Quota Filled!

One of the joys of motherhood is that sometimes you find yourself in situations that smack of the social hierarchy of teenage girls and the social pecking order that you assumed you’d left back in high school. One of the things that my grown-ups never shared with me was that, even as grown-ups, some people never stop campaigning for the title of Prom Queen. There will always be a gossip monger, a shy girl, a natural leader and her faithful hangers-on. Every group has a class clown and the handful of cynical girls who feel that the rest of us are simply a herd of vanilla sheep.

Baaaa.

There is a seemingly endless stream of adults who have carried those social quirks well into their (almost) middle years. Thankfully, most have outgrown their Goth wardrobes and realized that the black hair dye just makes them look sallow and old.

Last week, I attended a parent meeting for my daughter’s cooperative preschool and, since we’re the new kids, this was my first meeting. Upon arrival, as is my normal modus operandi, I located my clique because yes, we still kind of do that. I sat on the fringes, introduced myself to the stranger at the adjacent table with a smile then proceeded to become a fly on the wall. At least, I tried to be the fly on the wall.

Throughout the history of me, I’ve alternated between fly on the wall and girl who unwittingly finds herself running with the ‘social set’ despite what I think is my weird personality. I tend to alternate between funny girl and tortured soul. In high school I was surprised one morning by the class advisor informing me that I’d been nominated for Prom Queen. I was shocked, kind of grossed out and embarrassed but also thrilled that someone liked me. I was slightly upset that I was lumped in with some of the other nominees, a few of whom were of the not-so-nice variety of girls. Oh God, I thought, do people think that I’m one of them?

I’ve digressed, haven’t I?  Back to the preschool parent meeting…

Fly on the wall posture assumed, I sat back and observed. I think that, like most writers tend to be, I’m a people watcher. I’m not just a people watcher, but a people absorber. I sat and politely listened to the issues at hand at the school. Eventually the reminder that we are a cooperative preschool came up and someone on the executive committee attempted to tactfully suggest that, as parents, we should actually try to cooperate with the various committees. She nicely explained that responding to e-mail is a lovely gesture, as is attendance at carefully planned school functions. The word “cohesive” was thrown out into the room and that was when I noticed that a woman sitting near me began to squirm. Closer inspection revealed that the word “cohesive” was hanging over her head and poking her.

It was annoying her.

Moments later that woman, let’s call her Ann T. Social, spoke up and said, “On the subject of cohesion, I’m not here to make friends. I’m here for my child.” She said more on the subject but I was too busy thinking, Oh-Kaaay, she’s a kind of a bitch to listen.

Just days before our (cooperative) preschool meeting, I invited all of the moms in my daughter’s class over for a night out that involved cocktails.  One of those moms was Ann T. Social. Well, Ann didn’t even have the courtesy to acknowledge the invite, let alone show up. So as she made her bitchy announcement to all of the parents of the preschool all I could think was, what a fucking asshole.

Evidently mommies like Ann T. Social have already filled their lifetime friend quota. In the future, perhaps we should all be required to wear a highly visible Friendship Gauge. Just think about the convenience that the gauge would offer. As we’re introducing ourselves to new parents each year we can all just cut to the chase and skip niceties with the ones proudly displaying their already over-flowing Friendship Gauge.

No hard feelings, honey…I’ve filled my quota. See? It says so right here on my gauge.

Following Ann T. Social’s obnoxiously public snub of every person in the room, a few of us made eye contact, subtly validating that we each thought her remark seemed (über-bitchy) crazy. On my ride home I started thinking about the different personalities I’ve encountered in my fledgling career as the mother of school-aged children. I mentally checked off the list of women that I’ve encountered along the way. Yup, I’m pretty sure that high school never ends and I can’t wait to blog about it. Don’t worry; I’m fairly sure that Ann T. Social doesn’t read Narragansett No. 7.

Funky Town

Of all the days to say something bitchy to my kid, that childless little twit picked yesterday. The day when I was alternating between wanting to crawl into a fetal position and wanting to kick the shit out of someone. Not that I would, because that’s not lady-like behavior and I’m not that kind of person, but I might express the desire to. I might throw daggers at you with my eyes and don an expression that says, “I’m going to f$^&ing choke you now”.

School vacation, day three.

I took the kiddos to Old Port yesterday and had lunch with David at Flatbreads, otherwise known as our favorite local pizza joint. I was desperately trying to pull myself out of my funk (curse the funk!) and hoped that lunch overlooking Casco Bay would do the trick.

Gwen cried in Flatbreads when she learned that David had to go back to work. She cried loudly enough that the people at a nearby table, a salty looking older couple, turned in their seats to cast a disapproving glare at my heartbroken little girl. I wanted to glare back then tell the woman to mind her own business and comb the wiry grey rat’s nest on her head, but didn’t have it in me. Instead, I snapped at Gwen then shot Mrs. McNasty a dirty look.
* Hint: If you are in a pizza place that is a known family hot spot, then lose the attitude. If it’s fine dining you’re after, walk up the street a few blocks…but you’ll probably have to comb your hair first.

