My youngest recently attended her first high school dance. A big deal for her, sure, but not really for me, as her three siblings have already navigated several homecomings and proms. Which is why, on my way to the dinner/departure location for the requisite awkward-photo session of my daughter and 27 of her besties, I didn’t think twice about the fact that I’d be rolling into a stranger’s home sporting sweaty workout gear, no make-up and a disheveled pony tail.
Surprise! About 30 parents were already there, most looking, if not ready for an evening out, certainly showered and pulled together. Apparently, this was an adult gathering, too, complete with fine wine and snackages. The introvert in me screamed, “Leave now!,” but I hadn’t even seen my child yet, let alone documented her moment for Facebook posterity.
So, I engaged in uncomfortable small talk with beautiful people I didn’t know, acutely aware that I smelled like a damp gym sock. Eventually, I tried to disappear into a corner, but it was no use. We had unfortunately offered to host the after-party, and as word got around that “Maddie’s mom” was here, I was sought out for “good luck” wishes, cash offerings and, of course, the my-son-is-the-boyfriend, glad-we-could-finally-meet chat. Nooooo! Not like this! (But SH, you’re lovely!).
In hindsight, I clearly made rookie mistakes. I could have arrived much later, brought along Doo as my wing-man, or at a minimum slapped on some mascara. Now, I’ll forever be branded the aloof, stinky mom with ill-fitting leggings. On a positive note, my daughter looked gorgeous, and I did get the pictures to prove it.