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April 09, 2007

Comments

Friend2

Well, TM, bravo as usual for the honesty, and making this sound reasonable when it's not.

But let me say this in your defense: When I took Thing Three to soccer, I arrived late; I'd spent vital minutes at Daycare trying in vain to mount the goddamn childseat into the Subaru. You have a Subaru as well, so I suppose it wasn't the make of the car; I can't even really blame the instructions, which were in French and Spanish and Dumb-glish, by which I mean, I couldn't understand any of their terms or what they were telling me to do despite an advanced degree in understanding words and what they're supposed to mean in various arrangements. The point was, after buckling Thing Three into the back seat where there was no child-maiming airbag and telling her to brace herself against the front seat because we were going six blocks (why in God's name was I fucking with the child seat for six blocks anyway?) and an accident could strike AT ANY TIME, we arrived late. The mothers were standing there in an eerily orderly line on the edge of the field like some sort of welcoming committee, their Suburbans and Explorers and Lexii (I know Lexii isn't really the plural of Lexus, but come on, it does sound good, doesn't it?) looming behind them in armored vehicle ground support, and there I was, a man carrying a child seat and a bag of soccer equipment in one arm and clutching the hand of a child too light-skinned to be his own in the other. Never mind I was coming straight from the University, and wore all the markers of class like a pass into upper-crust society: belted collared shirt and dress shoes and cordoruy sport coat. They eyed me like I was the Mexican pool boy who'd somehow infiltrated the dinner party; they narrowed their beady mascara-lined little eyes, which stretched taut the too-tan skin of their fake-and-bake browned cheeks. They shifted their weight uncomfortably from Dansko-clad foot to foot and leaned nearer to one another to whisper things. They pretended I wasn't asking them a question when I said loudly to Thing Three, "Is this your team?" Only one woman, who I gather is the one giving Thing Three the ride, finally spoke to me after I'd gotten Thing Threes cleats on and was walking about looking baffled with the car-seat. "I guess I could watch it," she said, as if acquiescing to some great burden like adopting my Great Dane or watering my hundred-acre garden for a month. I could feel their eyes on me all the way around the school.

And so I say, TM, to hell with every last one of them. To each melanoma that plastic surgery can't entirely erase.

Terrible Mother

I feel the honesty is going to get old, by the by.

And this is maybe the best comment you've ever left here. Which is saying something. Fucking melanoma. You kill me.

Liza

To Friend2's melanoma curse I'd add "and a debilitating social disease their husbands give them after a tete-a-tete with a male hooker during that last "business trip."
If it makes you feel any better, I got that from the preschool moms even when I was still married. Something about wearing jeans and a t-shirt that reads "well-behaved women rarely make history" to a preschool picnic is, apparently, unforgivable. To say nothing about the long hippie-hair in a messy knot with a pencil stuck through it. I didn't care then, but it does smart a bit now--it puts you on the defensive, somehow, to go in as That Single One. Someone who has spent as many graduate hours on feminist theory really ought to be above such things, but...not so much. I console myself with the idea that they are a) stupid, b) living lives of domestic subjugation under men who will probably leave them to trade up when they make parter, and c) obviously emotionally stunted if they're still reliving high school as 30+ women who have had Every Advantage, to the point that probably they don't have anything very interesting to say, anyway.
But still. Ouch. I'm sorry.

Tragically Hip Single Mother

I stand corrected; I hadn't read your blog in a few days. Now that I've rectified that situation, I see that you did, indeed, make me out to be a knight. A squire, at the very least, whacking aside Queen Bee Moms with my Lance of Sexual Pride. And humor? Oh, baby, you put too much wit in my mouth.

I hate to play devil's advocate, 'specially when all your other friends are tossing around their advanced degrees like parchment bullets, but my loathing for the Soccer Moms and Dads lessened somewhat over Fall Soccer for several reasons.

One, the Incredibles--you know the Incredibles, they live by you and they are so supernaturally nice I used to suspect them of being hopeful swingers. (They aren't, relax.) They always smile and nod and are quick to make jokes, especially at the games. They are smart as hell. Plus, they share food! They break bread with me, even though I'm totally having more orgasms than they are.

