August 17, 2018

body odor, scorpions, or krispy kreme doughnuts

Typical day at Body
Odor High School
The Kid's high school open house is five days away and I'm already dreading it, in sleeping and waking, by day and by night.

This is normal.  A school open house is like Wal-Mart on Black Friday combined with an amusement park on the day all the middle schools bring their band kids, except with more paperwork.  The hallways are full of elbows and shoving past and girl giggles and the OSHA-regulated smell of adolescence.  Everyone gets there very early, and on time, and later in order to avoid the initial rush, so that there is never, ever anywhere to park.  Dreading all of this is a reasonable thing to do.

It's not that, though.  It's the fear that I'm going to run into our old friends, the ones who dumped us a year and a half ago.  Their daughter will now be attending the same high school my son attends.

I've been trying to envision the various possibilities.

Best-case scenario:  I don't see them anywhere, either because they come at a different time or because we happen to be on different hallways.

Worst-case scenario:  We're in the same hallway and a gap opens up in the crowd (maybe because of some particularly foul body odor in the vicinity) and they're standing over there and we look up and our eyes meet, and they turn away and walk off.

The other worst-case scenario:  We're in the same hallway and a gap opens up in the crowd (possibly because someone poured scorpions all over the floor) and they're standing over there and we look up and our eyes meet, and we stare at each other because none of us knows what to say or do and no one wants to be the asshole who looks away first, and the Universe implodes from excessive awkwardness.

The other other worst-case scenario:  We're in the same hallway and a gap opens up in the crowd (definitely because they announced free Krispy Kreme doughnuts in the cafeteria over the intercom system) and they're standing over there and we look up and our eyes meet, and they come over to us and start talking in an effort to un-awkwardify things, and maybe it's just to settle that down, and maybe it's because they want to make amends, and honestly I don't know which would be worse, so break this one down into other-other-worst-case-scenarios (a) and (b).

Scenario that isn't worst but is still pretty bad:  We're in the same hallway and a gap opens up in the crowd (and I can't even have the doughnuts, so fuck whoever in the parent teacher association went out and got them), and they're standing over there and we look up and our eyes meet, and because I decided to beforehand, I'm the one who turns away and walks off.

I'd probably walk right into a wall because the tears would sting.

See?  There isn't a good way for this to work out.  We don't want reconciliation because we'll just get hurt again down the road, but I'm afraid of seeing them because that will hurt, too, no matter which scenario plays out.  It will hurt if they flip me off and it will hurt if they hug me and says it's been too long.

The flip-off is far more likely.

That's why I liked them so god-damned much.  They would even do the horizontal part and say, "And the horse you rode in on."

I considered making The Kid's dad take him, but I'm not going to chicken out because I'm obsessive about getting my hands on those lists of needed supplies.  I sit in the parking lot afterward and order rare Five Star notebooks and the best pens and shit from Amazon on my phone, then yell, "Upper-class tiger-mom bitchesI beat you!" triumphantly out the car window.

Not really.

But I'll be there.  Shaking, maybe, with a pit in my stomach, but there.  This is one of those despicable situations where the only way out is through.

No comments:

Post a Comment