ritchie macapinlac.com

Awkward Interactions

As a parent, I often find myself thrust into “social situations” that are a bit out of my comfort zone. This is due to the fact that I am, inherently, a socially awkward human. Take, for example, a recent parents’ meeting at my daughter’s high school gym to discuss logistics for an upcoming show choir trip to Seattle.

I arrived early and strategically chose a spot in the bleachers—an entire aisle of five seats and sat myself right in the middle. As the gym filled up, a woman claimed the aisle seat on my row. Soon after, another woman recognized her, waved enthusiastically, and made her way over. To my dismay, she scooted past me to chat, effectively sandwiching me in their conversation. Kill me now!

Woman 2: “So, you’re going to Seattle?”
Woman 1: “Yeah, but my kid doesn’t really want me to go.”
Woman 2: “Oh, but you’re going to watch the show?”

At this point, I’m internally panicking. Take out your phone! Did you read the program? Can I fake an aneurysm and faint? Maybe if I blink my eyes in an SOS pattern, someone will save me. Or I'll be have teleported elsewhere. Choose flight! Always choose flight!

Woman 1: “No, I got read the riot act. We’re just going to make a trip out of it and hit the zoo or something.”
Woman 2: “Oh, that’s good. You can catch the performances tonight though, right? Are you staying to watch?”

By now, I’m scrolling Uber Eats to expedite the delivery of an invisibility cloak. Note to self: Always keep AirPods Pro handy. Is it socially acceptable to start hitting my head on the seat in front of me? Is it bad that I'm silently and actively judging?

Woman 1: “No, my kid doesn’t want us to even watch tonight.”
Woman 2: “Yeah, so I guess you’re leaving early then?”

Just when I thought I’d have to endure more of this excruciatingly awkward eavesdropping, the meeting finally started. Saved by the bell—or in this case, the choir director’s microphone!