Wednesday, May 26, 2010

My First Faculty Function

Last week, we attended an awards dinner at the Business School. This marks my first "official" function at the B-school. I got to hire a sitter, shower, shave, put on make-up, heels, jewelery and a dress so I could mingle with the academics of the business school all while trying to appear intelligent and charming. So, what does a stay-at-home mom talked about with the faculty, students and dean of the Business school? Hopefully, not much. I tried to hide in the corner and sip my wine while looking calm, cool and brilliant. Didn't work so well. For starters, the awards dinner went on forever. I think I am the only person who did not receive an award. (I'm still awaiting the ballot recount). It would be an honor just to be nominated. Seriously, isn't there an award for packing up your life, kids and all your crap and moving to the cornfields in the dead of winter?

On a happy note, I was seated next to a charming adjunct professor from the Chicago campus who didn't turn his back on me in disgust when he learned I am a STAH mom (don't laugh - it has happened to me). We discussed travel, literature, Notre Dame and had a generally good time. No, it was NOT his dessert I stole. He even told Paul that I was "charming". Hmmm......

Another pleasant aspect of the night was the chance to see my husband "in action". I rarely get to see him in a work capacity. It was a fascinating and proud moment. I was seeing him in a whole new and different light. Listening to him introduce the award recipients, I got to hear more about what he does at the school and why it really the perfect job opportunity for him. Hearing his speech, I was amazed at what a good public speaker he is. He is passionate about his job and truly enjoys his work and colleagues. Moments like that make me glad we took this chance and moved here. Don't get me wrong, I reserve the right to bitch, moan and whine abut moving here. Consider yourselves warned.

Monday, May 17, 2010

I really need to learn how to turn off my brain

Ok, here is a shock. I am sitting here over-thinking things. The end of the school year is approaching. Sara has had trouble with one girl since we moved here. The little demon seed is sneaky and only says things when there are no adults around to hear. Sara has tried being friendly. She has tried ignoring her. Nothing works. Do I contact the school and ask that they be in separate classes next year? Do I let Sara learn how to put up with this type of behavior now so she is better equipped when she is older and kids are meaner? Most importantly, WHY is this kid so mean to my kid? What is it about my kid that makes this little terror in pigtails want to pick on her? Yes, Sara is the youngest kid in the class. But, she is also the friendliest and most outgoing person on the planet. She is like a little puppy that doesn't pee on you when she gets excited. Well, she peed on Della once but she deserved it and Sara was 2 weeks old. That is my story and I am sticking to it.

There are other "fun" things on my brain. We've been here for 7 months. I still don't have any real friends. Am I ever going to fit in here? Is it ever going to feel like home? Will my friends back home move on and forget about me? Yes, I continue to stalk them on regular basis and demand food and shelter but they may grow tired of it. (I cannot imagine why.......).

And what about friends that are no longer in my life? There are so many relationships that have ended or dissolved for many reasons. Some have left my life because of geography or schedules. People get busy, grow apart, have kids, jobs, family obligations. When I look back, what bothers me most are the relationships that ended for no clear reason. I'm not talking about boyfriends. Those relationships always end for a reason. I'm talking about true, deep, meaningful friendships. One minute you talk almost every day and share all the details of your life. The next, it's over and you are left wondering why. What bothers me most is wondering if I should have done more to save those friendships. Given my deep-seeded fear of confrontation, this leaves me playing the what-if game in my head. And, as my friend Cathy tells me (often), my head is NOT a pretty place to be.

So, welcome to my head. Enjoy your short visit.

Monday, May 3, 2010

If you move, they WILL find you. And feed you.

Still in Indiana. Still being shunned by the Hoosiers. Putting aside my bitching and moaning about my lack of friends, I am attempting to get out, mingle and trick these women into being my friends. I went to a neighborhood gathering, had some cocktails, met some of the other moms and got the general low-down on whose kids will end up on an episode of "Cops". We are also in the neighborhood play group. Things have been going pretty well during the gatherings. Christian will decide to whack some of the other boys without reason but we haven't been kicked out yet. We came awkwardly close on Thursday. Later that night, I received an email from the host saying that Sara may have taken some coins from her daughter. So, I searched her pockets. No coins. Phew! I am not raising a felon. Or so I thought. When I asked her the next morning, she told me she had asked the girl if she could have some of the coins that were on the floor but sadly they fell out of her pockets while playing on the girl's swing set. So, she is not a thief. She is a beggar. Which is worse? Luckily, reinforcements arrived this weekend.

I always knew we were blessed with good friends but moving away (getting voted off the island) makes me appreciate them more every day. We moved here in November and we have had friends from Novi, Pittsburgh and Dundee visit us. My friend, (yes, Paul - MINE - I stole her fair and square) came to visit with her amazingly well-behaved and adorable child this weekend for the third time since we were banished to the cornfields. I'm not sure why but her drive to Indiana from Michigan involved driving through Ohio. She arrived as ordered with assorted baked goods. We had a great weekend with lots of laughs (mostly at me). The kids had a wonderful time playing together - no fights, argument, battles or blood shed. As always I am impressed and inspired by my friend for many reasons. First, she is an amazing mom. She is calm, cool, collected and firm. Her son worships and adorer her. And he LISTENS to her. Wow, can I buy some of that???? Second, she is completely comfortable with who she is. What you see is what you get. Can I buy some of that, too? And, third, she can actually walk into a store, grab the cart handle without having to wipe it down for 10 minutes with bleach wipes. I have been sent into a complete panic upon realizing the cart wipes box was empty. Thankfully, I can wear gloves in the winter. What's a germaphobe suppposed to do in springtime?? It's hard not to freak out at all the cooties on a cart and not a speck of bleach anywhere within reach.

I guess no one is wondering anymore why I'm having trouble making friends. We steal, hit and have "issues" with germs. Hmmmm...... Anyone want to come over, get disinfected and play?