FIM* = Foot In Mouth disorder
An occasional spasmodic condition wherein I say whatever it is I say and the whole world gapes and gasps at my unique ability to lift my foot high into my mouth and stuff it there with natural ease and elan.
Yes. Had a spasm a recent morning. The “Oh you laughable ignorant fool” kind. Amongst an audience that I shall see on an everyday basis at 7:20 am every morning for the rest of the days my munchkin will take the school bus. Dropping her to the 5 minute away school seems a more peaceful alternative when I think about it now.
O well, moving on to the FIM episode:
We are a street of 30 houses. I know that purely coz ours is on top of the hill and we are numbered 30 and our neighbor across is 1. So simple. We aren’t exactly neighborly. As in, I don’t go out of my way to make friends, no we aren’t anti-social, but it stops with chatting a few arbid stuff about lawns and trash guy and the schools (where there are same age kids involved). The husband of course stops with nodding and disappearing into the haven he calls home. I think it’s a husband thing. Please lie and say yes even if you disagree. Especially if you are married and/or are a husband.
So yes, despite what one infers from my posts, am a friendly person not a hugely social person. There’s a difference and it all lies in the extent of active energy that propels a conversation between me and the other entity. I can chat your ears off when we meet, but after that you won’t necessarily hear from me unless there is some motivating reason, apart from casual hellos. I could segue into the blog world, but I’ll stop and keep this post all about my FIM disorder in the real world. Blog world can wait.
As one becomes a parent, it is said that your children choose your friends for you. It’s true. Since all our free time (apart from the time when we are doing things to keep our tummies happy) is spent catering to the adorable vampires (that suck our time away, see am clever) and their friends (who are also vampires to their human parents), coz you are stuck carpooling to sleepovers and parties and group projects and such, well… it does make sense as you can tell, that we are FORCED into this bond with other vampire parents.
Kids will hang out with kids their age. 9year olds and 4th graders will know other 4th graders. 1st graders will know and play with other 1st graders. That rule will change once they hit middle school or tween-age. By 7th grade your child will know more kids than you will ever know adults in your entire life. That’s just the way it is and sooner you deal with it the better. After they hit 9th grade, they want you more as chauffeurs; when outside your home than as parents , so yes, you are allowed to have a social life devoid of your kid’s influence and monopoly.
It’s liberating celebrations after that. You may even cursorily nod, walk the opposite direction when you bump into other parents in the aisle, and not say more than a hello if forced to sit next to each other at school concerts, bands and random school events. It’s perfectly fine. No one cares. Including your now less-of-a-vampire-kid.
Till recently, for these socializing purposes, I forgot I have a 6 year old at home. No playdates, no school events to volunteer at, no socializing. Heck we didn’t even throw her a birthday party this year and she being the 5 turning 15, didn’t care either. In all fairness, when you have not one but TWO teens at home, they rule.
She rides the bus to school, when the highness decides she couldn’t bother pouting her lower lip to get one of us chauffeurs to drop her off at the school directly. I love our street corner at 7:20. For every adult, there is a dog on a leash. Except for me of course due to reasons we shall not go into now, coz that’s a rant for another gray day. These canines are of all sizes, shapes and personalities. Vicarious pleasures of owning one is fulfilled by spending 10 minutes petting them cuties, while making pointless conversation about weather. It’s always the weather. It’s safe and everyone has something to say about it.
I know most faces who should matter. Some stand out more than other coz well, remember that forced friendship I spoke earlier? I had a long gap of 8 years between the older two and munchkin, when I wouldn’t have known how many babies were born during that time, and so for all practical purposes I have lost track of a whole generation! Can’t blame me for being a good parent and just focusing on schlepping my vampires around right? Yet, the fact does remain that I may not know the kids born during this period, but the parents I would and should for the bizarre reason of sharing same time and space. Correct?
Apparently I missed one, and a very gorgeous one at that too. Shame on me.
So the morning in question, I see this very same gorgeous lady – she could model for those catalogs like Coldwater Creek etc – walking along with the others up the hill to the bus stop, the legendary coffee mug in hand. She was one of those that you would not forget easily. Yes, even us women. She has this angelic cutie next to her and we all land at the corner. One more neighborly friend decided to take charge and she introduces the girls. Three of them, all first graders. Shy smiles all around. Teachers names get exchanged and more laughter, small talk about older kids, high schoolers etc.
Then just like that this model lady steps across the leashes where much bonding was happening between the canines, thrusts her hand out and
Says “Hi, I am …<insert name that can belong to gorgeous ladies all over like Diana or Pamela>”
Me: Hi, I am rads.
Me, in an attempt to make conversation and divert attention from my “what-did-the-cat-drag-in” look to her put together fresh-as-a-lily-outfit say: So, did you guys just move into the neighborhood recently?
She: uh.. no.
Stares hit me. I should have known and recognized that stare by now and shut up. But no, we are notoriously famous for ignoring obvious signs of caution, even if it were written on huge billboards thrust up my nose.
Me in a state of FIM spasm: Right, over the summer?
The other neighborly friend jumps in: Oh no, they are the original owners, they live right across our home. 12 years now.
The other nice gentleman who makes more than polite conversation with me starts chuckling.
I’d have turned a nice beet root red under all the tan smothering me, but no one notices of course, so I try to valiantly pull the ankle out.
Me: Oh! Am sorry, is she your first?
She grinning: No, I have a 4th grader and then she.
Me: O really? Gosh, We are so bad with not knowing who lives down the road!
More stares. I realize that I am now choking on my half downed calf.
Me: I know, it’s me, am bad.
Sheepishly grin and scuttle home to whine to all within ear’s shot about my FIM episode.
Husband pipes: Ouch, that’s as bad as asking her if she was pregnant!
Precaution: During an episode of FIM, please do not look towards or approach husband for support. It will trigger a self-inflicting MHS* episode that will last long AND will hurt YOU.
MHS – Multiple Head-Smacking disorder.