I went to my first ladies event at church today. I usually do not frequent such things. I am not really good in social situations. I know, I know, I am a doctor, and I see something like thirty patients a day, so how can I be bad in social situations? Well first off all, have you met most doctors? Most doctors don’t really have a great personality. That is why most people don’t like going to the doctor. Usually doctors are pretty self-absorbed and have horrible listening skills.
That being said, I am pretty great in a one on one setting. I even do well in small groups of people, but when thrown into a large group setting it is like I am back in middle school.
Suddenly, I am VERY awkward. My clothes aren’t right, I stand their nervously, and my mouth stops working. I mean to say witty and charming things and instead I start blurting out things like, “I saw a squirrel on the way here,” and, “my legs are itchy.” Also, I tend to be somewhat snarky, and when I do say something appropriate to the conversation it tends to come off sounding a little tactless and rude. Most other women just kind of look at me with a sad little head shake of pity and go back to their conversations about smocked outfits and Ferberizing their babies while I stand their clumsily trying to think of something to say.
I was doing okay during the brunch portion of the program. Apparently I am good at eating (it gives me something to do with my hands and gives the illusion that I know what I am talking about). I realized that for about the last two years I have had a baby with me to focus other women’s attention so I don’t have to carry on a real conversation. This was the first time I had been to a social event in a long time without a twenty-four inch buffer of cuteness in my arms to direct the conversation. I highly recommend that every socially awkward person carry a baby with them at all times to deflect social attention. It is magic in its effectiveness.
I navigated my way to a place to sit during the lecture portion of the program, and my panic settled into the calm of anonymity as I relaxed into my chair sipping my tea. That was until, the lecturer started discussing toddler nutrition and suddenly I am having an anxiety attack (See my post entitled “She Wont Eat That…”). They are all discussing organic smoothies and clever little bento boxes with healthy vegetarian options for toddlers. During this very discussion there was a bag of non-organic baby food and a bag of Cheetos in my bag that I was planning on feeding Z for lunch. Everyone around me was furiously taking notes and nodding in agreement while I am just freaking out about how my daughter is going to die from rickets and wet beri beri from her lack of vitamin D and protein rich nutrition sources.
Then, we broke into our small group sessions, and yikes, I am assigned to be in the one with our head Pastor’s wife. This is super scary for an agoraphobe. While we were doing introductions, one of the childcare workers interrupts in a flutter letting the Pastor’s wife know that there is something going on with her child. She steps outside the room to handle the crisis and when she returns she informs us, “My daughter is crying because they tried to give her marshmallows, and she told them she wasn’t allowed to have marshmallows”
By this point I am ready to just check out on this experience. I clearly cannot measure up to the Whole Foods, gluten-free, non-GMO crowd I have found myself in. I am done with this. Then, she says, “I don’t know why she said that. We eat marshmallows all the time at our house.”
Maybe I have misjudged these awesome, marshmallow-eating people. I went to pick Z up from the nursery and she has a plate with four pretzels, four giant marshmallows, and a small packet of raisins. She threw the pretzels out on the way out the door declaring them to be, “gross”, informed me that the raisins were “vitamins” and told me she was going to eat the marshmallows for lunch. I realized that maybe I should give this a fair shot.