Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Give me a hug

It's no secret that men invented sports because they wanted a reason to kill and hug each other at the same time.

I was supposed to meet with a local group of dads with kids with Down syndrome this past Saturday; my wife encouraged me to go. Made me go. With her magical voodoo eyes that make me do a lot of things I don't want to do but are usually good for me.

Yes, I'm blaming you, babe.

I put it off and hemmed and hawed and finally threw on a sweater twenty minutes before the "Guy's Gathering". Didn't shave, though. It wasn't a date, after all. I drove, alone. Found the place, circled it once, looked for parking. Ah ha! No spaces! I could tell Annie I tried but it was packed.

Wait, someone is leaving. Don't leave. Don't leave!

Fine, I'll just pop in and make small talk for 30 minutes. You know, talk about heart surgery and hearing problems and bankruptcy. Small talk.

The place where the "Gathering" is to take place is a dive. Crowded. Not one table is open. I pretend to fumble with my jacket as I look around trying to find... what. How do you identify a group of guys with kids who have Down syndrome? Look for the tired-looking guys? Go from table to table whispering, "Psst...Down syndrome? Down syndrome?"

I stand at the bar and tell the bartender that I'm waiting for someone. I fumble with my coat a little more. "What is wrong with this zipper?" I scan the room, looking for anyone who looks like they are looking for someone.

I'm out of here. I showed up, they didn't. I can tell Annie that I went but that they left me hanging. Yeah, that's what I'll do, I'll play the sympathy card. Of course, I only waited around for about three minutes, but I can leave that part out.

Besides, men were never meant to sit around and talk about their feelings.

That's sexist, you say? You want to take it outside?

11 comments:

Leah said...

Is it ok for me to laugh here? Cuz really...I can so see this happening! Can Annie (or can I) hook you up with A DAD, who can then hook you up with a group of dad's? I'm really sorry you got stood up by your blind date. Last week my brother in law went to a meeting for RSD (look it up, very unpleasant) got the the church where it was supposed to take place, only to find that group hasn't met there in TWO YEARS!!!! Instead a lady at the church prayed over him. At least it wasn't a total lost cause.

Terri said...

This is so flipping hilarious. I have the same sensation when someone tries to hustle me into going to a women's retreat. *running away like my hair is on fire and screaming at the top of my lungs*

(hey, do you think that annie reads your blog? cause if she does you just totally outed yourself.)

But seriously, I like Leah's idea of starting with just one guy and seeing if it grows from there. You could circle one another and size each other up and maybe slap your backs and such.

*hug*

Elbog said...

Not a joiner, either. My daughter has changed me in many ways, but that's not one of them. And, after feeling guilty about it for, oh, about 3 minutes, I got over it.
Funny stuff. Do what comes naturally. At least it was at a bar, lol.

Laurie said...

I went to my first mommies group meeting at a restaurant. I was late. I went up to the hostess madly trying to think of something to say...

"Um...Down syndrome? Party of 12...?"

It was weird. What do parents of kids with Ds look like?

Sorry it was such a bust. I think your blog counts as group socialization.

Emily said...

Ha, ha... I actually went to my first mom of children with DS lunch today. My husband made me go. He came home from work early just so that I could meet some locals. He thinks I need all the help I can get (can't blame him on that one). It was weird walking into the restaurant not knowing who the people are I'm supposed to meet. Luckily there was someone there that I met at the buddy walk. It wasn't bad, they were nice but it still makes my skin crawl to hear them talk about 5 and 8 and 12 year old issues.

All in all, I left feeling good about the fact that there are other moms nearby (and they were very nice) but once again somewhat depressed to be this club I didn't sign up for.

Archie said...

Oh yeah? I've got your gathering right here, buddy...

anne said...

My husband could have written this exact same thing. :-)

Tom said...

Leah: I hope you laughed at this; it was pretty funny. :) And we'll see about meeting any other dad's right now. I like the security of the online community. I don't have to put on deodorant with you all. :)

Terri: Why are church staff members always retreating? Ha. Bad joke. Annie reads every post (Hi babe), as do my parents (Hi mom and dad), my siblings (hey guys), my aunt (Hi Aunt B), my sister-in-law (hey Amber), brother-in-law (wassup), extended family member (Hey Jon), my cousin (Hi Elsie), and even a pastor, who I won't name (Hello.) :) I can't hide much...

Meet another guy? Like a couple of dogs sniffing each other? I'll have to think about it...

Elbog: I've never been much of a group guy either. It's alright if its on a tennis court or kicking the soccer ball around, but just hanging out with a group of guys I don't know? I'd rather read a book on statistics.

Laurie: Hilarious, the asking the hostess thing! See, I just couldn't do that. My wife's been to two groups and thought it was worthwhile. We'll see.

Emily: At least you stayed. :) I think it would be a bit much for me to hear about kids of that age, too. Like my wife said after she went to a DS group, it's hard to see the older kids because you realize that it's never going to go away.

You get a gold star for sticking it out. :)

Archie: "You talk'n to me!?" :)

Anne: I'd say that I should hang out with your husband, but that would kind of missing the point, wouldn't it? :) Next time I'm drinking alone, I'll drink one for your husband. :)

Kim Ayres said...

I went along to a "Fathers of children with special needs" meeting that someone had organised once. All the guys there had been told to go by their wives, and everyone looked in mortal fear of someone saying "Hey, group hug..."

Tom said...

((hug))

Kim Ayres said...

I hope you can tell I'm writing this in a very deep and manly voice...