Last night, as you may or may not know, was National Night Out. It's a chance for neighbors to get outside on a nice summer night and mingle. It's also a chance for me, if I go, to talk to a bunch of people I've never met before and try to make small talk. If given the choice, I would rather be stuck repeatedly with sharp metal objects.
Usually, I hang back and let haddayr
do all the gabbing and schmoozing because she likes that sort of thing. No, I shouldn't say she likes it. She thrives on it. Which is why I like going with her to those things because I can just nod and smile and pretend I heard what people said (in addition to being horribly shy and introverted, I'm also a little hard of hearing, especially when I'm in large group settings and there's a lot of background noise going on). That was not the case last night because Haddayr had yoga class which left me on my own. But since the boys wanted to go, I went with them.
Was it as bad as I thought it was going to be? No. It was so much worse.
In addition to the fifty smiling strangers there was a loud band "playing music." To say they were bad would be an insult to bad bands everywhere. Not only could they not sing in tune with their instruments or keep their instruments in tune with each other, they couldn't keep their instruments in tune with themselves. And then they went into three and four part vocal harmonies. Out of tune. Singing the Grateful Dead. Loudly.
So I sat at a table watching Éiden stuff his face with chips until there weren't anymore as Arie did some sort of coloring activity and listened to the horrid caterwauling of a group of neighbors I'd never seen before in my life. Meanwhile, I tried to smile and nod at the other neighbors I'd never met before who said god knows what to me because I could barely hear them over the classic rock slaughter. It felt like someone had grabbed my insides with a fork and was slowly but steadily twisting them around and around while commenting on how it was a nice evening outside and how Powderhorn Park sure was a nice place to live. And then at eight o'clock, I got out of there as quickly as I could without looking back for fear I might be pulled out into the hell I'd only just escaped.