My lovely, infuriating daughter is a dancer. She takes a weekly class that I managed to avoid all summer, but which resumed today. Typically, these classes are a flurry of chatty moms, comparing notes and trying really hard not to seem like the competitive mamas they are. Today, though, we switched to a new class. I imagined this to be just a scheduling thing as I am no longer willing to give up my Saturday mornings to chatter and tutus. I decided to leave work a bit early (a real heart breaker on Mondays) and schlep darling girl over to class. I figured it would be the same sort of thing, just with different faces- and it could have been, except I made the BA decision to just...not.
There were the same people there (except at a more frantic, after-school "get home, get dinner, get homework, get into bed" pace) but the faces were new. The overtired one with the new baby in the front carrier, trying to entertain the 2 older kids while the oldest was in dance. The doting grandma taking responsibility for after school care. There were the SAHMs, the WAHMs, the WOTHMs and even a few nannies, babysitters and dads. It had the same "first day of school" vibe, with folks laying claim to their seats, their social groups and their positions in the pecking order.
But I just...opted out. I pulled my sunglasses down, I leaned my head back against the wall, I handed my older, crazy-making son the iPod, and I. opted. out. When she was all done, I was ready to head home and do the dinner/ homework/ bedtime mambo. I was able to throw down my evening routine with enough heat to drive it, instead of letting it drive me.
You know what I learned?
Nothing screams badass quite like an intentional choice not to engage in whatever little social drama is unfolding. Plus the sunglasses. They didn't hurt.