I rushed into the school cafeteria, late, scanning the heads of the seated parents for Oodgie. It was our first "parent night" at Cheeky's new school, and work had kept me later than I'd planned. It was an important milestone and I wanted to be there for it.
It's Oodgie, who I had nearly decapitated with my laptop bag mere moments before. She was already sitting at a table with parents from Cheeky's class.
"It's OK...we'll make room," everyone says, as chairs slide apart to expose a corner of the table.
"Hi everyone. Sorry I'm late"
Instinctually I reach across the table to the nearest mother to introduce myself. There's a strange sense of familiarity to her.
"Hi, I'm Tony."
"Hi, I'm Hope."
That's what her name tag said. "Hope" Plus the names of her two kids, one of whom is in Cheeky's class this fall.
I can't decide if that means we've inadvertently put Cheeky into a fancy school, or if that's just New York for you. After all, we did pass Sigourney Weaver on the street last week, and I just happened to walk past a meeting with George Pataki just hours before. But I also heard a rumor that "Bob" sent his kids to Cheeky's school, too.
No wonder we feel poor, if that's the local crowd we compete against...
Anyway, she's super nice and totally normal. We talked about the school, the success of our diet, and growing up in New Jersey. But before I got there, Oodgie (who hated American Splendor but neglected to mention this to Hope) got to witness a funnier and more awkward conversational moment:
Guy sitting next to Hope: "Do I know you from somewhere?"
Hope: "Um, I don't know"
Guy sitting next to Hope: "Really, I'm sure I know you from somewhere."
Hope: Long pause. Shrug.
Guy sitting next to Hope: Struggling to think of where he's seen her before
Hope: Leaning forward, in almost a whisper, "I'm an actress."
Guy sitting next to Hope: Pause. Quizzical look. "No, that's not it. Where did you go to high school?"