Sunday, September 13, 2009

the 24 hour woman, give me a break...

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, 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.


  1. If it makes you feel better to look your best, go for it. But as I tell my daughter, you are beautiful just the way you sweats, pajamas, or dressed to the nines. All that really matters is pleasing yourself.

  2. I have the same trophywife phobia. Uxoriphobia we might call it? All I can say is that those of us who cannot become the Buddha and rise above it do best when going all punk on their a**es. Studs. Motorcycle jackets. Stompin' boots.

  3. You are the real deal unlike the trophy wives. Take a poll and you will find out the majority of women relate to you and would rather spend time with someone like you rather than some stuck on herself bimbo blonde.
    You should not be hard on yourself. The snob queens should be jealous of you. In reality what can they do besides stand around and act like they are somebody. You are talented, personable, likeable, and look great. Plus you are a great blogger. Bet they couldn't figure out how to turn on a computer, let alone put words together.

  4. Wow you sound like you just described my mother. She was like that too. She even mowed in lipstick.

    I agree with Rae! The other probally dont know how to turn on a computer. hehe

  5. God I hate those bitches. And secretly wish I was one, too.

  6. @Mean Stepmom - I've said the same words to my own daughter. Now if I could just practice what I preach! Thanks for reminding me!

    @LPC - I've got to dig out the studs and leather jacket, but the stompin' boots are ready to go. I love the word: Uxoriphobia. Sounds great to me! What are you doing Monday? Want to join me?

    @Rae - I love you. Aren't you the best. You just made my day, week and month all in one fell swoop. If you were here, I'd give you a hug. I'll do it virtually, right now. 00000 and add ina kiss for good measure X.

    @Allen - Thanks Allen! Those poor poor computer for them. Botox perhaps, but no internet.

    @Chrissy - I KNOW! It's one of those green goddess things. You should come with me some morning, see it for yourself. Perhaps their husbands have single brothers? Hmmm?

    Thanks you guys. Your like my Bloggy Network standing behind me!

  7. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and true beauty is the soul that is within.
    Good true people outshine the false bling and makeup any day

  8. Great post!

    My mom was a single mom and she showed me how to be independent and take care of myself. That is a gift, you too can share with your daughter and believe me she will thank you for it at some point in the future.

    Be proud of who you are, regardless of what your wearing or what you look like. Take pride in the fact of knowing that your experiences have formed you into who you are today and first and foremost, treasure the fact that those trophy wives wouldn't be able to last a day (and still look the same) if they had to do what you do - be a great single mom, that mows her own lawn and can seat her own toilet.

  9. My wife has the same problem when she does canteen with the Wysteria Lane wannabes.

    If you can feel more empowered and climb over that wall of yours, it's got to be worth half an hour less in bed - I hope it works for you.. :)

  10. Hey buddy, why r u comparing yourself with them ???

    everybody follows different path to lead his/her own don't compare yourself with anyone !!

    Anyway, best of luck for your Monday morning !!!

  11. Nothing to do with this post...but that hamster is hysterical!

  12. Boy, do I know what you mean. It doesn't happen so much out here on the Vineyard, but it happened all the time in NJ. For months after my marriage ended, I didn't even get out of the car at pickup; I had my son grab my daughter for me. I still make the am bus stop run in my PJ's; that's who I am. I try and calm the bedhead when I remember. I guess you just have to do what feels right to you. You're smart and beautiful and your daughter is learning all the right lessons.
    Such a good post. And don't you think all those skinny-assed bitches are soo boring, BTW??

  13. i doubt any of those bitches...errr i mean nice ladies could write anything other than thier name on a credit card receipt. you've got them in spades sister.

    and could you please call me when johnny gets there? i'll try not to have toliet paper or a panty liner on the bottom of my shoe.

  14. Great post, Nancy! I find myself thinking the same things! When you're the only one bringing home the bacon, cooking it, serving it, cleaning up the dishes afterward and running out of time to scrape the grease off your face before you have to be seen in public, it can get a bit overwhelming.Oh, to be a kept woman! But then I remember, the person who keeps you might not be worth it.

  15. This is funny, because as I saw your opening photo and then began to read this post, I kept hearing that Enjoli commercial in my head and alas...I DIED when I saw you make reference to it!!!

    Listen, I admire single mothers SOOO much (and single fathers too) because I can only imagine how challenging it is to juggled household duties, work, and children - it has to be tremendously exhausting.

    I love what Sues Cabin said, "Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and true beauty is the soul that is within. I haven't known you very long, but from reading your posts, I can see that you're smart, witty, and kind. And that to me is total beauty. And besides, you wear turtlenecks. And turtlenecks are VERY sexy!

    Hey...I really like your new blog header!

  16. God, Nancy....what a fantastic post. And, I can so relate. It's hard when you hit that wall...when you find yourself wondering, "Is this it??"
    I too, can re-seat a toilet..can swap out a light fixture. I too, wonder if my chance for love has come and gone. I've been told that we're supposed to put ourselves higher on the list of priorities...that we need to understand that people form opinions based on how we look, and to dress based on how we want to be treated. I sure don't have the answers...but I DO know that "Opportunity dances with those already on the dance floor" keep dancing, my blogbud. You're doing great. And if I see Johnny, I'll send him by.

