Monday, October 19, 2009


We had Claire's birthday party a few weeks ago and invited only a few people but then started adding to the list as we ran into others. The truth is, at this point in the year, we're still finding friends and getting a feel for the place. There are people I think would be great to know better, but I didn't want to say, "Hey, we're throwing a party for our daughter. Come over!" Mostly because I didn't want anyone to feel like they had to bring a gift. That wasn't the point. The point was to eat cupcakes.

Anyway, a few days after the party, another mom - a really really nice mom that I am looking forward to getting to know better - said, "Claire's cupcakes were so cute" while I was waiting for the elevator. A party guest had shared the wealth of leftover cupcakes with this nice mom's kids.

"Oh, yeah, I - I didn't know how," I flubbed, "I don't know how birthday parties work here."

She waved her hand. No big deal. "You live in a fishbowl. Don't worry about it," she said.

So I didn't. But what she said is true. This is a fishbowl. The teachers here live together and work together. There can be a maddening overlap. I think I'm spared a great deal of drama and gossip since I am not sitting down in the teachers' lounge for lunch each day. But still, we can all look out our windows and see who is coming and going. If we feel like looking out our windows. And someone here told me that it doesn't take long to figure out what's going on and who's involved. Or what happened at the party (that you may or may not have been invited to). Or who is dating. Or who cheated. All the sordid details. If you really want to know.

I don't really. Well, sometimes I do want to know, and that part of me is the same part that likes reading People or Us Weekly on airplanes.

My aim this year is to live a rather scandal-less existance, swimming in circles in this fishbowl.


Sergio en Colombia said...

figure it out and tell me how!!!

jsmarslender said...

Plagued with scandal are you?

DC Running Mama said...

That might be too claustophoic for me!

Clare said...

love the line about the party being about cupcakes, not gifts!