Awkward vs. Awkwarder
Last night, I attended a 5th-8th grade volleyball showdown, held in the gym of a local church. The contenders?
The Christian Schoolers (the Knights) vs. the Homeschoolers (the Flames).
I was there in support of my friend Kellyn, who was celebrating her 11th birthday on the volleyball court as one of the Knights. Technically, it was a girl’s volleyball tournament, but the homeschool team was co-ed for lack of players. But even with boys, the Flames were snuffed out in a mighty way by the Knights.
Since I served time as both a homeschooler (7th and 9th grades) and a Christian schooler (8th grade), I feel as though I have the authority, expertise, and first-hand experience to expound on the peculiar, offbeat nature of last night’s crowd.
Let’s start with the homeschoolers. What is it with homeschoolers being so obviously conspicuous? (And what is it with me being so excessively redundant?) All of the girls wearing homemade plaid jumpers and knock-off Keds, their long, straight braids and bangs topping their heads, led by their matron, Captain Mother Conservative. Arguably, not the most alluring of attire – and yet somehow, it must be working for them as the moms continue to get pregnant. They drive their 15-passenger vans and somehow manage to educate at least 7 children in different grades and levels of cognition.
I stand in awe, actually. Homeschooling, when done well, renders well-educated, well-spoken, polite, cool humans. I don’t think I could ever homeschool my kids. I’m going to need time to read US Weekly and go shopping and drink mid-day margaritas.
Then there were the Christian schoolers – fairly normal kids… although I saw several moms with bitchin’ woman-mullets and at least one dad with traces of Skoal on the corners of his mouth. I overheard conversations on the evils of evolutionism, “Church Putt-Putt” night at the local mini-golf course, and required chapel attendance.
Mostly, I was entertained at the exchange between players between volleyball serves. The process was as follows:
1) Kid serves ball.
2) Ball doesn’t make it over the net.
3) All players immediately swarm the server for high-fives.
In the same way that I might “cheers” to beers with a table of friends, these kids made sure that they high-fived every. single. one. of their teammates, every. single. time. Because if you miss even one other person, ever, it’s bad etiquette.
And God forbid they be awkward.