Enter your keyword

The Preschool Birthday Party

The Preschool Birthday Party

On Sunday, Mini, Mr. Right-Click and I went to a birthday party for one of the kids in Mini’s class. We were all very excited — both because there would be cake and because this was the first time we had been invited to one of these get-togethers. We are kind of outsiders because it’s our first year at the school and Mini has only been there since October. Most of the kids in Mini’s preschool class have been together for several years now already. Some of them have siblings that know each other, and some of the parents work together and have known each other for years.

So naturally, it was only a few minutes before I outed myself as a mommyblogger. It all happened so fast.

“I work from home,” I found myself saying, “So I usually come get him at around 2:00. Though he is technically full time.”
“Wait a minute, what do you do that allows you to work from home?” A new woman who was wearing a baby asked.
“Oh. Well, I write a blog. But I sell advertising. That’s how I make money.” I said. Apologetically.
“Oh, you do? Like Dooce!” The first woman said.
“Oh, no. I mean, yeah. Not NEARLY as successful as Dooce. But yes. Same idea.” I said.
“Wait, you read blogs?” The Baby Wearer asked the Blog Reader.
“Yes, I read a few. I read Dooce, and Sundry –“
“Oh, I’m friends with Sundry,” I found myself saying. I’m friends with Sundry? What the fuck am I talking about? Does Sundry know that we are friends?
“When do you have time to read all these people?” The Baby Wearer was asking the Blog Reader.
“Oh, well, just in the mornings, I’ll read them on my iPhone. I’ve been doing it for a while now. It started out when I was into knitting, and then –“
“Yes, there are so many knitters who read blogs, what’s that about?” I said. What — am I doing a bit now?
“Well, I think knitters like to post pictures of what they knit.” The Blog Reader/Knitter said.
“That and the Mormons.” I said. “Tons of Mormon bloggers.” I hope none of these people are Mormon.
“Really? Fascinating.” The Baby Wearer said.
“Oh yeah. Most of the people who are actually making money blogging — Mormons.” I said. They’re probably not Mormons anyway.

I don’t know why I turn into a jackass when I get around regular humans. It’s like some kind of idiocy disease comes over me, and I’m talking about people I know from Twitter as if I’m best buddies, taking out pieces of gum in the middle of sentences, and explaining that the reason my son’s birthday party was in Beverly Hills instead of near our house was because it was product placement for my blog, as if that is totally normal thing to do and talk about, and oh yeah . . . MORMONS. This is why I used to drink, and it’s why now that I don’t drink, I spend most of my time either with my family or with imaginary friends on the computer.

It wasn’t until I had finished speaking to these women and given both of them business cards that I realized HOLY FUCK I gave them business cards, and that makes two people in my regular everyday life who could potentially read my blog. Who are at least equipped with the means of reading my blog, should they ever want to, the point being, now I will have to be extra careful about things, no more willy nilly DSMV diagnoses of Mini’s preschool classmates based on Band-Aid Bulletin run-ins.

I’m really not sure if we will ever be invited back. Well, Mini will. But I’m not sure that I will be.

Comments (31)

  1. Denise
    Jun 29, 2010

    Don’t be so hard on yourself, my gal. Nobody else is.

    If any RL people ever got around to reading your blog (because, after all, they are way way too busy to read anything but Brown Bear) they’d see how intelligent and funny you truly are.

  2. Heather
    Jun 29, 2010

    You always make me laugh. I feel like a social retard when I get around other women/mothers, too. I think you’ve got plenty of company in that arena – especially here on the internet, which seems to attract introverts. I never tried drinking as a means to alleviate the feeling of never quite fitting in, but I can definitely see how it’d be tempting, too.

  3. Jun 29, 2010

    Considering my go to move when I’m in social situations is to stand in a corner unless and until someone comes up and talks to me, I get the whole just-stay-at-home-with-internet friends thing.
    Most likely those women will lose your business card somewhere in between all the snacks and toys and errands, but even if not–eh, you’re funny, intelligent and snarky…what’s not to love?

  4. Jun 29, 2010

    Tank God I’m not the only one who does stuff like this!! I always do this when I’m nervous, thus the reason I don’t frequent kids parties, lol!!

  5. Jun 29, 2010

    I made the mistake of encouraging all my real life friends to read my blog (they make up probably half of my massive readership). So now when I go to a party (or throw one, like we did this weekend for our twins’ first b-day) I get to be in the super-weird situation of having to talk about blog things to real people. And hear them talking to each other about stuff they read on my blog. That’s one of the reasons I still drink.

  6. Michele
    Jun 29, 2010

    I do the same things too. I beat myself up over those situations, and then I find out later people thought I was really funny or as one person said recently, adorable? ME? That’s not the word that comes to mind when I think of myself. Maybe they thought you were adorable too? ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. Jun 29, 2010

    You could do what I do, which is to befriend people BECAUSE they read your blog. My closest friend here is a longtime blog reader/Twitter friend. Same thing happend in VT — twice. I was set up with friends there via blog readers — like blind dates.

