I have a theory that people never really change over the years. Before this article sparks a big philosophical debate, I challenge you to think of your circle of mommy friends in Any Town, USA. I made my own observations last week when I volunteered at my sons’ elementary school during their book fair. I had the pleasure of meeting several moms who were also at the school as volunteers. It quickly became a room full of moms with grade school personalities!
In a group setting where I am out of my comfort zone, I automatically fall into the role of “observing wall flower” until I slowly warm up to my surroundings and then I comfortably become the “class clown.” The role of “the goofy, sarcastic self-deprecating clown” comes naturally to me, and it always has. Put me in a room with my sister, who also has the same
lack of sense of humor, and you will find yourself either laughing at or with us, most likely the former.
So there we are, the volunteers, in the media center, waiting for the kids to come to the book fair. I am standing in the back of the room, where I am comfortably stacking books and minding my own business – until such time that I have assessed the situation and decided that it is safe to come out of my shell.
In walks “the teacher’s pet!” We all know her. In grade school her arm was constantly sticking straight in the air, ready to answer the teacher’s question, even before the question had been asked. The woman walks confidently into the room and heads straight for the teacher and in a rapid-fire questioning she inquires about her child’s progress, grades, and areas of strength.
Right behind her is the girl who ran for Class President in her senior year. She takes her role of “Ms. Assumed-Popularity” very seriously. As if she was running for political office now, she makes her rounds to all the moms in the room. Shaking their hands, introducing herself, commenting on everyone’s name. She would have kissed a baby’s forehead – like all good politicians do – if only a baby had been present.
I looked around the room and exchanged careful smiles with two other fellow “wall flowers.” We were all busy straightening the books on the shelves, in a very comforting OCD manner.
My glance then stopped at “the two trendy Bobbsey twins” standing close together in the corner of the room. Their closeness, stylish clothes and inside jokes were a great forcefield that deterred any outsiders from walking over to them... except of course “Ms. Assumed-Popularity.” She knew no boundaries and was dyslexic when it came to reading body language. “The twins” were obviously not related, but they were best friends and spoke only to each other – unless they were interrupted.
It was almost uncomfortable watching “Ms. Assumed-Popularity” while she was doing her best campaigning towards the two “trendy twins.” Their conversation turned to “what do you do for a living” – which is always a great question to ask a group of moms (insert sarcastic tone here). I prefer to ask someone if they work at home or outside of the home, since all moms work in some capacity. Anyway, one of the twins, who looked like she was dressed more for a get together with the dads than the kids, mentioned her job title and the name of her employer. However, she was unable to articulate exactly what her job entails – so the painful conversation quietly fizzled out.
“The twins” were separated by “Ms. Take-Charge’s” abrupt entrance. She stormed into the room, in a whirlwind of what seemed to be perpetual tardiness. She was loud and she was present! She quickly looked around the room, assessed the situation and started delegating jobs to anyone who got in her way. Thankfully my little exclusive group of “quiet church mice” had already lined the books up and organized everything!
Finally it was time for the kids to enter. Rarely have I been so excited to see a group of 20 snotty-nosed elementary school boys and girls! I was truly “saved by the kids.” Had any of these close encounters with my grade-school-past gone on much longer, I would have been forced to come out of my comfortable hermit crab shell. Once I am out in the open I automatically turn into the “class clown” – and that’s not always a pretty sight, nor is it appreciated or understood by everyone.
I love that these classic personalities stand the test of time, and defy all odds of ever maturing! Which character matches your personality traits? Would we have been friends in grade school? (Don’t worry – I won’t tell anyone! I pinky-swear!)