Today was our swim club's first swim meet. Arrival for home meets is 4:45. I was surprised to see how little time I had to spare, getting there at 4:35, thinking I would get there much earlier...have time to lounge, enjoy reading my book, calling my mom, you know, do needlework, plow the garden, tan leather, all kinds of things...having left work at 3:30 to get our shit together and get here by 4:45.
Needless to say, it's a miracle that I got there BEFORE 4:45. Of course, I found out later that I forgot to pack MiMi some pants and that I forgot to put Brenna in her crate (so she made a fine mess for Tim when he got home). I know, I know, you're thinking: what? She's not *perfect*???
I also did something I don't usually do at swim meets, or other my-kid-related-functions: I volunteered. Well. I have volunteered for some things: I have chaperoned field trips for CJ and MiMi's schools. I have volunteered as a kid runner for a swim meet the first year MiMi swam for this team. And that is exactly why I do not sign up to volunteer for anything else. I do not like it. It's not fun. Kids are whiny. And worst of all: I hate dealing with their parents. I do not like dealing with other people. Unless they are my kind of people. And most parents are not my kind of people.
But, because it has been many years since I last volunteered for this, the painful memory has disappeared, despite the fact that these parents are fresh in my mind of how little we have in common (I do get to hang out with them during swim practice and I get to eavesdrop on the conversations. They go to church and their kids go to vacation bible school. Yeah. We don't have the same likes and dislikes. I bet they didn't just buy the new Marilyn Manson album and don't want to share what songs are the favorites. :))
I signed up to be a "scorer" with the sell that I would get a 'bird's eye view' of the competition. Well, I did but you don't get to really see anything when you're furiously writing down children's names, scores, and tallying those up, then handing those over to ribbon writers. And despite the fact that I am pretty good at math (BS in Computer Science with a Minor in Math, thankyouverymuch!), my pristine math skills are mainly in formulaic methods...not so much in basic addition and subtraction. In fact, I pretty much SUCK at basic addition and subtraction. I don't know if it's laziness, habit-forming by using my fingers, counting the points on the numbers, or early introduction of the calculator, but I cannot add worth crap. Once I discovered that's what the scorer was responsible for, I thought: imagine me, picking the one thing that I probably shouldn't be doing?
But fortunately, I had my handy, dandy notebook, AKA, my BFF, AKA, my iPhone, so I used that all night to tally the scores. And on top of that, a little bit of QA helps since there is a scorer for the other team who also tallies their score. I actually enjoyed this role as it fits my personality (sans the addition but with my calculator, MFer puhleeeze...) with the writing, keeping a tally, and providing results. The fact that I'm away from the scenes and my family makes it crappy.
I did well socializing with people from my swim club and the other club. I _can_ socialize. I am pretty good at that when I need to. And these people made it easy as they were pretty nice. Even when they dissed having tattoos. That was pretty funny.
I had a 'penny' on with the title "Scorer" so I could be identified officially. This hid my tattoo. At some point, there was a conversation about how a young man would not get one. I said this was good but that there isn't anything necessarily _wrong_ with them, which made his father laugh...because he obviously knew about mine. I did mention that I waited until I was much older to get mine so that I knew what I wanted. But the lady at the table talked over me so she must not have heard me and started going on about how she would never get a tattoo, how she didn't want to be 88 and have it sag (my philosophy: we are younger longer than we are older), how she had seen so many ugly, saggy tattoos, yadda, yadda, yadda. Well, with about two scores left to score, I took the penny off, knowing the awkward moment would come. And then, just like that. I forgot.
But then, the awkward moment came, at the moment I forgot, and she apologized, to which I tried to shake it off. Because I honestly was not offended. I was just concerned for her because I knew, that at some point, she'd see me in my suit and would remember this moment and feel bad. Or at least that's what my empathetic self felt would happen.
The other funny thing that happened was when MiMi came to see me about midway through the meet. There were so many kids that came up to that table to see what the score was, to ask questions, or just to come up there that when she came up, I gave a polite hi to what I thought was a sweet, girl that was just another kid. There was a 10 second delay before I recognized that she belonged to me.
We lost the meet. Pretty badly. Something like 384 to 110. I should know. I kept score.
Afterward, we did something we don't normally do either, which is tradition at our swim club: we ate at Fat Daddy's after the meet. We didn't actually _sit_ with the group, so we'll have to work on that for next time.