Wednesday, February 24, 2010

let's play dear abby

About a month ago, I was on my way to meet up with MyFavoriteKid on the campus of his middle school to help out with the school play that night. On the way in from the parking lot, a kid walked past me and said, "Hi, MsMyFavoriteKid's Mom! Wow, I haven't seen you in a long time!"

I didn't recognize the kid immediately. It was a kid that MyFK was close friends with a couple of years ago when they were both about 11 to 12, and we used to have him over often. Now that he's 13 years old, he looks really different. I also didn't recognize him because of what he was wearing. He had on thick horn-rimmed glasses, had a dress shirt buttoned up to the neck, had his hat on all funny-dorky-sideways, and I could swear he had black "fake dirt" smeared on his face, almost like Halloween make-up. Like he had on a costume.

It was at the moment that I remembered that it was "Spirit Week" at the school, and that this particular day was "Dress Like a Nerd" day. So I said to the kid, "Oh gee! Hi! I hardly recognized you! You're so much taller! And I totally forgot it was dress like a nerd day! Great outfit! I have to run to help with the play! See you soon!"

You DO know where this is going, don't you???

So the next time that I had a dull moment with MyFK I said, "Hey! I saw your friend at school the other day! I hardly recognized him because he was dressed up for NerdDay!"

"Uh, DO know that he got glasses a few months ago, don't you? And what exactly was he wearing, by the way?"

Of course I describe the outfit, and even though I cannot explain the dirty face, that kid was wearing his normal clothes, NOT a costume.
Okay, so it's been pretty much haunting me for weeks. I am just certain I've caused this kid a few sessions on the couch with a therapist, and I'm sure hoping that he didn't tell his mom I said this horrible thing, because she and I already don't see eye to eye as it is (we used to be good friends, but I'm anal about being on time, and she's consistently an hour late, and we left it with agreeing that we'd never interfere with our kids' friendship, but that we'd probably never get along with each other. Neat. You see how that worked out. I've hardly seen her kid in a year.)

Here's where your advice is needed.
This kid is coming over after school today.

Do I say anything to him?? I mean, obviously, if he brings it up I will deal with it directly....but if he doesn't say anything, do I bring it up? Or do I say nothing? Or do I comment on how great his outfit is today or something? LOL

I asked MyFK this morning how he thought I should handle it, and the first thing he said was, "He's really changed his style lately, actually. He dresses a lot less nerdy now."
Oy. See??!!! LOL
Then MyFK told me I shouldn't bring it up unless he does.

But what do you think? I'd love your advice, peeps. Help!


~Donna~ said...

Tough one. Altho I have noticed that kids tend to blow things off more readily than adults. Especially boys. I've done similar stuff with mine a few times - bringing stuff up that made me feel guilty or upset and he has always said, "Gee Mom, let it go, it wasn't that big of a deal." Or he didn't even remember it and was wondering why I was even saying anything.

I'm leaning toward agreeing with your son. Don't say anything unless he brings it up. He knows kids his age better than we all do.

Good Luck!

Denise said...

I wouldnt bring it up either. He might not say anything about it but it may have changed his style a little bit for the better ;) Good to see that he is coming over and still friends with your boy though after a year.

If he really looks good, tell him. It will make you feel better and he will feel better too if he even remembers what you said.

The Bon said...

Don't say anything unless he does. Because if he's blown it off (likely) and you say something then he'll think it was a big deal and take that more to heart than if you just let it go. If he does say something, you can apologize and pass it off for being out of touch with what kids are wearing these days. ;)

JennaKate said...

I ditto what everyone else has said about letting it go, with one caveat: If the kid acts embarrassed or shy or unusually awkward around you, let him know you misspoke the other day, and that you're sorry about it. Simple as that, don't need to rehash the word-for-word.

Make sure to give him (and your own son) a little extra boost of praise no matter what. Can't love 'em too much, right? :)

not supergirl said...

I'm getting to this late, but I didn't really have any good advice for you anyway. So,how did it go?