Fun or Kinda Awkward?

There's a happy hour organized by one of the math teachers, just about every payday (two Fridays a month). I've attended just about every one, mostly because I get to see faculty and staff I don't normally see in the library, and I get to know their names and stuff.

I'm more or less the only woman who has shown up every time this year. Last time, one of the other math teachers was the only other woman for a while--and her husband showed up not too long after she arrived.

This afternoon, we had the math teacher-organizer, another math teacher, and two science teachers. All guys.

And me.

Don't get me wrong--they're all nice people and would never make me feel unwelcome, but I wonder if they were thinking that if only I weren't there, they'd be having completely different conversations. (Even if I made one of the science teachers laugh when I guessed that the raffle basket prize he won at yesterday's walk-fundraiser-thingy was bath salts.)

But worse than that, I feel self-conscious that I appeared to be the only woman who didn't have something else to do this afternoon, or couldn't convince any of the other ladies to come. (Almost as if I'm not really friends with any of them--and I guess when it comes down to it, I'm pretty much more of an in-school acquaintance than a friend.) That seemed compounded when two female teachers from the middle school came by to say hi to the one science teacher. They were meeting with their happy hour group. And obviously friends--they had gone shopping together beforehand.

Sometimes I really hate showing up to things alone, y'know?

I know part of it is that I'm still new and technically just there for the year--that whole "don't get attached" thing is in play. But I think part of me just hoped I'd still make friends in spite of the situation.

Oh, well--maybe next go-around.


Annie Coe said…
I know the feeling, and it never feels good. Brave of you to go.
Kate P said…
I hadn't thought of it as being brave. Thanks! :)
"...but I wonder if they were thinking that if only I weren't there, they'd be having completely different conversations."

No. A, they can have those conversations at other times if they want, B, they probably were actually enjoying having you there, and C, I don't think men think that much, as a rule. I mean, they think, but not things like that.

I overthink a lot of things, myself, but were I in your shoes, I would ask myself one question: Do I like going to these things? And if the answer is "yes" then I'd keep going and that would be that.
Kate P said…
You know, Laura, you hit on something. . . I'm kind of AFRAID to like these things. I am so afraid that the moment I get attached, the rug's going to be pulled out from under me and I will have to let any nascent friendships dissolve. (You probably get that this sort of thing has happened before.)
Well, Kate, as my experiences of the last month prove out, you may run into people you thought you were through with again, and it may be to your advantage that you had a positive relationship. If you do leave that job, and you find something else in the same city, then these are people you can do lunch with from time to time in the future.

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