The Ice Cream Social blues

King of Kensington, CBC Television 1975 to 1980

King of Kensington, CBC Television 1975 to 1980

Last night was the Ice Cream Social. Do all schools have one of these at the beginning of the year, or is it just around here?

Ostensibly it is for new and returning families to mingle and for the kids to have fun at school outside of the usual routine. In reality, it is a forum for the Home and School (fancy term for PTA) to recruit volunteers and for the kids to get high on sugar right before bed on a school night.

The Husband was working late so I was flying solo. Hundreds of kids ran rampant, grimy with ice cream, as I wandered amongst cliques of parents. I tried to look as if I was searching for someone specific, while smiling vaguely at people whose names I couldn’t remember.

As I have previously disclosed, I’m an introvert. I’m not shy, I love to speak in public and perform on a stage, but I get very uncomfortable when I’m plopped into the middle of a large group and am expected to make small talk.

In other words, last night was a version of my personal hell.

There are a handful of parents at the school with whom I am good friends. We’ve know each other for a long time, the kids are all pals, and I don’t feel the need to be “on” when I’m around them.

I was relieved to see one of these friends waving as he walked toward me across the school yard. Unfortunately, I forgot that he is the King of Kensington.

Does anyone outside of Canada know this old TV show? Well, the character can be summed up by this lyric from the theme song, “When he walks down the street, he smiles at everyone, and everyone that he meets says ‘he’s King of Kensington.'”

The King knows everyone and everyone knows him.

Ten minutes later, we were surrounded by a group of people. The King introduced me to ALL of them. I have vague flashes of recollection — a mom with an infant — a tall man with very blue eyes — a woman with sunglasses — after this, my hippocampus exploded.

I smiled as naturally as I could, but I think they could see the fear in my eyes. I hastily made my excuses and began pretending to look for my children again.

The interminable event finally ended…Β okay, Β it was really only an hour. I survived to tell the tale, but will I recover in time for next week’s curriculum night?

Do you know a King of Kensington?

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12 responses to “The Ice Cream Social blues

  1. Omg I so get this and totally feel your pain. Yes, we all know one of those kings. And want to behead them from time to time. Not really. Well sort of. Great post!

  2. Glad to hear I’m not alone! Being shy, I have always found the ice cream socials ‘difficult’, and going alone is MUCH harder. But I lucked out this year, because while I offered to take him, it was my child who refused to go! πŸ™‚

    • Dang! I tried to talk the boys out of it, but no soap!
      I seems particularly hard after a long day of work. ET was so hyper and overtired by the time we got home. Just have to keep reminding myself how much fun they had and that is what is important, blah, blah, blah…

      • Well, I felt great… :). Duty done in offering at least 7 x to go…but J hates ice cream and all the chaos…so my guilt for not wanting to go, myself was eased. πŸ™‚

  3. I admire parent who are involved in the forum. It’s a lot of work. Kudos to you and I don’t know the show at all.

  4. Your timing is always impeccable as I read my latest read The Introvert Advantage. Sigh. I know the king, some have said I am like the king, but truly I too am an introvert. BTW – every time I go to Kensington, I sing but see no King. Yet another sigh. Thx again for writing!

  5. I’m an introvert, but a little bit like your King of Kensington too. I think I overcompensate by getting to know everyone- the homeschool version of the ice cream social is the park day, and I tend to know everyone and introduce everyone to everyone else πŸ™‚ But I’m exhausted when I get home, and don’t want to see anyone for a while.

    • It is exhausting, isn’t it? People never understand when I say I’m an introvert. “But you are hilarious and the life of he party!”
      Maybe, but then I have to be in near seclusion for 2 days before I can be seen publicly again. Thanks for letting me know I’m not the only one! πŸ™‚

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