Friday, March 16, 2012

Just call me Julie!

This has been a strange week.  After not raining much at all since I've lived here, it has been raining the entire week.  Had to have $900 worth of work done on my van...ouch!  Taxes are being figured out.  We're gonna owe...double ouch!  I went to the dentist and apparently have 2 cavities, an old cavity that needs to be removed and replaced with a crown AND...(this is the real bonus) I've apparently been grinding my teeth while I sleep since moving here and have done some pretty good damage.  I need a bite guard.  Sounds sexy, doesn't it??  It's not covered under our insurance.  Excellent.  Bite guard will have to wait.  Uncle Sam trumps bite guard.
In addition to all of that Tanner had half days...every...single this week due to Spring conferences.  Aidan had half days W, T, F.  That has a dual meaning:   Wednesday, Thursday, Friday AND What The Fuck?!!  Spring conferences were different than what I'm used to but it was OK.  Tanner's teacher tells me that he is responsible, mature and self motivated, except when it involves draft writing or embellishing on any writing whatsoever.  Tanner's thinking is:  I wrote it.  Take it or leave it.  But, I'm not changing anything.  It is what it is.  Ok, we'll work on that.  Given the half days, there were LOTS of other things going on at school besides conferences.  Namely the Book Fair and the Science Fair.
In my attempt to have some sort of "normal" here, I volunteer up at Tanner's school quite a bit.  I feel more at home in an elementary school setting than almost anywhere else, so it makes sense.  I fell into a routine with the office staff and principal and assistant principal fairly quickly.  I think it takes a unique type of person to work in an elementary school setting.  So, I find these women have similar characteristics to the beloved office staff back at my wonderful Progress South Elementary.  I'm being wordy with this post, I don't know why.  I think I have too much swimming around in my head or something. But, I promise there is a point, so bear with me for a few more paragraphs.
Anywho, I have made some new "friends" through my volunteering.  I've done lunch with a few of them, chatted a bit here and there with others.  I feel an instant connection with many of them simply because they are more familiar to me (i.e. they are white).  I swear to god I am not a racist.  I have just never been the minority before and it's an odd feeling.  Where I have had trouble feeling comfortable (as in knowing what to say, how to interact) is with the PTA group here which made up of mostly Indian (but also some Asian) women.  They are great group and do a lot amazing work for the school.  So, in an effort to get to know some of them better, I volunteered to work at the book fair for 3 hours, even though I knew I wouldn't know many of the ladies.  I've seen a few of them at meetings of committees and such but have a hard time remembering their names.
I have a lot of personal guilt about not being able to remember their names.  I remember the Asian ladies way better than the Indian ones.  Why is that?  It frustrates me as a human being!  I'm petrified of calling Poojah... Chithkala.  I know there are these two very nice ladies with those names, but I CAN"T for the life of me remember which one goes with which name.  Again, the guilt and personal inadequacy is *killing* me here!  Please don't judge me too harshly.
Back to the book fair.  I put on my big girl pants and headed to the Library at school to work my 3 hours.  Immediately I was met by someone I knew, Cynthia, who is Asian.  I talked to her for a few minutes, feeling a tad more relaxed.  Then I was attacked my 3 Indian women trying to put Hawaiian leis and a grass skirt on me (the theme of the book fair was luau, apparently).  I said hi to all of them.  They seemed to all be speaking at once, and quickly.  But, I got the gist of what they were saying.  They were happy about someone named "Julie" who was such a great volunteer.  Not knowing who they were talking about, I said, "Oh, I haven't met Julie.  Is she here?"  To which Chithkala (I think) responded, " Well, of course, YOU are Julie!!"  They all laughed and looked down as if they couldn't believe how truly stupid I was.
O...M...G!!  In that moment I felt SO much better!  They couldn't remember my name either!!  Woo hoo!  I don't suck as much as I originally thought!  Score one for the white chick!
I thoroughly enjoyed informing them that my name wasn't actually Julie.  They apologized profusely.  I loved the one who said "Oh no, if she is not Julie, then what is she called?"   I told them that I had just as much trouble remembering everyone's names and not to give it a second thought.
So, I'm letting myself off the hook for not knowing the names.  After all, I'm apparently named Julie!!

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