Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Done like Dirt

It was his grade 7 "grad" dinner tonight.
A sit down, catered meal for the students and their parents.
I was a little uptight. The theme for the evening was "An Evening at the Beach".
This was the prop outside the entry doors - a perfect background for photos.
Could I get my son to stand anywhere near this vintage bug bus?

No I could not.
In fact, as soon as I brought out my camera, he and his friends dispersed in 16 directions.
(At the end of the night, on the drive home, he scrolled through the photos I'd taken and mentioned his disappointment in the lack of any "good" ones.)

My dad graciously allowed us to use his new dune buggy as a prop. My brother took some time off work to deliver it.
Do you think I got any decent photos of Drew on it?

No I did not.

We're going to have to restage the whole thing.

Including The Handshake with the principal:

It happened too fast and I couldn't get a good shot.
How often does a kid graduate from grade 7?

The evening ended with the entire class of 07 (all 90 of them) singing "Lean On Me" very very quietly because none of them knew the words. Or like to sing.

So, how was the evening?
Well, to put it in perspective, I woke up bloated and crampy.
Then I read September's good news e-mail that made me cry. (September is a person. Also a month, but not in this case.)
Then I got to work and read Tarra's good news e-mail that made me cry. (Yes, sometimes Tarra can be spelt with one R, but not in this case.
After work, I rushed over to the school to see if the techy teacher was able to load the slideshow I had burned to a DVD to his fruity laptop.
He had.
Just to be on the safe side, I watched the entire production (all 440 slides, 22 minutes long) to make sure all was well. All was not well and half way through, his not-an-orange laptop got too tired to finish showing the slides.
"Not enough ram," he diagnosed.
In the end, we, with the help of Mandi via cell phone, hooked my laptop up to the projector and watched it perform with ease and style.
This all took, well, more time than I was anticipating. And I had to leave my laptop there. (Which is why Tuesday's Right Coast Left Coast photo didn't get posted til the wee hours on Wednesday morning.)
Drew and I came home, got ready in a hurry, then went back to the school.
"Mom? Can you talk to so-and-so's mom? Like, let her get to know you. So-and-so's dad and mom don't like us, but maybe they just don't know us very good. Maybe if you talk to them, they'll let so-and-so come over once in awhile..."
Wow. Now I'm really looking forward to dinner. I get to share a table with folks who don't like me.
Have I mentioned the crampy, achy, should-have-taken-some-Midol bloatedness I'm dealing with ON THIS DAY.
After checking the computer and checking with the teacher, it looks like all systems were go - so I found our table and sat down. One of Drew's friend's dad is already seated, so we make small talk. Him thanking me for having his son over most weekends, me telling him its a pleasure.
Mark and Sherry arrive and take their places across the table from me. Mark shakes Tom's hand and introduces himself and Sherry. Seconds later, they leave the table to go get some punch, so I fill in the blanks for Tom and say, "Mark is Drew's dad. Sherry is his stepmom."
Tom looks at me, his eyes get all blinky, he shakes his head and says, "Wow. I can't imagine. There's no way my ex-wife and I could be here, sitting at the same table. How do you do it?"
"Well, after eight years, this'll be the first time. You can watch us and see how it goes. I think we'll all be well behaved. It'll be awkward but fine."
He's still shaking his head. "No. I don't think we'll ever get to this place. It's such a mess..."
"Give it time. You never know where you'll be in eight years."
Later in the evening, after my name had been mentioned, oh, 2 or 3 times, a dad came up to me wondering, "Where do you fit in the O family?"
"I was married to the second son."
"Yeah, was."
"Now was this from the M or S line of O's?"
"The M."
"Interesting.... so, why'd you keep the name?"
"This O name? The one with 14 vowels and 23 sylables? Why'd I keep it?"
I should probably mention that he was totally ignoring his wife's jabs and pulls while he kept plowing ahead with questions.
"Because this is the last name my sons have. And it's just plain easier for Mrs. O to pick up Drew O without all the hassle of different last names."
"Fair enough."
You know how, under normal circumstances, no one rubs your belly in public? But when you're pregnant, strangers even just cop a feel? Sometimes it's like that when you're divorced. Not that the conversation was like a belly rub, but it was.
The slideshow, a huge cause of nervous tension in me, (well that and, you know, the other thing. Oh, and that other thing too...) finally took place near the end of the program. I didn't think I'd have to do anything to make it go - but after a student introduced it (and me), and it was apparent that techy teacher had his hands full with the lights and music buttons to press, I walked over to the centre of the gym and stood beside my 'puter for the entire 22 minute production.
The reponse was very positive.
Many kind people said nice things afterward.
And 40 families ordered copies of the slideshow.
So, here I am, at 2:10 am with a magic bag wedged up against my back, extra-strength Advil in my system, systematically burning massive files (did I mention the 440 photos?) onto DVD's to be handed out tomorrow.
I survived.
Three things I'm thankful for:
1. September's good news
2. Tarra's good news
3. Max passed Chem
4. Clint dropped by at midnight for a visit. And leftovers. Of which I had none. When was the last time I cooked a meal? Uhhh... ten days ago?
5. My laptop.
6. Oh! Last DVD is done. I can go to bed now.

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