I'm trying to keep my business, my triplets, and my waistline under control. I excel at one of those, fail at another one of those, and one is a work in progress. Which is which is day dependant.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Life Preservers

Last night DH and I went to a "New Parents Dinner" at the kids' new school. It's actually a really nice tradition, where all parents whose kids are starting at the new school come along to meet one another and meet the head honchos of the place. (And sidenote, what IS it about Jews and eating bagels? Bagels are NOT a finger food - far too big and bulky. What did Jews eat BEFORE bagels?!)

Anyway so we got there and I knew I'd find it all strange - because not only is it a room full of strangers, but it's a room full of people who know people and people who generally speaking have a shitload of money. I neither 'know people' in that sense, nor do I have a shitload of money. Now I am SURE that there are plenty of down to earth normal parents at this school, but you know... I just... am not all that convinced it's that easy to find these people. I am not the mother who does not work. I am not the mother who gets her hair blow dried weekly. I'm not the manicure mother, the live-only-for-her-kids mother, the facial and a coffee every Friday mother. I knew I wasn't in Kansas any more when, while standing in the buffet queue, one woman said to another, "Oh! Darl! How ARE you?" and another woman answered, "We're great! Just got back from Club Med, it was FAB!" and woman one said, "Really? Which one? We've been to a few..." Oy. So I'm a little apprehensive about meeting these people, but I WAS willing to at least give them all a chance.

So we sat down at our allotted table and actually there were two other pretty nice couples (although one of the men had this very odd high pitched voice...soooo creepy). There was also a woman who, as it turns out, is the President of the Parent's Association.

I wanted to like her on sight (she was kinda cute and plump and had potential to be funny) but then I quickly didn't like her so much. It was probably the massive boulder on her ring finger, or possible the massive OTHER boulder on the other ring finger, or maybe her Prada labelled glasses, or the fact that she had to show us all the picture of her kids and Oprah, or the fact that she told us she's just come back from a 5 week holiday in the US, or the fact that she looked with loving longing at the principal of the school or... any number of things, really. She just seemed like...those Mums, the ones which I am not. I'll be honest, I find people with conspicuous wealth fairly intimidating and this was no different. I also found her intimidating because she was one of those overachiever parents whose sole purpose in life is to make the rest of us feel like shit if we let them.


And you SO knew there would be a "however" here, didn't you?

In fact there are TWO "howevers." The first came when she asked us how old our child starting at the school was, and we said we had three kids starting fourth grade. As it turns out, she is a mother to twins (plus one 16 months younger.) As it also turns out, she didn't cope too well with said twins, and ended up telling her husband that she needed a full time nanny "even if they had to sell the house to afford it." Now I'm not sitting in judgement here, because multiples are damn hard work no matter how rich you are. But you know, being able to say we had triplets sans nanny? That was just pure gold. Really. I gloated, and I freakin' LOVED it.

The second however was even better than that. She asked me what I do for a living, and even though I briefly considered saying, "I run an empire," instead I just said I owned my own business. There was a bit of a pregnant pause, which was threatening to become a condescending pause. She (of course!) then asked what sort of business it was, and when I said custom cakes...she said, "You don't, per chance, make gluten and dairy free cakes, do you?"

Why YES, actually, I DO.

Turns out her DD was recently diagnosed with a raft of allergies, among those dairy and wheat and whatever else. Also turns out her daughter's birthday is NEXT WEEK. Also turns out that this mother was feeling kinda desperate about her kid's birthday cake and what to do about it.

Also? Turns out I am ONE HELL of a rockstar for doing what I do.

I basked in this glory for a while - which in itself is odd for me, since usually I'm proud of what I do but would rather be proud while standing in a dark corner somewhere - but I basked for a while. Heck, I GLOWED. Then she tried to get me to talk about her order at dinner and I refused (big win for me) - instead asking her politely to call me during work hours so I could devote my attention to her when I was in work mode rather than Mummy mode.

When we got home I commented to DH how nice it was to be the one with the upper hand for once. I always feel so inadequate at these sorts of events, and end up leaving feeling about 2 inches high since I can't compete with these people over money, status, prestige, etc. For what it's worth I don't really WANT to compete, it just would be nice not to feel weird.

DH, bless him, just laughed and said, "Did you SEE the look on her face when you told her you could help her? She looked like a drowning woman who had just been thrown a life preserver."

Tonight we've got another one of these excruciating events to go to. Business card anyone?

1 comment:

Chelley said...

HAHAHHAHA YAY! that was fantastic! Looking forward to the update to this on and how many bussiness cards are hand out