Life Lesson: You Never Left Junior High

True story. No matter how old we are, we’ve never left junior high. I’m 35 years old, but I still feel as insecure as a 7th grader. I think I’m all grown up and the women around me have also grown up, but no. It’s all the same.

A couple of weeks ago I went to the park for our “official park day”. I pick Parker up from preschool and we walk across the street where we know all the kids and moms from church. It’s supposed to be fun. I don’t usually have a lot of fun, but I’m there for Parker. He loves it. I try to make an effort. I do. I just don’t feel comfortable around most of these women, try as I might. I know it’s just one-sided, but if you don’t feel like you fit in, why push yourself, you know?

Anyway, I sat there for an hour, listening to conversations where I had little to contribute, and trying to just be friendly and happy and enjoy the good weather. The women then commented on my pregnancy, and one woman asked, “So, are you having a baby shower?”

I thought it kind of an odd question. I mean, the baby isn’t due for months yet, we don’t know the gender, and it’s not like you throw yourself a baby shower, right? But, whatever. So I just answered with an, “I don’t know…”

Woman number two pipes in with, “Well, you want to know what the baby is, right? So people can buy blue blankets or pink blankets. You don’t want green or yellow. That’s just ugly.”

Ummm, okay. I like green and yellow. I’m fine with gender neutral things. But whatever.

So this whole other conversation is going on and on about how I need to know the gender of the baby (seriously folks, not my fault I have such an active baby that was moving too much during the 19 week ultrasound and we couldn’t get a look!! Also, not my fault that the doctor won’t try again until my 28 week ultrasound. Like I can afford to just have extra ultrasounds anyway. We can be patient… so can you!). And while the conversation was directed toward me and about me, I still felt like I wasn’t actually part of the conversation. I couldn’t get a word in!

Woman number one asks me again, “So, are you going to have a baby shower?”

Are you fishing for an invitation or something? Geez. I decided to be a little snarky. “Well, I don’t know because it’s not like I can go up to someone and say Hey, will you throw me a baby shower?

I got the desired chuckles and thought that would be the end of it. (Or perhaps an offer to throw me a shower? Because I have nothing for this baby!! I know it’s baby number 4, but my personal belief is *every* baby should be showered. And it’s been years since I had a baby. We gave just about everything away. And yes, I just want the attention. I’m an attention whore, just like everyone else!)

It wasn’t the end. Woman number two said, “Well, I’m sure someone will give you a baby shower. What about [named three woman who were not at the park that day]? You’re in their group. I’m sure they’ll throw you a shower.”

Woah. “Their group”??? We have definite “groups” now? And I have seen these three women, other than passing them in the hall at church or cub scouts, in months.

I’m sure nothing mean was meant by it, but I went away from the conversation feeling icky. That’s right. Icky. I felt like I had blotchy skin (oh wait, I do!) and a bad perm (thankfully, no) and wore last year’s style of clothes (yup). Or I wore orange on Pink Friday and the Mean Girls were about to go write in their slam book… four pages, just for me.

Park day is tomorrow. I don’t really want to go. But Parker looks so forward to it. I will spend all morning picking out the perfect outfit and packing the best snacks and try out a new hairstyle I found on Pinterest in the hopes that I will be accepted into this group. Or any group.

Can we put Park Day on my Murtaugh List???