Dreading dress clothes as an antisocial parent

March 10, 2023
by Andrew Meuleners

The title is a bit over-the-top dramatic. I am not entirely antisocial; in fact, to most people reading this and who know me, I am actually the opposite of antisocial, or at least I would appear that way.

I can be a complete extrovert and always have been able to be that way. But as I get older, I have found that I am not as capable or as willing as I once was to go and shmooze the night away. As a result, I am more of a homebody now than I was back in the day.

As a parent, I've been through many milestones with my children, from their first steps to their first words, from their first day of school to their first sports game. But now, I'm facing a milestone that I'm not too excited about: my first-born son's Confirmation.

While I'm happy for my son and proud of him for taking this step in his faith journey, I can't help but dread what comes with it: the dress clothes. It's time to dig through the closet and see if the fancy outfits we bought for weddings and graduations still fit. And if they don't, it's off to the dreaded task of shopping.

I know some people love shopping (my wife), but I am not one of them. I find it overwhelming and stressful, with too many options and too many people. But, as a parent, I have to do what's best for my children, even if it means enduring a trip to the mall (and by mall, I mean Amazon).

However, the pandemic was a blessing in disguise for people like me. With social distancing and mask mandates in place, I could avoid social interactions and shopping trips without anyone batting an eye. It was like a dream come true for a person like me.

But now, as the world has reopened and we return to some sense of normalcy, I know I must face my fears and venture out again. Of course, I'm not looking forward to it, but I know it's something I have to do (not really, I am truly going to order everything from Amazon). After all, my son's Confirmation only happens once, and I want to be there to support him (but if it was streaming online . . .).

So, to all the other parents out there dreading dress clothes and shopping trips, know that you're not alone. It's ok to feel overwhelmed and anxious about these things, but don't let them stop you from being there for your children. Take a deep breath (preferably not in an elevator full of people), and face the world one step at a time. We can do this.

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