My girlfriend looks at me as I’m getting ready for a birthday party.
Friend: Are you wearing those pants?
Me: What’s wrong with my pants?
Friend: They have holes in them.
Me: Yes, and . . .
Friend: They’re not dressy enough for the party.
Me: We’re just going to an indoor bounce house. I don’t need to wear anything fancy.
I didn’t think my fashion sense was that unusual. I live in my holey jeans, t-shirts, and flip flops. If I’m feeling really daring, I’ll throw on some leggings and my fifteen year old cowboy boots. I switch things up to see if I can still catch my husband’s eye. But mostly I do it because my jeans are being washed.
As for the 5th birthday bash, my friend was spot on. I was way under dressed for the party. When we arrived, I realized just how ‘off’ my outfit was. In a room filled with dozens of grown ups, I was the only mom wearing flip flops and ripped jeans. Every other mom was dressed to the nines. Strappy wedges, silk-blended shorts, halter tops, and cleavage. Lots of cleavage.
Feeling like a misfit at parties is nothing new. I often feel anxious at social gatherings and would rather have the earth swallow me whole than engage in superficial conversation. To escape my emotional paralysis, I wandered over to a group of children.
They saved me.
Little kids have that effect on me. Little kids don’t care what you’re wearing, what you believe, or where you come from. There’s a special kind of grace in their hearts. The only thing they were interested in was my favorite ice cream flavor. Next party, I’ll be heading straight for the kids’ table.
Have you ever felt like an outsider at a social gathering?