Please allow me to explain - my fingers are raring to go since I haven't been blogging much since we moved here. I've been too busy doing nothing, I guess. And when you do nothing, you have nothing to write about.
So, we moved in March. It was a rough move on all of us. The kids didn't want to leave their friends or their school. I didn't want to leave my friends and my workout regimen and my social life. I loved the kids' school in Illinois. The teachers and staff were phenomenal and the kids there were really, really good kids. Until we moved here, I didn't quite realize how different things would be.
I've been lucky that the kids' teachers here are great teachers. They are very interested in seeing their students do well, they have been super kind and sensitive to the fact that my two were the new kids on the block.
Way, way, way back when I was in school, a new student was something to be excited about. We didn't get too many new kids and everyone would climb all over themselves to be nice. It seemed to be that way in Illinois too.
Oh, but it's not that way here. People are nice enough to the kids, I guess. But this is a very small community no where near a military base. We may as well be from a foreign country than simply from another state.
I've been trying to put my finger on what bugs me here. I know part of it is that almost everyone in this particular community has known each other for generations - and no, I'm not exaggerating. Despite how it may seem, I'm extremely, almost painfully introverted around people I don't know. And apparently, I possess more than my fair share of 'bitch resting face'. (You can Google it.)
So I wondered if maybe the vibe I was getting was a result of misreads from my bitch face or that people were taking my extreme shyness to be aloofness (that happens to me a lot as well). I have been trying to smile more and be more aware of the expressions on my face. It hasn't seemed to help here, but the last couple weeks I've been running around like crazy during the day and people in Asheville respond kindly to me, but not so much the folks in our little town. Of course, it's leaf changing season and traffic is horrible and everything is crowded, which makes me grouchy and this is my first year dealing with it. I can only imagine the frustration that results from generations' worth of tourism weariness.
This Tuesday night was curriculum night at school. We found out about it on Monday. This is usually the way it works. Lots of missed school activities because we don't know about them and lots of schedule rearranging because we find out about stuff last minute. I'm guessing that all the people that have lived here forever just know these things because most of them went to the same school when they were kids. ::shrugs::
At curriculum night, I got permission from Tucker's teacher to bring cupcakes to school today for his birthday. So Robert rearranged his schedule so he could meet me at school and we had lunch with Tucker and handed out cupcakes to his class.
And I noticed another major difference. In Illinois, they encouraged non food items to celebrate birthdays - like pencils or small goodie bags that kids could take home. But in each class my kids were in, all their fellow students seemed as excited about each other's birthdays as their own. Here, all the kids in his class were sort of excited about cupcakes, (think 'woo.' versus 'WOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!') but no one seemed to care why there were cupcakes there. Nothing says they have to care, it was just not the reaction I was expecting.
We ended up with extras, so when Robert and I were signing out at the office, I offered the office staff a cupcake. I got the ol' hairy eyeball up and down the length of my body and a flat, bitchy 'no'. Um, allllllrighty then.
Robert and I were heading back to the car after that little encounter and he says, "Wow. They are really unfriendly here." Those of you who know Robert KNOW that this is huge. He just doesn't really give two snaps about people and their attitudes most of the time. Nor does he often pay much attention to such things. So for him to have noticed AND said something? Huge. Like, Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman shopping spree huge.
And I felt this enormous sense of relief. I wasn't imagining it, I wasn't over-reacting, I wasn't obsessing or over-analyzing. People at this school are decidedly less friendly. ROBERT noticed it, for crying out loud. Without prompting of any sort. I somehow restrained myself from performing a touchdown dance of validation, but I really, really wanted to.
I love the area we live in. It's so beautiful! People in this general area are super nice (we have incredible, friendly, kind, thoughtful neighbors). But a lot of the administrative staff and other parents that I've encountered here have not been. And I really do wonder why.
But if you'll excuse me, I have a validation dance to do.