socially inept

There’s an organization here in OurTown, called Women for Women (I’m translating), whose function is to help immigrant women adjust to life here. It’s a great idea, you know, mostly the men come to work and have colleagues and such, and usually some kind of employer-provided orientation, and the women are just kind of stuck with the kids, having to do the shopping and deal with bureaucracy and navigate life as a housewife with little or no preparation. So the organization offers tutoring and homework help for the kids (how do you help your kid with their German homework when their German is already better than yours?), German lessons for the moms, playgroups for moms of babies and toddlers, and… every Tuesday from 9-11, a 2-hour breakfast and chitchat session in the Lutheran church hall.

Anyway, it’s 9:30 and I’m not there. I’m a member of this organization, I taught English there for about a year, until my classes got too small and it wasn’t worth continuing. I made their website. I should have gone to the annual members’ meeting last night, but I had to take DrBob to the airport. And I should now be going to this breakfast. It is the Right Thing to Do. But augh. I make myself go most Tuesdays, but I never want to. I bring my knitting and they ask a few questions and then go back to their conversation and I feel like a dork because I can’t think fast enough to join the chitchat and I’m pretty sure they don’t think I’m a dork because they’re very very nice people, but still.

I’m really good at saying the wrong thing. I tend not to want to talk too much, because now when I say something, it’s clumsily expressed in flawed German, in addition to probably being the wrong thing to say. So I’m sitting here trying to talk myself into going because I really should. The organization deserves support, and I should be getting out there and trying to make friends and practicing my German. But it’s supposed to be a fun cheerful social thing and it’s Not. Fun. Maybe if I think of it as going to work, it will seem less uncomfortable.

Anyway. I have to go.

Song du jour of the day: Learning to Fly, by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.

ETA: I went. I survived. It wasn’t that bad. It never is. The dread always outweighs the reality.

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One response to “socially inept

  • amy

    That organization sounds like a great idea, but I can understand the uncomfortable-ness, too. I tend to come across badly at things like that. Too many people mistake quiet for snobby. And even in my native tongue, I often think I’m saying things wrong, or the wrong thing.

    (Tom Petty is the halftime act on Sunday. MUCH better than Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake, in my opinion…)

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