A Surprise, a Mortifying Situation, and a Good Year

Posted: August 15, 2010 in Handwritten Chronicles, My Mother, Teaching

This was a busy weekend because we went up to our hometown — mostly for David’s 30th birthday.  It was exciting because I actually pulled off a surprise!  We went to a baseball game with David’s family, but I had arranged for a bunch of his college friends to be sitting with us, too.  It worked — he was surprised and very excited to see all of his friends!  Saturday was a stressful day, because we also had to visit with my mom and my sister’s family.  We are in a pickle with them, because visiting at one of their houses is always really uncomfortable and never-ending; it’s hard to find a good time to leave, even when it’s evident that we still have nothing in common and thus nothing to say.  We’ve taken to suggesting restaurants instead, because there’s a natural stopping point.  However, it’s embarrassing.  I really feel awful being embarrassed of my family, but I am.  They are openly rude and insulting to people, and it’s just awful.  I just feel like I should go behind them and apologize to strangers for their rudeness.  I don’t, usually, because it can make an awkward situation even worse.  But I really don’t know how to handle it when people in my party are rude to the waitstaff, or audibly express disgust that the table of Mexicans next to us should learn English, or loudly make comments about the sexual orientation of two men not three feet from us.  What should I do?  It’s really, really horrible, and I hate it.  Reasoning with my family is fruitless.  Any visible discomfort on my part invites combative and provoking comments.  Total silence suggests agreement.  Perhaps we should just go back to meeting at someone’s house to spare innocent bystanders.  On another note, school starts tomorrow for teachers.  I was pretty down in the dumps over it all week, mostly because I feel like my summer was wasted.  Today, however, I’ve resigned to the inevitable, and I’m actually excited to see some of my friends.  That’s a start!  I really want to be intentional about forming relationships this year, because I am very isolated because of the subject I teach.  It’s time to focus on making it a good year!

  1. Helen says:

    Don’t fret. A sympathetic glance at the person being verbally injured should let them know you aren’t in agreement.
    Also, it they are rude to waitstaff, and it is within your budget, maybe a generous tip will aide to soothe any hurt feelings.

  2. Duane Scott says:

    Goodness. My family is this way too sometimes, but I can at least shut them up. I feel for you and have no words of advice.

    But, I am curious, what subjects do you teach?

    • That, my dear, is the question of the school year. I was just in a three-hour meeting with administrators, counselors, and my department head arguing about discussing that very topic. Officially, Beginning ESL for refugee students who have very limited educational backgrounds in their countries. Officially. The other teachers either LOVE my kids because they’re very eager learners and naturally helpful kids, or hate them because they haven’t learned English yet and need a lot of attention. There are a lot of the latter kind of teachers at my school, sadly. 😦

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