My daughter has the privilege of going to a private school.
This has been great in so many different ways. It's a uniform school which makes the morning routine oh-so-much easier. The very close proximity to our home which cuts our travel time down next to nothing. AND the added benefit of having an excellent teaching and office staff make it well worth the tuition paid.
I DO however have one itsy-bitsy
gripe about it.
Every weekday morning when taking my daughter to school there are those times when you are forced to encounter and interact with those 'privileged' moms.
Alas, I am not one of them, but many of you might know of whom I speak. You perhaps even know a few. Or in the case that you are one and reading this...then remember, this is all in fun. Really, it is.
They are the moms that show up in the mornings hair perfectly coiffed wearing matching designer workout gear. They stand casually chatting amongst themselves before the doors open for the children to enter the building. Their already skinny little asses all set to go to the gym for the next 4 hours.
They are the same moms that I dread running into later in the day. They've ditched the gym duds for stilettos and capris, fresh from the hairdresser, manicurist or shopping/lunching with friends. The same moms this morning dropping off the little ones with a flurry of air kisses looking 'oh, so sheik' in the afternoon.
They are not the mom's like me, who show up in sweats or even pj's in their rush to get the kids to school on time. The mom's that barely have the chance to brush their teeth, let alone coif their hair. The mom's that don't make morning eye contact because they would prefer not to be seen right now, in this moment, when they know they are looking less than their best.
My morning routine can be hectic. I wake before anyone else in the house around 5:30 am. And I try, oh I try to get everything done in the household...for the household, before anyone else rises. Animals fed, lunches packed, coffee brewed, breakfasts made, daughter dressed and taken to school. Some days I have time for a shower and get dressed before accomplishing this morning ritual and other days...um, yeah, not so much.
It seems it is always on those days I end up near the 'privileged' wives, trying hard to disappear or blend in. Or worse, making accidental eye contact and forced to converse...all the while trying to not mentally acknowledge that you are still wearing your pajama bottoms and the makeup you have on is from the day before because you failed to wash it off before you fell into bed exhausted.
Now, if you are one of these wives/moms of which I speak, I'm sure that it is not your intention to make the rest of us feel badly by comparison first thing in the morning. I'm sure that you realize not all of us have a nanny or spouse to help with the kids in the morning so we can be all fresh, showered and perky before school. For some of us, it is hard to juggle everything. Because that's what we as single mom's have to do...juggle everything.
I remember that commercial for a perfume in the late 70's.
"I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan. Any never never ever let you forget your a man...'cause I'm a woman. Enjoli." The 8 hour perfume for the 24 hour woman. At my tender impressionable age I thought that was IT. The get-all. Being a woman able to do it all; be it all. "I am woman, hear me roar!" sang Helen Reddy. That was the motto of all the girls my age growing up.
And so I did. I learned to do everything that Revlon urged me to do. Cook. Clean. Carpentry. Fix stuff. Build stuff. I hung out with my mom and learned all about home domestication from her. How to fix a meal; make sure it looked nice and finished cooking at the same time. I hung out with my dad and learned a keen sense of tools and their uses. What other 5 year old knew how to re-seat a toilet?
I've used all that I learned over the years what I thought was to my advantage. I have the same affection for power tools that I do All-Clad pans. I never was the damsel in distress. Why? I could do it myself, I didn't cross my mind to ask for assistance. But now, many years later after living this feminist ideal, I find that I would be nice to have someone else take care of lifes little details. I would like to have someone help me out for a change.
I'm tired of all the household responsibility. Of making sure all is taken care of for everyone else. I would like a break. A little down time. A little me time.
Whoever is responsible for the concept of the 24 hour woman should be hunted down. I need an extra 4 hours for the 24 hour woman that I have become. 2 for the gym, 1 for reading and 1 for napping to get me prepped for the next 24 hours. I've not enough energy to keep up. It's like my battery refuses take a full re-charge anymore.
Why did we, as women, buy into that? What possibly could be the upside to take ALL responsibility on our shoulders?
So when I see these little trophy wives whose job is to look good for their husbands, I get annoyed. Their bling-bling diamond wedding ring sets annoy me. The perfectly foiled blond highlights and their surgically enhanced features annoy me. Their skinny little asses while holding beautiful infants annoys me.
On further introspection, perhaps my subtle dislike for them stems from the little green goddess, queen of envy, that lives deep inside me. Strip it all away and I suppose I'm just jealous. I wish I had that determination to spend that much time at the gym. Or the motivation to wake up even earlier to 'get ready' in the morning. Or to have a ring on my left hand that seems sometimes conspicuously absent. Or perhaps it's just the whole trophy wife lifestyle that sets me off.
I lament that I may never have another partner to share my future with. That I'll never be the perky, perfect person that some of these other women are. That sometimes this (gesturing around me) is all there is. Or ever will be.
Me. The ultimate optimist...has hit a wall.
Should I start dressing up to pick up my daughter from school? Do I need to figure out when in my schedule, I too, can spend insane amounts of time at the gym so can look like a magazine mom? Or is it okay to just stay the way I am? So many questions. Seemingly so little time to find all the probable answers.
I've always considered myself to be somewhat presentable. My mother always told me that "You just never know who will stop by and when. Never get caught unprepared." Smart lady, my mom.
A friend recently was driving by and stopped to chat when I was out front mowing the lawn. She exclaimed, "Are you wearing lipstick? While mowing the lawn?"
"Well, yes, I am."
There is always the slight possibility that Johnny Depp could stop and ask directions. I want to be ready if he does. Opportunity knocks when you are least expecting it. Trust me, no one has ever dropped by when I'm dressed in Armani. It's only when I'm my sweats does that happen to me.
It's not fair to compare apples to oranges. However starting Monday, I will strive to wake up a half hour earlier. I will get myself ready before worrying about all the other responsibilities in the house. I cannot compete with the privileged mom's, but I've decided I will be my own trophy. I will approach drop off and pickup with pride for the single mom's. I don't need to spend 4 hours at the gym to mingle amongst them. But I will brush my teeth. And coif my hair. I won't be wearing my pajamas or sweats.
On Monday, I'll be ready. I've got 24 for hours of Sunday to prepare.
But first, I've got to bring home the bacon...
Because (donning my rose colored glasses) maybe, Mr. Depp would like to fry it up for me.