    It makes things less awkward. Or so I’m told.

  8. Jun 29, 2010

    i re-emerged into my writer’s group at the prestigious Association for Writers and Writing Programs conference, during which I met several influential writers and agents in my area, and when they asked what I write, I immediately confessed that I write erotica, that I have published a lot, that I won a national contest, that I have stories in books you can buy at Barnes & Noble. You know, to impress them or something. And then, I promised one of them a copy of one of my books, which is great porn but full of bad sentences, and this is after she said “I can’t read commercial novels because they are full of bad sentences.” And I sent it to her anyway (because my sentences weren’t as bad as those in other stories.)

    And I’m telling you this to say that it’s human to open mouth, insert foot when you’re nervous and trying to make an impression and get your butt into the clique.

    Maybe they’ll invite you back. My new writer friends think I’m hilarious (and they like my porn).

  9. Jun 29, 2010

    I’m a blogger who knits, but I don’t put any of my knitting on my blog. Well, that is kind of a lie because I have a whole other blog devoted to knitting, which provides me income. Not through ads, but through selling my knitting. That roundabout explanation is why I rarely admit in real life that I have a blog or two. It saves me from the awkward moment of wondering when I should just shut up and smile.

    I hope one of the two that you spoke to today come by and comment.

  10. Jun 29, 2010

    Oh man. I would never dare to pull the Mormon joke card out in CA. I still remember in 2006 when we my co-workers and I were discussing buying a birthday cake for someone and my boss was like “no chocolate!” and I put my foot in my mouth by being like “Why the hell can’t we have chocolate? It’s not like any of us are caffeine spoilsport Mormons!”

    BIG MISTAKE. But in my defense, he’s CHINESE. Aren’t they usually blonde? For that matter, don’t Mormons usually look like the Right-Click family?

    Anyway, I kind of feel like I made it up when I donated most of my apartment shit to Deseret Industries four years later.

  11. Jun 30, 2010

    Wait. They have Mormons in LA now? When did that happen?

    Maybe we should speak directly to these women, in case they’re reading. Like:

    “Hello, Mini’s friends’ moms.’ Welcome to ABDPBT. Please don’t complain about the name of the website. That’s so 2009. Also, there’s a period during which she talks about basketball a lot, and you just have to grit your teeth and get through it. I think it’s just ended so we should be okay for a while. You’ll probably like it here a lot, as long as you’re not stupid or rude or one of those Lunchables nazis. After all, you’ve met her in person…and we hear she’s adorable in person.”

  12. Jun 30, 2010

    What happened when I was blogging regularly was that it would come up in conversation ย– at a birthday party or at some school event ย– and there would be like four people who would be listening to me clumsily talking about what I write about. It was usually instigated by the two people from the school crowd who read me regularly. It would be like, “Oh, man, do you read her website? She is so funny!” And then they bring up a post you did not find at all funny and are actually embarrassed about. This is a Facebook crowd ย– not a Twitter crowd ย– so no one knows who Dooce or Sundry are. Then, of those four new people who found out about my blog, I’d say one or two would actually go check it out but none of them ever became regular readers. I say this based on whether they ever mentioned the blog to me again or mentioned things I had written about. Serious readers of blogs don’t find out about blogs at kids’ parties, so I’d say some of the school moms might pop in, but I don’t think they’ll be lurking and then reporting back to the other moms.

    I used to read a blog of a woman who lived in Beverly Hills and had to shut down because the school moms found her blog and were scandalized by what she had written. I read her before I was a mom, so I didn’t have the same sensitivity then, but I remember it was really innocuous shit about keeping your house clean with a preschooler around, school fund-raisers, etc. Someone from her daughter’s school actually called her in and asked her to stop writing about the school, and the other moms cast her out. So I suppose there is always the chance things could get catty.

  13. Jun 30, 2010

    Of course, since they’ve read Dooce and Sundry, the other possibility is that they’ll pepper you with behind-the-scenes questions about bloggers every time they see you. They’ll want all the BlogHer dope.

  14. Jun 30, 2010

    I had a minor dust-up akin to what happen ed with the woman Eliz describes. A woman from my Youngest’s elementary school is the head of the leadership team. She called me to ask me to take down a post that folks from another elementary school were discussing and bitching about. She then tried to get me to take on a project that she said I wouldn’t be allowed to write about on my blog. That would be “no” and “no,” thank you very much.

    Loads of bitching about me among PTA and leadership after that, but mostly from people who’d only heard what I’d written but hadn’t actually read it. Alas, it wasn’t a good enough hook or event to sustain any worthwhile readership. Heh.

  15. Jun 30, 2010

    Oh, that’s a good idea. Let’s think, who are the other bloggers from Los Angeles? Oh never mind. Well, there is Heather, but other than that I think I might be SOL, unless there are lurkers I don’t know about.

