Quietly Freaking Out

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Something that should be totally trivial has me all flustered and anxious. Chest-tight deep-breath-inhibiting anxious. It's a rare thing that gives me a physical anxious reaction.

We have new neighbours in the neighbourhood. The new neighbours have a long history of instigating awkward/difficult/touchy situations in the local homeschooling circle. Until yesterday, I thought they were safely ensconced all the way across town.

Everyone knows that I'm too 'nice', if anything. I avoid confrontation at nearly any cost. I'd just rather get the short end of the stick than put anyone out. I've managed to - just barely - keep this family at arms length from my family. Still, there have been minor run-ins.

My Mr. B has a very different philosophy for dealing with these kinds of things than I do. I have to admit, his way is much more efficient and to-the-point. Until now, I've managed to convince him of the effectiveness of my frou-frou way of dealing with these particular people. And yesterday, I realized the necessity of flushing the frou-frou and jumping directly on Mr. B's straight-talk blunt just-say-'no thanks'-and-shut-the-door bandwagon.

Yesterday I was obliged to graciously refuse an invitation put forth by this new-old family. I was - and still am - walking on eggshells about it. Not only do I have to negotiate the curve balls they throw within the homeschooling community, now I have to watch out for wayward balls from my own front step! This one invitation is so much more than just an invitation. It's tentacles of a suburban social circle I don't want. It's a pit of P's and Q's and fake smiles. It's the beginning of me needing to carry around a pail of Bean Dip.

I suppose my anxiousness really stems from own realization of the looming confrontation. Because I know that it's coming; it's inevitable. There will be no gracious refusals, no polite excuses, no friendly gloss overs. It will come down to me having to say something which will be uncharacteristically curt. Of course I will do so to protect my family's privacy, and to be very clear that our values and beliefs, our parenting choices, my children's actions and my place in the community is no one's business but my own.

You see, these things have been brought up in the past by these people. And before, I could simple choose not to be around them. I could choose to remove myself and go away. The time to draw the line in the sand (on the front walk?!) draws near.

So I've given myself the rest of today to be worried and anxious about this. Tomorrow I'll be wearing my Big Girl Panties.

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