Last week, despite the soccer spreadsheet snafu, we got to Thing Three's soccer game early. There was only one other mother there, a woman I've seen a few times. She stood out before because she was so well-dressed, even at the school field where Thing Three's practices are held. She wears neatly pressed DKNY jeans and sweaters. She has a new pair of Danskos on every time I see her, and each of her ears is punctuated by a large, yet tasteful, diamond. She is thin and tan and elegant in a way I'll never be. She was one of the women who flat out ignored me that first practice.
Saturday, though, she smiled at me and said hello. Then she introduced herself and we made small talk. She asked about Thing Three, and noticed Things One and Two. "She's lovely," she said about Thing One. "She looks just like you." She was being genuine and kind, and I wondered, briefly, if it was because no one else was there. I looked at her kids, her toddler son with his mop of hair and in the tiniest soccer gear I've ever seen. I mentioned that he was cute.
"Yeah, we just came from his game." Then she crossed her arms. "The women at his games...I dunno...."
"What?" I asked.
She looked at me, eyes squinting. "It's so cliquey," she said. "I think they don't talk to me because they know I'm a stay-at-home mom. And they all have these careers." She was being honest in a way that pained me. Because you know what, it doesn't change for any of us mothers, does it? Doesn't matter how much money we have, or how many pairs of cute shoes, we still think everyone is judging us.
I think I'm officially one of the soccer moms now. And I don't much mind it anymore, so long as I can keep my tattoo and advanced degree and hip Neko Case t-shirts.
And my fledgling collection of vibrators, of course.