The B List

When I was in school, I had friends, or maybe acquaintances is a better word. I wasn't part of any one particular clique, although it wasn't for wanting. But for the most part most everyone was nice to me. At school only.

I didn't date much in high school and the phone wasn't ringing off the hook asking me to go here or there.

As an adult-like person, I still don't fit into any one particular group. There are special people in my life I consider my good friends, the ones I know I could call should the need arise. There are people that are nice to my face only, and some that go out of there way to ignore me.

I'm mostly okay with all of it. For me. But, I don't want my kids to go through the same emotions I did, of not fitting in, not having that close group, or a myriad of other issues a therapist would love to charge me to work out.

I've always worried about my boys. One is simply quiet while the other is painfully shy. Aside from their BFFs next-door, they rarely are invited over to another friend's house.

In the early years, when I was substitute teaching, I thought my constant presence at school could possibly have a negative impact. The kids that didn't like me (as if that ever happened) would go home and complain to their parents. Or that no one wants to see his teacher on a Saturday. It's been three years since I quit teaching, and still, the social calendar hasn't picked up. For a while, I equated it to boy behavior, thinking that middle school aged boys don't spend the night at each others' house.

Except I was wrong. Apparently they do. Who knew?

Friday night I get home from work, and Son wants to spend the night at Friend's house Saturday night. Friend is having a birthday party.

The apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
Photo credit: jonnyberg
"Why is Friend just now asking? Or did you forget ask me earlier in the week? Where's the invitation?" I ask, my momsenses picking up something peculiar.

"Oh, well, he'd asked me and a bunch of other people a couple of weeks ago. But then his parents said he could only have a certain amount, and I wasn't invited anymore. But today, Soandso said he couldn't come, so Friend asked if I would." Son smiles sweetly.

"Wait. You are on the B-list?!"

Son hands me the invitation, a piece of notebook paper folded in half. Its holes are torn. The address is scratched in pencil, the obvious writing of a fourteen-year-old.

I can't seem to shake this feeling. I feel as if I were the one left out, not good enough to be included in the final cut, the intimate gathering. But when one player is down, I'm called out of the minors, needed to fill the holes.

He doesn't seem to be bothered by it, and I haven't said anything else since, so maybe it's all in my head. Asking him about it is a catch-22.

Why doesn't anyone tell you how hard this part is?

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