Despite rather vocal protests and pleas from Robby, I signed him up for Cotillion classes. While he is not happy now, I firmly believe that he will be grateful for both the experience and the knowledge when he is older. Scott and I both believe that pairing social skills with proper etiquette will give Robby a competitive advantage, both professionally and personally, when he is older. An intelligent and kind young man with impeccable manners is a strong combination.
A strict dress code is enforced for the classes which forced us to go shopping for a suit jacket, dress pants and nice shoes. Robby, impressed by the texture and sheen, immediately picked the dark blue velour suit jacket. I vetoed his selection, directing him towards more traditional attire. He then chose a black suit. I reminded him that black was typically reserved for funerals, and suggested that he go with navy instead. He lobbied hard for the black suit, claiming that Cotillion was close enough to a funeral to make it appropriate. I'm so glad that he is embracing this experience with an open mind.
Last night Robby had his first Cotillion class, and needless to say the preparations were less than graceful. He complained about having to attend, whined about the suit that he was being "forced" to wear, and lamented about the time wasted that he would "never get back in his whole life." By the time he left for class I was even more assured in my decision that he needed this experience. In fact, he was so frustrating that part of me was smiling as he walked out the door, slightly gleeful in the fact that he was going to be uncomfortable for the next two hours.
Upon arriving, the instructors asked Robby if he was nervous. He confirmed that he was feeling scared and uncomfortable. The instructors, probably hopping onto the "teachable moment," asked Robby what he usually did when he was feeling uncomfortable in social situations. Without missing a beat, and obviously without thinking much about his current situation, he responded. "Well, usually when I'm feeling nervous around people I just like to imagine them pooping. Thinking about it. You can't be scared of anybody if you think about what they look like sitting on the toilet."
Yep, that was my kid's first interaction at Cotillion. He informed his instructor that he was imagining her having a bowel movement. Well, at least he made an impression?
After his not so delicate first impression, Robby was able to rebound and quickly found his stride. He spent the class learning how to escort a lady, how to properly sit in a chair and how to do the Fox Trot. He was paired with a girl who immediately relaxed when my little fashionista complimented the velvet texture of her dress jacket. He then proceeded to fill her in on his shopping saga, complete with my refusal to purchase the velour jacket he chose. Apparently she took his side and agreed that the textured jacket would be nice, and that if he wore one that they would be better dance partners because they match.
Sigh. I guess I'm going back to the store this week for the jacket that could only appeal to a ten year old. On the positive side, he no longer equates Cotillion to going to a funeral. I'll take that as progress.