Saturday, March 04, 2006

I Have Some Issues

If this post sounds whiny, forgive me. And there is no need to comfort me in the comments and tell me how it'll all be better one day (though if you can relate, I'd love to hear your take on it). I just need to vent. No pity required.

I really did try to go into the birthday party thing with a good attitude. I really did. Alex loves the little boy whose birthday we were celebrating (and by "we" I mean "Alex" because I wasn't celebrating much of anything by the time I got to the Large Indoor Playground), and Alex had a great time except for the fact that he felt his playtime was interrupted by the inconveniences of "pizza" and "cake."

I really did want to see Alex playing with his friends, and I really do like the mamas who were there. I just have this thing about small talk in that I CANNOT STAND IT, and it seems to get worse for me as I get older. So the prospect of spending an hour and a half making idle chit chat? With people I know but not all that well? I'm willing to do it for The Toddler, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. No sir it doesn't.

Before I had Alex, most social outings with other couples were typically filled with Talk of Children, and that could be frustrating because I didn't have children, didn't know if I wanted children, and certainly didn't want to spend my free time talking about children. And now? It's really no different. Yes, I have a child, and yes, I love him, but he is not all I want to talk about. I like to talk about things like TV and food and music and relationships and whatnot - I like to LAUGH, for heaven's sake. But I get to these gatherings with other 30-somethings and their offspring and all anyone talks about are 1) kids or 2) pregnancy, and I just want to set my body on fire and fling myself on the pavement and say, "CAN WE PLEASE NOT TALK ABOUT THE CHILDREN? FOR ONCE? NOTHING ABOUT THE CHILDREN? AND WHY HAVE I HAD TO SET MYSELF AFLAME TO DRAW ATTENTION TO THIS ANNOYING TENDENCY?"

Granted, I've known most of my close friends for a really long time, so Talk of Children makes up MAYBE 10% of our time together. MAYBE. We give brief reports, show pictures, and then move on to other topics. The great thing about this blog is that I don't even have to pull out pictures or tell stories - I can just refer everyone to BooMama, sit back, and listen.

I recognize that one reason conversation turns to children at birthday parties is because small talk is the order of the day, and children are common ground. I get that. I promise that I do. But it's not fun to me. And I can't be the only person who feels this way. Maybe I've overthought the whole deal...maybe I need to just shut up and put a smile on my face and get over it. In fact, I'm almost positive that that's the case, because ultimately the point of a child's birthday party is not so that I feel socially at ease. But I almost wish people would decide on a topic beforehand and list it on the invitation. For example:

What? Billy's Birthday
When? March 18th
Where? The Park
Time? 1:00
Topic? The Theme of Feminine Self-Awareness In The Works of Alice Walker and Sylvia Plath

I would be so much better off if that were the case.

Better yet, let's talk about The Amazing Race or American Idol or everybody bring a list of their top 10 favorite CD's of all time. But let's talk about SOMETHING - not just potty training or what brands of sippy cups we prefer or how many times Precious has had a stomach virus this year. SOMETHING. ANYTHING.



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