Sitting with the Cool Kids

25 Jul

i’ll tell this story because i think i need to say it, but i’m not proud of it.  i went to the munch last night – it’s a small munch usually, but there were maybe 25 people there last night.  

When i got there, Mr. Michael greeted me, as He always does.  He pulled a chair up to the table, and was actually going to seat me with a flourish when ~~

the woman on the other side of the table gasps and says, “Oh!  No, I’m actually saving that seat for…” and i don’t catch who she’s saving it for because the world tilts, all the blood drains out of my face, the bottom drops out of my stomach and  i want to sink through the floor.

Conversation stops, it seems like everyone is focused on me and the seat i can’t have.  i want to disappear.

Yes, that’s an overreaction.   Good heavens, of course it is.  It’s pure grade school, middle school stuff.  

i’m 55 years old.  

i don’t think she’s really rejecting me, she’s just wanting to include someone else.  Even at that moment i know it.

And i still feel this rush of ~ humiliation?  shame?  

i think they pull up another table at that end of the seating arrangement, but when someone at the far other end of the table says, “There’s a seat up here,”  i quickly and gratefully move up there, and sit down.  

It’s a U-shaped table arrangement, so i’m sitting at the short piece, on the corner, the three seats on my left are empty.  Two women and a man are to my right, one of whom had pointed out the empty seat.  They introduce themselves, which i appreciate, and start some conversation.

Unfortunately, i can barely talk because i’m trying not to cry.  i know ~ even in that moment, i know that this reaction is extreme and unnecessary.  

At the same time, i’m wondering if i should just go ahead to the bathroom and cry.  Or, i could pretend there’s an emergency and just frigging go home.  i’m five minutes away.   Just as i’m thinking that really, i don’t even have to pretend anything, i could just leave and no one would notice ~~

just then, Drew is beside me.  Drew is Ms. Constance’s slave, and a gentle soul.  He says, “Come sit with us,” ~ magic words.

So i do, of course, and he is so sweet, he moves down a seat and puts me between him and Ms. Constance.  i feel safely tucked in, and the rest of the evening is a blast.  

Ms. Constance is funny and interesting and just dramatic enough to be entertaining.   i even have some conversation with Drew, who is quiet and intense and interesting.

But, o, goodness, those first few minutes were painful.   It’s amazing how near to the surface the child is in me sometimes.  Such an emotional flashback, really to grade school and middle school for me, and not one i want to experience often.

i was telling Sfp when she was here, it’s an interesting experience for me ~ it has been ~ going to munches because it’s the only place i go where i don’t feel like people {in general} are just glad to see me.

It’s an odd feeling, but probably good for me.  i think i’m spoiled, probably,  i think that it’s a form of privilege, really, my expectation that people will immediately make an effort to welcome me.

So it’s good for me to recognize that’s not an entitlement ~ or if it is, if being warmly welcomed is an entitlement for me, then it is for everyone else too.

Sitting with Ms. Constance and Drew, with Tammy and John, is definitely sitting with the cool kids.  And i’m used to being one of the cool kids, in my own right.

Spoiled. Definitely spoiled.

So i need to remember, it’s not so much about me as i think it is.  Maybe i need to project more welcome myself, maybe i’m not putting out energy that says i’m glad to be there.  Probably i’m not.

And i need to remember, in the places where i am a cool kid, i need to remember to welcome others.

 There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.”
~~ M. Scott Peck
 

 

23 Responses to “Sitting with the Cool Kids”

  1. striving for peace July 25, 2011 at 6:52 am #

    I think a part of all of us is always going to be 13 — too skinny/fat/tall — pimpled — and vulnerable to those around us

    Good on your friends for making you welcome

    they really are a nice group

    sfp

    • aisha July 25, 2011 at 8:11 pm #

      @Sfp,

      You’re soooo right – the 13 year old is alive and well (along with my inner 2 year old occasionally…}

      They are a nice group. Yes.

      hugs,

      aisha

  2. Mick July 25, 2011 at 7:02 am #

    It’s always hard in a situation like that, no matter how “old” you are.

    Mick

    • aisha July 25, 2011 at 8:12 pm #

      @Mick,

      So true. It’s always harder for me to imagine men feeling that way, but I know that y’all do… good to remember that too.

      aisha

  3. sin July 25, 2011 at 7:18 am #

    I HATE those people whose idea of cool is built on excluding someone else.And yes I heard you say it was probably accidental and that you overreacted. SFP is right that the 13 year old (or 11 year old) isn’t buried very deep. Nice that you were rescued.

    • aisha July 25, 2011 at 8:13 pm #

      @Sin,

      No, I agree, I don’t like people who’s self-esteem is based on feeling “better than” other people either! And that wasn’t the case here, but I’ve seen it happen before, no doubt.

      It was nice being rescued… thanks,

      aisha

  4. histoy July 25, 2011 at 7:31 am #

    Aisha… i so understand this but….

    “I’m not insecure. I’ve been through way too much f**king sh*t to be insecure. I’ve got huge balls. But I’ve been humbled. That makes you grateful for every day you have.”
    Drew Barrymore

    Humility, although difficult at times, can also lead to a better understanding of ourselves, our needs and our wants, and that is never a bad thing….

    I want to sit at your table!

    Hugs…

    • aisha July 25, 2011 at 8:16 pm #

      @Histoy,

      Great quote! I love that… and totally agree. That’s what i’m saying. Painful, but good for me.

      And sheesh, who knows better that pain is good for us than a bunch of submissive folks? laughing…

      I want you at my table too! Kinky bloggers convention…. just saying.

      hugs,

      aisha

  5. vanillamom July 25, 2011 at 8:22 am #

    *big sigh*

    can i admit that i am not a people person?

    i’m not.

