So I sort of was the mom that sucks last night. I arrived to the school where the freakishly tall principle lady was directing everyone to the gym. It was ominously quiet in the lobby and the school, where in years past there were tables and booths set up everywhere and the excitement of back to school night resonated throughout the school. I can see that the new principle must like order and control, because the energy was gone and she was like a drill seargent forcing all parents in to the stinky gym. She reminded me a little of professor Umbridge from Harry Potter.

I obediently made my way to the gym, where tables were set up along the walls. Specialists, teachers, PTA, volunteer activities, etc., were all set up to try and inspire parental units to get involved. I saw a few people I know from years past, quickly did a “once around” the room, and then decided it was time to make my way to visit the 3rd grade classroom where my daughter spends her days.

Of course we were not allowed to leave the gym until the freakishly tall principle let us go. I began to feel like I was on lockdown. Still, amongst the chatty parents and the pta groups, I felt out of place.

I finally made it to the classroom where I realized how out of place I felt. Several size 0 blonde moms in generic outfits were discussing summer programs and girl scouts. I tried to figure out if I could fit in to the conversation somehow through the fact that my daugther is taking guitar so that she can start a punk band, or the fact that I am the proud mom of an avid, anti-establishment skateboarder who sports an afro and doesn’t like name brand clothing and listens to underground hip-hop. I decided it probably wasn’t a good time. I just couldn’t relate.

Later on I tried to involve myself in a conversation about reading strategies with the same group of women, I kept stopping their conversation to ask them what certain things meant, like C.U.P.S and the 5 finger rule. They all stopped and gave me the “what kind of mom are you for not knowing this” kind of look. They were patient enough to explain – but seemed like they really weren’t trying to let me in on their conversation.

At the far corner of the room I saw a young woman with pitch black hair cut at an unusual angle with many piercings (most of which were on her face). She had on skinny jeans with beat up chucks and I decided that I would strike up a conversation with her – she was funny and alternative and finally I had found someone to talk to. We were chatting so much that I was one of the last to leave – I noticed that everyone had written a letter to their kid, except me. I asked my new friend if we were supposed to write a letter, and she said yes. I was wondering why I had missed that memo.

I really almost was the mom that sucks. Hopefully my daughter won’t find out.