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… okay, 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?