Sunday, February 03, 2008

A low point in parenting and basic judgement

Our little crappy theater doesn't show movies unless they are Guaranteed to Make Money, so we often have to wait for the DVD. This time, though, 4 girls they know from school invited the two oldest Sons to a theater in Annapolis.

I didn't want a seventeen-year-old girl, distracted by the mighty mojo of the Sons, driving them an hour and 45 minutes each way. (Yes, the theater is actually that far.)

So, the Sons checked. The girls weren't driving--a mom was. Fully reassured, I gave the go-ahead.

OK, so I'm new to this High School thing. I don't know most of their new friends. They meet people at school, do much of their socializing at the school, and so it all remains mysterious to me. But when a woman pulls up to take my kids for the next seven hours, I figure I should go out and introduce myself. Let her know I'm a reasonable person she can call if, for instance, the Sons act the fool, or her car breaks down. My parents live minutes from the theater to which they're heading.

So I go out to their car, and the mom rolls her window down, and she has only shards, where her front teeth should be. She has an odd look on her face--a little glassy-eyed, and confrontational and distracted, at the same time. I am...distinctly uncomfortable.

"That looks like meth mouth," I think.

And then, I think again.

"I have a false tooth. If Hubby were not a good provider, I would have a gap in my mouth. Maybe she's just broke. And maybe having people judge her by her lack of teeth puts her in a crappy mood, so she hates meeting people who look like they just decided she's not capable of driving their precious darlings to the movies. And the flu is going around."

In a moment of Kumbaya Spirit, I smiled and went back in the house, where, I'll admit, I worried. The boys had a great time at the movies, and I decided I was a bigot for having thought anything about that poor woman's teeth.

Yesterday those Sons were invited to 2 different events, at people's homes. And then Son #1 mentioned the mom who had driven them, last week.

"Her mom is CRAZY. She was driving all over the road. I thought she was going to crash, seven times. And the first thing she said, when she pulled out of the driveway, was 'You motherfuckers better not spill anything in my car!' She was screaming curse words at us the whole time. I was glad you let us go, but I was REALLY glad we made it home."

So, yesterday, I went in. I chatted. I got to know Trevor's mom, and Hilary's mom and dad. I felt better.

I think they felt better, too. As it turns out, "I'm new to this whole high school thing, and still getting used to the idea that I don't know their friends," is a great ice-breaker.

Honesty, I guess, is still a good policy.


Anonymous said...

Honesty; yes, a Mum's gut instinct definitely!

ALF said...

whoa, that is scary! I felt the same way about feeling uneasy when I met the man who turned out to be the one who murdered the professor I worked for. Sometimes you just gotta go with your gut!