Two, Mr. and Mrs. Way Too Skinny Dad are just as witty and sweet. They are a little too athletic for me to really, wholeheartedly, accept them into my heart, but that's my problem, not theirs.. Mr. Skinny is a hell of a Scrabble player; Mrs. Skinny is thoughtful and kind.

(I sense your argument already: the Skinnies and the Incredibles all WORK FOR A LIVING, they don't hover over their larvae's games, they don't Make An Appearance there at the soggy field until the very end. I concede that point, *tm, but there's more. More, I tells you.)

The Old Moms--those who have had careers and chose to Stay Home with the final spawnlet--those who had that opportunity and that inclination, I amend--are THREATENED by us. Not just because, as you say, we are adorable and funky and witty as all get out, but also because we're smart, and strong, and we don't need. We make do with what we have (and my Danskos, bought for $20 at the Delta Oaks Goodwill, are a shimmering sweet example of this, thank you very much, #2) and we root hog and die to support our families. We are that living proof of the diversity they promulgate. It's a life lived vicariously. You hear them toss around figures like $650K and this, "who the hell ARE these women?"; they are aware of our brains and our beauty, the fact that our kids are doing just fine sans the traditional home and the organic pasta and the steel-reinforced Lexus. It's a bitter pill to swallow, especially if you're feeling like you're using your MBA mainly to help your son with his Econ homework, budget the week's groceries, talk your spouse out of upgrading his skis and ferrying your daughter to 3rd grade soccer practice.

I used to be baffled at one mom's fluttering and spazzing when I'd say, "Hey, K----y" upon seeing her; I remember thinking, what the FUCK is her problem? Am I not a taxpayer? Am I not a woman who can pick her orifices in private and pack her child wholegrain snacks? I got all insulted and obnoxious; I used to fairly chase poor K----y around the field, just to watch her squirm when I blurted out my greeting. Gradually, when the poor woman started to splutter out pleasantries, and I stopped taking her blushes and stammers so personally, I thought: maybe she doesn't look down at me. Maybe she looks up at me.

It could happen. And if it could happen to me, *tm, I KNOW it would happen for you: you have three of them, mind, and you're beautiful, witty, smart, with an advanced degree. They don't read this blog--they don't know how insecure you are. They only see your strength and loveliness. Cut them some slack, all of y'all.

Friend2

Very well, Tragic. I retract all parchment bullets. Misfired. I didn't know of the existence of the 'sort-of-begrudgingly-not-so-bad-if-I-can-look-down-my-nose-at-them-and-they-take-it-instead-of-trying-to-flaunt-their-awful-two-parent-ness' folk because they weren't associated with Thing Three's team, but instead with (I assume) Thing One's. The melanoma curse is now limited to people who actually intend their petty meanness.

Actually, I'm sort of surprised: usually I counsel TM to kindness and restraint. Don't unleash your terrible powers of verbal attack on the innocent, I say. They know not what they do. But I guess I was feeling vindictive in light of a touch of public disdain. The kind of thing y'all deal with all the time. Perhaps I'll take a cup of tea with a parchment stir-stick and muse on that.

Tragically Hip Single Mother

Me-ow. The two of you are far more equipped to waste the Soccer Moms in a game of WHO'S THE SMARTEST? than those poor, maligned, luxury-car driving women. We don't know what's going on in their minds, and I'll bet the kindergarten moms will warm right up to her in a few months. Of course, by then it will all be for naught--too little, too late--but their tentative extensions will exist, after all.

Does this count as a flame war? Because I can get meaner. I'm just terrified you'll demand a divorce.

Friend Omega

They're neither intimidated nor particularly threatened by you.

Friend2

I hate it when I'm having marriage problems and nobody notified me.

As for intimidation, I think it's likely that I'm not as smart as I think.

Wacky Mommy

"...some great burden like adopting my Great Dane or watering my hundred-acre garden for a month..."

heh heh heh heh

Wacky Mommy

Also, I am busy with the lice that won't leave my house, but will weigh in later on the mama drama.

It's like my friend's dad told me, when we were in high school -- re: being a fish out of water. He was European, the dad, extremely hep, and told us something along the lines of, "Let's say you're at a restaurant, you can't read the menu, you don't know which fork to use -- be casual and relaxed, and everyone will believe you know what you're doing." I think this is the best advice I ever got in my teen years and it has served me well.

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