Time to start with some lighter topics. I can't fix the world myself and I desperately need to laugh or make fun of myself rather than cry over the news today. So here I go, in an attempt to do both.
Yesterday the kid and I headed to Amherst to see my parents. It's their 35th anniversary this weekend, and I wanted to spend some time with them. I also needed a day where I spent some of it doing something relaxing, and I find driving relaxing. I'm generally happy to get where I'm going, I can't do anything else (clean, work, read news) so I get my playlist going, let Henry watch some How to Train Your Dragon (I don't know who invented car DVD players but if they need a kidney both of mine are theirs for the taking) and hit the road.
I decided to take my parents out to dinner in the town where I went to high school. I never really go there except to visit my parents-I'm not the best about staying in touch with people, and I didn't really have a great time growing up there. My parents also moved from the house I grew up in to a new house when I left for college. Yes, my parents moved when I went to college, and didn't tell me. Seriously, I got a call near Thanksgiving to let me know to not go to the old house because they didn't live there anymore. I guess I should be glad they told me.
It's not like I had a terrible childhood, I was just very shy and awkward and attempted to make up for it by trying too hard. I didn't hit my stride until my twenties. People who knew me in my twenties are probably scoffing and saying "You call that hitting your stride? You were still at the level of an unsocialized, talking rhinoceros who someone let drink Jack Daniels" but trust me it was an improvement.
Anyway, on to me being an asshole. When we walked into the restaurant, the guy at the stand looked really familiar, but I was trying to corral Henry and I just didn't put it together. If you have a small child, you know eating dinner in public is not a relaxing event. If that child has not had a nap, it is the equivalent of eating a meal next to a ticking time bomb that is certainly going to explode and act like a total asshole and embarrass you in public. It's not their fault, but there it is. So the guy comes to say hi, and it's someone I actually knew pretty well-I was also good friends with his sister, but I just didn't put it together. That plus having one eye on a small child who was slowly transforming into a crabby stomping dinosaur made our conversation too brief, and I felt really bad about it. I'm pretty sure this guy lost no sleep over it but it's probably going to be one of those embarrassing things that decides to replay in my head at night when I can't get to sleep, and my subconscious feels the need to scream "YOU ARE SUCH A DORK" and chortle at me while I cringe and accept that as correct.
Here is the thing about me. My vision sucks. I have a problem with my optic nerve, so it's not really my vision, it's the way my brain and eyes communicate. I can look like I'm looking at one thing, and really be seeing something else-something above or beyond it. Face recognition is really hard for me, and if you're moving, there's no way I can pick you out. I've walked past my husband and my mother, among others, without seeing them, making them both chase me down like we're on a blind date instead of people who have known each other for years.
This leads to lots of misunderstandings. People have told Ben, "I saw your wife and she looked right at me and didn't say hi, is she mad?" Which is a nice way of saying "Your wife is a total cunt but I'm going to see if you have a good excuse for her."
Please know that there is literally NO ONE I know who I dislike to the extent that I wouldn't at least say hi to them if I saw them. If you see me, and I don't say hi, it's because I didn't see you, or I can't figure out who you are. I would never be that rude and chances are I'd really like to talk to you. My eye problem led to a lot of my social awkwardness and a lot of people thinking I was cold or stuck up when I wasn't-I wish I had figured out a good way to address it when I was younger, I could have saved myself a lot of time and a semi-alarming drinking problem I developed in a sad attempt to relax myself enough to fit in at parties.
So to everyone out there that I may see this holiday season-Hello! I've missed you.