single Drunk Female”
After the first 30 min, the neighbor was like, “…Well, I could introduce you to the other moms…” And I said, “I feel like this information is on a need-to-know basis, and I do not think I need-to-know.”
In No Exit, Sartre says “Hell is other people.” I think its not just that hell is in fact being around other people, its that other people’s way of living is someone else’s hell.
This was my hell. And it was clear I did not fit in. I mean I was past the point of trying to make the most of it. Every minute I spent surrounded by someone’s poorly charged Alexa, a bubble maker, ducking as kids throwing shit, and ice cream, was a minute I was going to have to drive into the night to get to the destination.
I have been told before that people read my blogs wondering “What common joy does The Right Reverend irrationally hate today.” Maybe this is true.
Here’s the thing, I would have been fine with this on a normal day. Cause I would have sent my kid over there….10 or so moms, I like my chances that my son would have emerged from the party unscathed. And I would have headed back to the hole from which I would have never left.
But oh no. I already had anxiety on how this whole trip would go down, the last fucking thing I needed was to pull the band-aid off as slowly as possible.
To be clear, my son was oblivious to the misery. He was happy to be with his friends, run full laps around the neighbors house, and eat their ice cream.
Also, he was some how the most behaved of the bunch. The other kids were throwing stuff, loudly complaining, being destructive, and mines was just happy to be there.
After a full fucking hour passed, I figured I had paid enough respects and pulled my son away.
My neighbor told me on the way out, “I knew we would get you not to leave on time.” I said, “Mission accomplished” and walked away. My son politely thanked everyone and followed along.
We did make it to our destination that night, after driving through a pile of poorly timed storms.
At the end of the day, it was the right thing to do. I purposely set up the circumstances in my life to allow my son to have the normal childhood that I didn’t have. And that included neighborhood parties.
I just fucking wish I didn’t have to deal with the socializing of it all.