I promised the kids that we’d hit the Popcorn Company after lunch, so ended up forcing my funked-up self along. We waited behind a self-absorbed woman who lorded over the Popcorn Co. staff to ensure that her children were provided samples of each and every available flavor. Evidently, Mrs. McClueless gave birth to children far more important than anyone else’s. Do I need to tell you that my patience was wearing thin? Joe killed some time by eating an abandoned kernel of popcorn off a random table.



Trying to be patient


Kate threw piles of napkins onto the floor while Mrs. McClueless let her kid shove yet another sample of blue popcorn into his sticky little pie hole. He turned and displayed his treats to my three children who were nearly drooling and loudly asking when it would be their turn. Thankfully, the McClueless family arrived at a decision, picked their popcorn flavors and left before I lost my mind and said something terribly rude. I mean, really…it’s fucking popcorn. Pick a flavor and drag your ass.

Finally, with popcorn in hand, we exited the shop and my happy little boy skipped down the sunny sidewalk toward a  young couple. I lagged behind attempting to deep breath myself into a state of relaxation. I watched my beautiful boy attempt to maneuver around the couple then heard the young (bitch) woman sneer, “I do NOT like kids.” Evidently my six-year-old’s presence on the sidewalk was too much to bear. He wasn’t worthy of a slight move to the right to allow him to pass without having to brush up against parked cars. If I was a cartoon, my face would have turned an angry shade of scarlet, and steam would have blasted out of each ear accompanied by that screaming whistle sound.

Thankfully, Joe was blissfully unaware of the nasty remark and not all that bothered that two grown ups had such terrible manners that they would purposely not share the sidewalk. While that nasty woman sneered and directed her child-hatred at my son, her boyfriend’s gaze fell upon me. He realized her faux pas as soon as we made eye contact and delivered her an elbow to the ribs. The sneer fell from her face the moment she saw me. Her eyes widened, her gaze dropped to the ground and she began walking whole lot faster. I made her walk around me, causing her to brush up against a car to get past. I hope that someday, she is cursed with a raging brat.

Maybe when I’m in a funk, I need to keep these family outings to a minimum.

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BOOBIES!

As I stood at the counter waiting for my change, my toddler’s hand repeatedly snaked down the front of my blouse. “I see boobies!” she yelled. I patiently extricated her hand only to have her plunge it right back into the depths of my bra. “Boobies, Mama, BOOBIES!” she shouted and threw her head back with laughter.

The cashier in Toys R Us was a 20-something man-boy sporting a low ponytail. He pretended not to notice but I could see the flush rising in his face as he tried to change the cash register tape and get me and my boobie-grabbing girl out of his sight. “Sorry about this” he mumbled and maintained strict eye contact as Kate fondled my left boob. He was trying very hard to pretend that she wasn’t there and that he wasn’t embarassed. Mostly, I think he was under the impression that I was embarassed. I wasn’t. I’ve built up my immunity.

As Kate let a rapid-fire string of “boobies” fly, he got flustered and dropped the roll of tape. Kate began occupying herself with the padding in my bra. Her little finger repeatedly poked at my bra through my shirt while she pulled the neckline foward to investigate what was happening behind the scenes. I’m sure that, as the door slid shut behind us, he laughed. 
Four years ago, Joe and I were in the women’s locker room at the Oak Square YMCA in Brighton, Massachusetts. We went there often. I’d run while Joe stayed in the childcare room, then I’d pick him up for a swim in the YMCA pool. It was in the changing room where Joe found his voice. I was changing out of my bathing suit when he loudly exclaimed, “Mommy, you’re pee-pee is Cuh-RAZY!” I wanted to die. I quickly shushed him and pretended that Joe hadn’t shared the condition of my ‘pee-pee’ with the current occupants of the locker room. No matter how hard I tried to gracefully move on from that moment, the kid wouldn’t drop it. “Why is your pee-pee all hairy?” I had nothing. I was mortified and just wanted him to stop. For so many reasons, I wanted him to stop. Mostly, I was reminded that it had been ages since my last bikini wax. My pathetic attempts at self-grooming were hindered by the gigantic belly holding our newest bundle of joy.

Suddenly the gravity of my situation came crashing down upon me. All at once, I felt very much like a mother. I looked around me and saw throngs of childless, twenty-something women snickering about my pee-pee. I wanted to slap those smug little freshly waxed bitches and say, “Just you wait! Someday you’ll have a kid and a hairy pee-pee too!”

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Just kidding…but if you likes this installment of No. 7 please vote!
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