I should have gone.

For years now, Vicki has been dragging me out to school events. I dread the Christmas season and the late spring, because it seems like every day there is another boring concert or interminable award ceremony in a stuffy school auditorium in uncomfortable chairs. My knees hurt just thinking about it.

Today, I just felt too overwhelmed by everything, and begged off of going to one of Laura’s concert. Vicki wasn’t pleased, but I wanted to do my tiny bit of Christmas shopping (ordering some stuff for my mother and brother) and I have about 4 things on my CoPilot to-do list that I wanted to start tackling.

As soon as the car pulled out of the driveway, I started thinking I made a mistake. There aren’t going to be too many more of these things before the step-kids are all gone, and this one was going to be a good one. I probably only get one ‘bye’ this year, and I wasted it on a concert that was actually not going to be too bad.

And now that Vicki’s come home and shown me the tape, I’m doubly sorry I didn’t go. Laura sure is turning into quite a woman. Gorgeous, confident, intelligent, and a great singer. I bet she intimidates the hell out of the boys, though. First it was Stevie, then it was Laura and Liane. Soon it will be Alyssa, and then all these little girls will be confident young women.

When I was Laura’s age, I sat next to a very pretty girl in biology class, and for the first 4 months of class I couldn’t even look at her. On the rare occassions when she said something to me, I would just stare straight ahead and answer in clipped one and two word sentences. I was just too shy to do more. I never said her name, not once. “Luckily”, if you refuse to look at a person, use their name or talk in complete sentences, they don’t talk to you much. I remember what an accomplishment it was when I discovered that I could talk to the guy on the other side of her, and sort of look at her out of the corner of my eye, and how that eventually led to three way conversations that included her. So when I talk about being intimidated by girls, I’m kind of an authority. I’m the pathetic geek’s pathetic geek.