BLOG: I Think I Missed the “Mommy Memo” (Cotillion Blues)

I don’t think I got the Mommy Memo. You know, the email every other Mommy got that clued them into all the big Secrets of Having Kids. I think it must have skipped me because I’m continuously blind-sided by things that other Mommies have no trouble with. The memo must have included important sections, like When To Register For Summer Camp and SURPRISE!-Early Dismissal, because I screw those up all the time. It also must have included a section on Cotillion, because I’d never even heard of it before this year.

Cotillion is apparently a series of etiquette classes, where kids learn how to behave at a dance. They even learn how to dance with each other, which they all complain about but secretly relish. We didn’t have Cotillion when I was growing up. No, we just jumped straight to sweaty hand-holding at awkward school functions. No one bothered teaching us how to dance, because we all just stood in a circle and watched the one kid who could break dance. Etiquette was certainly never considered, and probably would’ve been snickered at while we smoked cigarettes behind the Youth Center.

I understand why they have Cotillion these days, but I still didn’t see it coming. I was alerted through Mom-Texts, asking if my daughter would take part this year. I scrambled to decipher their questions and soon found out, we actually HAD missed the memo. A letter had gone out but skipped us, probably because we had moved into a new house. No problem, though. I was told it was easy to register online. It WAS, but Cotillion For Girls had already filled up. I could put my daughter on a Wait-List, which would ensure her entrance once more boys signed up. There was also a fee, because teaching kids how dance and not fart in public apparently isn’t cheap.

“I’ll discuss it with my husband tonight,” I thought, “and we’ll go from there.”

Then I completely forgot about it. If the insides of my brain really DO look like the movie Inside Out, those idiots definitely dropped my Cotillion Memory-Ball. Joy and Sadness were probably fighting again, or maybe they all got really high off some of Bing Bong’s brownies. It doesn’t matter because I forgot until this past weekend, which just happened to BE Cotillion Weekend. Every single one of my daughters’ friends went. We know this because one of her buddies was at our house working on a project with Emma, but had to leave for the dance. She got dressed up and rode off with a carload of pals, while my daughter waved from the door.

“I’m so sorry honey,” I said, hugging her tight. “I simply forgot. I don’t know what to say.”

“It’s no biggie,” she said. “I know you tried.”

She was quiet for a moment, and then she said, “None of them even WANTED to go, but I did. I really did. Mom, did you know they get to dance with the boys tonight?”

“Yes, I assumed as much. Why? Is there a boy you want to dance with?”

Emma nodded yes, so I asked WHO?

She didn’t just tell me. No, she came over and whispered his name in my ear, as if we weren’t the only two people in the room. That was the worst part of all because, when I heard his name, I wanted her to dance with that boy, too.

Then she went back to laughing about Cotillion and pretending she really didn’t care. She giggled with her friends when they told her about the weirdness of it all and said she had no interest in such nonsense…but I know the truth. I know that she would’ve worn a pretty dress and asked me to do her hair. I know that when the moment came, she would’ve danced with that one special boy and it would’ve been worth all the awkwardness leading up to it.
Even worse, I bet that he would have relished their dance too and THAT, my friends, is that part that sucks the most.

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