Monday, February 11, 2013

Feeling Awkward Anxiety

Last year I, along with about ten other women, was honored by the Association of American Mothers. There was a luncheon and we learned about this fine service organization and all the great things they do on a local and national level. Then we were invited to apply to be considered for Oregon's Mother of the Year.

I did not want to be considered for this, mostly because I didn't want the responsibility that goes along with it. I feel very comfortable with the level of responsibility I have right now. I also feel good about the contribution I make to my family and don't need any outside validation. So, I didn't apply.

Besides, being singled out causes a bit of anxiety for me. I'm good at blending. Just let me blend.

But, as part of my being honored, I have also been invited to the Gala dinner. This is where the Oregon Mother of the Year will be chosen. There is a dinner, which is free for me, but $45 for anyone else who comes to see me honored.

This Gala is a fundraiser and I was encouraged to invite as many people as I could so that they could raise funds for their organization. Fine. I got one person. Robert. I told him about it three months ago, but now that we are down to it, he has to work. Evidently, I was supposed to remind him, which I did, but not at the right time. Anyway, that is neither here nor there.

So, I am going to be honored as a mother all by myself. But, I get a salmon dinner. So, yay.

I just got off the phone with one of the Gala organizers and she said she would put Robert down as a "maybe." I told her I was pretty sure he wasn't coming and that she should just count me only. Then she said this:

"All the husbands escort their wives to the stage."

So, of course I read a bunch of stuff into this, because I'm so good at picking up on non-existent nuance and meaning. What she was really saying was: I will be the only one without a husband, I will stick out, I will feel awkward. This is just not done. Everyone else will have someone to escort them. I will walk alone.

And this is the point where I wish they never included me in this event. I don't want to go. I don't want my salmon dinner. And I certainly don't want to be the only person to walk up to the stage without an escort. I want to stay home and read a book.

This is not a good time of the month to feel stress and anxiety. Emotions are very close to the surface (a.k.a tear ducts.)

Update - 48 minutes have given me a little perspective and I'm going to own this. I can do this.


Hykel said...

Yeah for being a woman. A woman who can't be honored without a man's arm to lean on.
Were single mothers not considered? Widows?
Was your husband the reason you were honored? They aren't honoring your marital status they should be honoring you as an amazing individual.
They should have respected your wishes about attending alone & they should have done everything in their power to make you feel like the honored guest they asked you to be.
I say go anyway. Dress to the 9's, eat up all their food, talk to everyone, enjoy yourself & walk proudly up on stage on your own.

Afton said...

Thanks. A few deep breaths have helped me to relax about this a little bit. Thanks for the pep talk.

Gwen said...

If the dinner is about recognizing all that you accomplish and contribute to your family, then you can still go and be recognized for that. I agree with Hykel, get a new dress (not black!) and unapologetically pat yourself on the back for being awesome.

Betty Grace said...

Wow. That's awesome. I agree with previous comments. I wish I was there to go with you, escort you on stage and make the rest of them uncomfortable wondering if they've honored a mother with an alternative lifestyle. :)