  16. Jun 30, 2010

    I think it’s ok to joke about Mormons with Mormons because even Mormons think that Mormons are funny. If you’re not sure about this, just invite some Mormons to watch:
    http://www.southparkmormon.com/ and see if they don’t laugh too.

  17. Jun 30, 2010

    I had good reason to believe that there were no Mormons at this particular gathering. But I cannot really go into why without outing people. But yes, traditionally I think many Mormons look like me or Mini. But I think that they allow people to convert, no?

  18. Jun 30, 2010

    Not very many. But some.

  19. Jun 30, 2010

    What on earth could they possibly object to? I guess if you’re writing about their kids in detail and posting names and pictures and psychological profiles or something? But beyond that, I don’t really understand what would matter.

  20. Jun 30, 2010

    I’ve been contemplating if I should out myself as a blogger at Oscar’s first preschool playgroup on Friday. I’m thinking no, as I anticipate I’d have some variation of the exact conversation you had in the post, and be completely embarrassed/mortified with it after going over and over it after the fact. Although I’m pretty sure I’ll somehow make an ass of myself anyways because that’s what I do. I make an ass of myself.

  21. Jun 30, 2010

    Oh, and congratulations on your BlogLuxe Award nomination for Most Provocative Blog. You’ve got my vote!

  22. Jun 30, 2010

    The issue was I was owning up to being an elitist, racist, selfish bitch. Long story, short version: my kids have all gone to a get-in-by-winning-a-lottery school instead of the worst-scores-in-the-area school they are assigned to. That makes me elitist and racist and selfish. (The bitch part has always been me.) And I wrote about that. Bad me.

  23. Jun 30, 2010

    “Also, thereโ€™s a period during which she talks about basketball a lot, and you just have to grit your teeth and get through it. I think itโ€™s just ended so we should be okay for a while.”

    HA! Kerry, I love your comments!

  24. Jun 30, 2010

    Yeah, it’s just that until the 70s or 80s the mainstream Mormon church had this pesky belief about the dark-skinned walkers of the earth being the original sinners or the people who warred with Jesus when he came to New Hampshire and that their skins would lighten over time in proportion to their souls. Basically something that was really off-putting to most ethnic people, although I can’t remember specifically what the principal was. I read part-way through the Book of Mormon when I read Jon Kraukauer’s book.

    There were no white people in our legal department (one of our courtly clients from the south commented on it once in a really hamfisted way…a la “My, your OGC office is so colourful!”) so the whole Mormon thing kind of came out of left field.

  25. Jun 30, 2010

    Wait, are you talking about the Macy Day blog? Her daughter was adopted from China, her husband was a movie executive and she spent a goodly amount of time mocking Los Angeles? I used to love that blog but she had to shut it down because people from her daughter’s pre-school found it.

  26. Julie
    Jun 30, 2010

    Blog Reader/Knitter in the house!! YES, of course I am reading! (Ginger..I couldn’t ignore my children fast enough when I got home from the party…I had to look this site up!) Sheesh…I meet a REAL LIFE blogger? Someone that not only understands the need to read blogs, but creates one herself? I was so excited! I was quite pleased to meet you, Anna. Anyway…I usually don’t tell people that I even read blogs…they just don’t understand. I felt like quite the Fan Girl, what with my gushing on and on about people that I read about, referring to them as Heather and Linda, you know, like we’re old chums! I even used to run a knit blog myself, back in the day. Anna, I won’t tell anyone else in the school what you do, so feel free to write whatever you want to. And if my girl does something to Mini that you don’t like, then go ahead and talk about it. It will probably be the only way I find out! ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Jul 1, 2010

    Wow. I did not know about that. I figured there was some kind of racist stuff embedded in there, as with most churches. But that’s pretty, well. Yeah.

  28. Jul 1, 2010

    Hi Julie:

    Hah! Thanks for stopping by, and my worry wouldn’t be writing about your daughter, because she’s always a sweetheart. It’s more the fact that I wrote about the time Mini got bitten by one of the boys in the class and how I figured out who did it, etc., and then kind of hypothesized about the kid’s psychological profile. Probably shouldn’t do that sort of stuff with other parents reading.

    Also, little boys are a whole other ballgame.

  29. Jul 2, 2010

    That’s the one. I keep hoping she’ll revive it, but those preschool moms must have scared her good.

  30. Oh Anna, you’re making me laugh so hard right now. Both by the run-in & the fact that I do believe if I met you in person I’d agree that you are adorable ๐Ÿ˜‰

  31. Jul 9, 2010

    I’m late to the conversation, but there was that whole birthday thing followed by the stomach flu… and well… it just was.

    I have a lot of people locally who read my fire blog, and I get recognized because we were plastered all over the news for several weeks. So it’s really weird when we’re out and someone asks, “Are you Brooke? I read your blog.” It actually makes me really self-conscious. Way easier thinking about the hypothetical people in cyberspace.

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published.