Last week, Liv wanted to go to an ice skating party with some of her friends from school. They were off for parent/teacher conferences and one of the moms called the rest of us to see if we all wanted to meet for an afternoon of skating.
I took Liv, but I didn't look forward to it. I secretly HATE these things. I don't know what the frack is wrong with me. I seem to lack the mommy socializing gene. I just don't do it well. I see them when I take Liv to school in the mornings, that group of moms who drop their kids off and then stop to chat in the hallway.
I hate hallway chats. I don't fit in and it is only partially the lesbian thing. To be honest, I would say that more than three fourth of the moms could care less who I sleep with as long as I am a good mom. It's more of my hermit personality.
I don't know how to chat very well. I am chat challenged.
I generally sort of smile vaguely and try to look as if I have to run to put out a fire somewhere. And to be honest, I DO usually have a lot of work to do, but I could spare fifteen minutes to chat if I wanted to.
I just don't like to do that.
Liv goes to a Montessori school. Her elementary class is from grade 1-3 and there are twenty kids. Six of them are in her second grade class. I tend to get along best with the moms who look like I do, they have their hair up in baseball caps and generally have pajama bottoms on under their coats. No makeup. We nod at each other and get the hell out of there before one of the perky moms can try to sign us up to volunteer for something. At school programs and parental meetings, we are the ones who sit together in the back of the room and snicker silently when one of the other good moms gets up to demonstrate how to hollow out an egg to decorate it for Easter. We are the ones who seem very intent on looking at our nails when the head mistress gets up to ask for volunteers to help at the bake sale.
Today, I got caught by Perky Polly, one of the moms of Liv's classmate.
Perky Polly: Hi,there! How are you doin' today?
Me: Oh, um okay.
I have a question for ya, hon.
I am forced to stop and make eye contact, so I just do it with as much grace as I can.
How would you like to be in our walking club?
Pardon? What is that?
What the fuck is that?
Well, it is a group of us mommies who want to shed a few pounds that we slipped on over the winter. We thought we would drop off our kiddos and then all walk together and share stories.
Shit. I don't want to do this. And I am immediately suspect of the kind of "stories" she will share. Her stories seem to revolve around the fact that her daughter is just too creative and brilliant for this world and her son (who is just plain bratty) is a whirling ball of high intensity energy just looking for the perfect outlet. She is the kind of mom who can hardly wait until you stop talking so that she can jump in.
Oh, um...well, let's see..I'd like to but I just don't have time in the mornings....
You know, I am JUST like you, but hey, we have to make time to look fit and get back our trim tummies, don't we? I think we owe it to our guys, well...in your case, your lady friend...and we need to be good role models so that our kids will grow up in healthy shape, don't we?
(Lady friend? I am SO tempted to say something really inappropriate like, "You mean my bad ass gal?")
She is smiling at me in that hyper way. Doesn't she know that I am nearly comatose this early in the morning? Doesn't she see that I am wearing sunglasses in the rain and my hair has a morning cowlick that hasn't been tamed yet?
No, I'm afraid that my stomach is going to have to stay this way. I think that my partner will still like me even so. And Liv will just have to use Christie Brinkley for a role model, I suppose! Thanks for asking, though!
And then I am walking away as fast as I can go.
I know that it is important to get along with the other parents. But, I can't help it. I will never relate to this woman. She is in full makeup and wearing lipstick and designer jeans with jewelry on. She doesn't work outside the home, so all I can think is that she actually got up at 4:30 to make homemade raspberry muffins and probably squeezed her own orange juice before she dressed her child for school in clothes she thoughtfully laid out the night before. She will probably spend her day doing pilates and shopping for that perfect birthday present for some lucky person.
I just know that she has never given her child a pop tart to eat in the car on the way to school.
Or forgotten to check to make sure that said child has socks on.
She was one of the moms who baked lemon meringue pie from scratch for the bake sale.
She is the mom who brought pictures to show the other moms of how she hand stenciled her daughter's bedroom and actually designed and made a lamp shade.
She writes little haiku poems and puts them in her child's lunch every day. And in that lunch, there is a thermos of homemade chicken soup with noodles that she made herself.
Her child has themes. She will wear a chinese blouse and skirt to class and have homemade won tons in her lunch.
Her daughter came to the Halloween party dressed as Glinda the good witch and her dress was handstitched with little yellow witch hats running all along the border. She had a wand that was embossed with homemade glitter stars.
This mom knows how to wield a curling iron on her own hair and her daughter's hair before school. I have yet to see either uncoiffed.
I'm the mom who has no problem with pop tarts for breakfast.
I am lucky if my child has matching socks; I'm content if she is clean.
I once brought Pepperidge Farm mint milanos to the after school tea party.
I have no desire to stencil anything. While I have probably worn a lampshade on my head a time or two or three in college, I certainly didn't make it.
My kid's lunch is pretty basic. Homemade is not common. I do write love notes but they say silly things like, "I love you small. I love you big, I love you like a little pig."
No theme oriented clothing for Liv. And frankly, she wouldn't let me pull that shit anyway.
For Halloween, Liv was a witch. She wore one of my old black skirts tightened with safety pins. She wore a long sleeved black tee shirt under it and black tights. Black hiking boots. We did buy her a witch hat. And she carried my kitchen broom. I didn't sew anything on her skirt.
I don't own a curling iron. Liv wears braids a lot.
I have a group of parents that I get along with just fine:
1) Harriet, who literally burst out laughing when Perky Polly asked her if she sewed her own clothes.
2) Candy, who is a vegan and lives a totally "green" life but also admits that her kids drive her to drink sometimes.
3) Mona, who once came to a school program with a curler stuck in the back of her head and when I gently pointed it out to her, made us both laugh so hard that we cried.
And 4) Terri, who comes from Texas, continually says y'all and has a bumper sticker on her car that says, Draft The Bush Twins. She can also bake like a fiend but she doesn't make you feel like a loser if you put oreos in your kid's lunch.
So, yeah...I have a few friends. I'm not a total recluse. I'm just choosy.
And it helps if they have a few bad habits and admit them. Makes me like 'em all the more.
But, none of us will be on those morning walks.