Tuesday, April 16, 2013

leaving soccer practice and realizing I am a snob

The last few weeks when I take Bugaboo to therapy, there is a woman in the pediatric waiting room.  In just a couple of visits she has shared much of her life story with me.  I know more than I ever wanted to about the delivery of both of her children. As we wait, I hear firsthand her phone conversations with her husband, who is a truck driver. After she hangs up, she summarizes for me the conversation I just overheard. Sometimes I just want to be left alone to check my Facebook while my kids play with the toys. But of course I do not tell her this.

Tonight I took Bubby to his very cold and windy soccer practice.  I had jackets, but no blankets or chairs.  More than once the couple next to me offered me one of theirs. But they smelled different, and their appearance was very different from mine. So I told them no thank you. They also shared some of their life story with all of the parents tonight.  I nodded and smiled in all the right pauses, and I froze my butt off on the hard ground.


The woman at the therapy center pulled a bottle of bubbles out of her purse to give my kids.  The couple at the soccer game not only cheered on their own son, but they encouraged everyone's child tonight during practice.



I realize what a snob I am sometimes.

I live on a side of town that gets judged by some people on the other side of town,. Every time it happens it angers me because I feel like being poor or having a small house doesn't define a person..  And yet, I define  people, not with my words but with my passivity.

Because I don't want to hear some stranger's story, I inwardly cringe each time it happens.  But then everyday I get online to read lots of strangers' stories and often do some over-sharing of my own. What if I paid as much attention to the woman in the waiting room with me as I did to someone I have never had an in-person conversation with? What if I did a better job engaging with the parents on the sidelines who may have just as much to insight to offer as that link a friend posted?

8 comments:

  1. Mmm. Good stuff. Sometimes I wonder what's real. Internet relationships are lovely because they can keep us from feeling lonely. They can fill in the gaps in our need for adult conversation, and yet...they're neat. They're tidy. The sticky parts of a real person don't get on us, and we can walk away so easily. Personally, I'm hand-picking some Internet friends and pulling them into my real life. I'm talking to them on the phone and trying to go deeper. I'm also trying to spend more real time with people in my community. I love how you're challenging yourself, here, Amanda. I hope you find your sweet spot in all of it.

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    1. Internet friends are great for the reasons you listed, Brandee, and more. I went for a very long season without any local mommmy friends that I did things with, talked with, etc. The last few months I have made some, and that has helped in so many ways. But I still love connecting with some people online. I feel much more comfortable writing my words than speaking them - I have always been that way. The internet just helps! :)

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  2. I do this exact thing too. While my son is in his therapy group there are 3 other parents in the waiting room and all of them are extroverts and over sharers. Somethings I know about them I would not want to know about A.N.Y.O.N.E and I wonder what the heck their secrets are if this is their everyday conversation. But I sit fairly silent because in real life I am pretty much a brick wall surrounded by a moat when it comes to sharing my internal self. Get me online where it is "safe" and I am much more open. I don't know if it is snobbery though. Some social constructs, like not telling people you barely know about your son's innapropriate self licking issues, are social constructs for a reason, you know?! I don't think everyone has to be let into your inner circle. I do think it is good to let some people in though. ( I am working on that part.) I think nodding, responding, and engaging is showing that you are not a snob.

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    1. Yes, maybe not a snob - but I definitely felt selfish. People just want to have someone listen to them - really listen - even if/when they don't know of the "social rules." I'm trying to keep my eyes open to the people and situations around me.

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  3. This was good. Challenging. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. why is it easier to be open with strangers through our blogs and online communities than it is in real life? I'll never know why I can jump in facebook group conversations but can't say hi to the new mom at gymnastics tonight. Ugh.

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  5. why is it easier to be open with strangers through our blogs and online communities than it is in real life? I'll never know why I can jump in facebook group conversations but can't say hi to the new mom at gymnastics tonight. Ugh.

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  6. why is it easier to be open with strangers through our blogs and online communities than it is in real life? I'll never know why I can jump in facebook group conversations but can't say hi to the new mom at gymnastics tonight. Ugh.

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Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts with me.