|The Leaning Tower of Beverages|
It was a rough night last night at the Tech Week Dinners. Nothing bad happened or anything, but through a perfect storm of my usually-barely-controlled social anxiety, a heavy introvert tendency, and my current hormonal state, I really wasn’t dealing with even a small disturbance in the force field I prefer to generate around myself at all times.
And that force field was breached when the sweet and energetic mom who coordinates these dinners asked me to bring the muffin trays to the table where some other moms were setting out bagels. Instant Mom-timidation ensued. I was wearing a red t-shirt, tan capris and running shoes (after all, I was carrying 5-gallon jugs of lemonade, mixing iced tea, and standing for three hours on end. I was dressed for the job, apron and all.) They were wearing fashionable wrap dresses, strappy sandals, and coordinating jewelry. But that’s not all. The Mom-timidators launched into complaints about a lack of tablecloths, centerpieces and matching balloons. For a pancake-and-bacon dinner for 75 teenagers in a high-school cafeteria. Then they started lining up the butter, syrup and jelly in perfectly straight lines.
To be fair, these moms did nothing and said nothing that should have bothered/upset/intimidated me. Really, they didn’t. I’m sure they’re perfectly lovely people, but I can’t know that because I couldn’t stay there. As soon as I could, I got out of the Mom-timidation Sector and went to my Cozy Corner with the big stack-o-beverage coolers and got busy pouring lemonade and iced tea. I vented a bit on Twitter, just to blow off a little steam.
A friend came over at one point to tell me some funny stories of things that had happened to her that day. That was well-timed, though I’m sure she doesn’t know it. (She may have seen those Tweets of Desperation, though). It gave my brain a break from dwelling on my completely irrational response to the Mom-timidation that I was completely aware I was imagining, but couldn’t stop myself from feeling.
When dinner was over, I cleaned up the drink stuff and headed home. It took a while to wind down from my strange emotional response, which I’m seriously hoping didn’t show on my face all evening. And this morning, I got a quick email from the lovely Tech Week Dinner coordinator, thanking me for showing up, stepping up, and jumping in and getting things done. She’s very faithful and very sincere about thanking people. And boy, that 3-sentence email could not have come on a better day.
Yet another friend saw those Tweets of Desperation and tweeted me this morning to make sure I was OK. (yes, and thanks!)
The moral of the story is: you probably never know the effect you are going to have on people. So if you have the chance to do so, have a good effect on someone. Send them that quick “thank you” email. Give that compliment. Tell that funny story. Especially if someone has that Deer-in-the-Headlights look, like I probably did yesterday.
To the folks who came to my rescue, intentionally or not: thank you! I love you!