    Once i know you, i’m “free”…joking, laughing, etc. But if i go into a room, as you did? I would have gone to the bathroom, cried, and left. I’d like to think that i’ve moved beyond that point in my life.

    But no. i haven’t.

    i’m an introvert, so going out anywhere socially is a stress, even when i’m going to know everyone there.

    You are so not alone in those “grade school” feelings…and how beautiful that you *were* accepted…and in such an open and caring way that very subtly put that other woman in her place, i think. Okay, you don’t want her there? Then Ms. Constance does. So there.

    *smiling*

    You are a cool chick. I’m glad Ms. Constance groks that, too.

    Hug,

    nilla

    • aisha July 25, 2011 at 8:25 pm #

      @’Nilla,

      You know, I suspected you were like that – an introvert in real life, but running wild on the internet… No, seriously, I think many of us are introverts, and I can handle gatherings better if I’m in charge, but it drains me, and I need alone time to regroup.

      So we’ll totally be fine when you come visit, cause we’ll be together anyhow!

      And it was lovely to be taken in that way, yes…. and I don’t think Ms. Constance thought anything bad about the woman saving the seat either!!! I really don’t.

      But I’m glad you think I’m cool! Have I mentioned that I have a t-shirt that says, “I’m Still Cool” on it? It’s my one of my favorite shirts….

      AND I doubt if Ms. Constance thinks I’m cool – well, maybe – but she does like me, and that’s nice.

      Big hug,

      aisha

  6. Andi July 25, 2011 at 8:33 am #

    I’ve never been one of the cool kids lol, ever. I’m
    Sorry you felt that moment of rejection and I promise you “Miss save a seat” and everyone around her knows she looked like an asshole. Use it to your advantage buttercup and when she tries to make it up to you in some silly gesture you have the option to accept or decline. She gave you the power.

    Love to you, I’m happy Ms. Constance adores you so.

    • aisha July 25, 2011 at 8:30 pm #

      Dear Andi,

      I don’t know how to tell you this, but you ARE one of the cool kids now, cause you’re one of my sub-sisters, and you already know, we are the cool kids in the blogosphere. So there you go.

      And that moment of rejection is not gonna kill me – like Histoy says, it’s kinda good for me. Laughing… honestly, I don’t think “Miss save a seat” meant any harm at all. For whatever reason, I just think it was important to her that whoever she was saving it for get to sit there.

      And I’m glad Ms Constance likes me too! She and Drew really did save my night… Um, I don’t think she adores me though. Just for the record. Remember, she’s a Queen Domme, and um, I’m not…. but she likes me. 🙂

      many hugs,

      aisha

  7. k July 25, 2011 at 10:34 am #

    I think of you as a welcomer and that woman is an idiot. You don’t *save seats* as adults unless you’re at the movies or maybe church. So juvenile.

    Anyhow! 🙂

    • aisha July 25, 2011 at 8:33 pm #

      @K,

      Thank you! I like the idea of being “a welcomer” and hope that I am.

      But seriously, I don’t know what her story was – maybe she promised them she’d sit with them, maybe she was painfully shy and needed them to be there, I don’t know. I hear what you’re saying, but even so. It’s ok.

      And thanks. 🙂

      aisha

  8. Giggling Bunny July 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm #

    *hugs* Sometimes we feel certain things at certain times. There’s nothing wrong with our feelings. It’s good that logically you could tell yourself that it wasn’t about you….but at the same time, our emotions…..just….are. =)

    • aisha July 25, 2011 at 8:43 pm #

      @GB,

      Yes. Exactly. And often, other people would feel the same way.

      And the more we try to make feelings go away, especially painful ones, the stronger they get. “Feelings are like clouds, they pass.”

      Thanks, and hugs,

      aisha

  9. greengirl July 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    I think the ‘just under the surface 13 year old’ that makes me so anxious and unsure in social situations like this must be the same one that makes women like that so inept and offensive – maybe with intent – maybe just out of pure ignorance. I admire peoples’ ability to walk in, work a crowd, connect and just be comfortable, but it will never be me. I have gifts, but they lie elsewhere – and i know yours do too.

    • aisha July 25, 2011 at 8:45 pm #

      @GG,

      Yes, I think you’re probably right. Good insight, thanks.

      I know what you’re saying, my first husband was like that with people, my daughter is too. I used to love going to parties with him cause he’d stroll around breaking the ice and I could just coast along smiling….

      And yes, that may not be where our gifts lie, but theirs lots of room for ours too…

      Thank you,

      aisha

  10. Butch July 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm #

    Such a terrible feeling and we’ve all been there. All of us rejects should band together and form our own table, and reject the cool kids! But first we have to figure out how to get them to want to sit with us. Ah, screw ’em!

    • aisha July 25, 2011 at 8:55 pm #

      @Butch,

      Yes, you’re so right. It was kind of a shock to me when I discovered that even the coolest kids had moments like that.

      And “screw ’em” is right too. For real, things like that aren’t important – I know that – and I truly don’t think she was trying to hurt me anyhow. She just wasn’t thinking about me – and really, that’s ok. Laughing… Humility is about trying to remember that not every one has to be thinking about me all the time.

      Thanks for reading my blog, and for commenting! I went and checked yours out -um, your blog, that is. Pretty cool….

      aisha

  11. k July 25, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    Yeah I know she probly had her reasons : ) I got Your back anyhow just cause you are you and she is random rude lady ; )

    • aisha July 25, 2011 at 9:47 pm #

      Dear K,

      I ❤ you.

      Thanks,

      aisha

  12. k July 26, 2011 at 10:37 am #

    I ❤ you too aisha! : )

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