  17. Mmmm. Bacon. Love the new look, by the way!

  18. You rock Nancy! Be proud that you are such a capable woman. Your daughter will learn more about being a useful human being after watching you one day, then a privileged daughter would learn from her privileged mother in her lifetime. Keep it up. It's worth it. Show her what a REAL woman can do.

    Oh yeah, love the new look. And yep, I played with the hamster.

  19. As a daughter of a woman who did it I can say that the example you set for your daughter is one she'll be extremely grateful for. There is no person I have more admiration for than my mother and I reading this post I'm just in awe over what you do.
    Although the trophy wives might be what keeps several hair salons in business, women and mothers like you are what makes the world go round.

  20. I didn't write this post as a 'pat me on the back' kind of thing. It was more of a 'woe is me' biatches. ut the overwhleming outpouring of goodwill has left me rather speechless.
    I thank you, each and every one for the support that you have shown. Wow.
    The Verizon Network has nothing on my Bloggy Network!

    on a personal note:
    @Sues Cabin - What a great sentiment! I've written it down and it is taped to my wall in my office where I put all the things I want/need to remember. Thank you!

    @Travel Dive girl - Wow. Thank you. You are awesome. I'd hug you right now if I could. Single moms and their daughters have a deeper bond than most. I don't know what I'd do without my little girl. She's pretty damn great.

    @Matthew - With all the kind words I received from this post, that wall ain't nothin'. I'll be flying high for days to come!

    @TBF - Good point. There could always be a comparison somewhere. I will make an effort not to allow it to bother me! Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment! I appreciate it!

    @Chrissy - Isn't he cute?! Another time usurper for the masses...

    @Maureen - I'm actually glad that I'm not a cookie cutter mom or anything else! Sometimes it might be nice to experience a few of the perks they have, but when it comes down to it, I'd rather just be ME. :-)

    @heather kathleen - I'll let you know straight away when he gets here! Don't worry about the TP, I'm sure he won't notice!!!

    @CatLady - VERY good point. I suppose that is why I'm single presently! Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. AND your kind words or encouragment!! :-)

    @Ron - That little ditty gets stuck in your head doesn't it! Too funny you heard it BEFORE you even read it! We ARE siblings from different mothers, aren't we?! :-)

    @Kathryn - It's nice to be able to take care of our own business...I'll be dancing for weeks to come with all the kindness flowing out of these pages. Oh, and please DO send Johnny on over. I'm starting to wear Armani to mow the lawn now. When else will I get the chance to wear it?! :-)

    @Chris - Thanks for the compliment on the header! I was messing around the other day and decided to change up a bit. Thanks for noticing! I'll fry some bacon up for ya' and mail it on out!

    @Theresa - My hampster this morning told me he is in love with you...:-)

    @Josefine - I'm writing your comment down, just it case I forget it...which I shouldn't. Ever. What a beautiful tribute to YOUR mother. I recently lost mine, and miss her so. But she was a great lady, I've big shoes to fill. Thank you for your kindness, wonderful words and for stopping by and leaving them!


    Once again, my blogosphere friends, your comments make my day! Thank you.

    Have a great one! I'm off to the school grounds, WITH my teeth brushed!

  21. I feel the same way when I drop off my son. I don't drive a minivan. I curse. I laugh too loud. I listen my music way too loud. I'm like you... I don't fit in with those other moms, AT ALL. But I somehow think this makes us a hell of a lot more interesting. ;) Put on lip gloss if it makes you feel better, but I think you're pretty damn awesome. And don't you dare get up before 5:30 AM!!!! Or I'm going to start getting jealous of your productivity.

  22. Wonderful post!
    I don't know how single moms do it -- I really don't.

    Growing up, I always wanted to be Mary Tyler Moore, living in Minneapolis. . . .

  23. I think you're being too easy on yourself. After all, what is a REAL woman without artificial boobs and some liposuction. You're being a whiny slacker!

  24. @Summer - Okay, okay. I'll wait until 5:40 to wake up. Any later and you'll hvae to brew the coffee for me! :-)

    @Buck - Thank you! That's such a wonderful compliment! In my next life I'll be a juggler. I've learned all the skills in this life thus far!

    @Dana - Hmm. Lipo. Not a bad idea. Boob job? Yeah, I'll pass. :-)

    Monday's standing with the plastic ones went well! I'll shoot for too days in a row. Oh, and Johnny hasn't stopped by yet. I'll keep you posted!



  25. But you're the real deal-- don't go all Stepford on us, now... I just finished lamenting that I have spent so much of the past 30 years wishing I had lost 10 pounds... And recognizing how superficial that is, and why I am wasting my brain cells thinking that...

  26. Reading this reminded me so much of one of my favorite shows in the whole world: Gilmore Girls where Lorelai proved that you don't need to be perfect to be the most amazing mother. It seems like you're doing a pretty good job and if Johnny does stop around, please say hi for me ;)

  27. My first husband was all about the outer shell - HE WAS AN ASS.

    Why would you want to be married to someone who only care about your outer appearance.

    After my divorce, I said I had enough and knew I was happier alone than miserable and married. Guess what? Met a man who loved me as I am.

    Loved your mother's line "You just never know who will stop by and when. Never get caught unprepared." Smart lady, my mom.

    My mom thought a good wife needs to know how to sew and sent me to sewing school for 2 summers. I don't sew. I hate it. Hmmm...maybe that's why my 1st marriage failed - NOT....

  28. Nancy, Nancy, Nancy. There needs to be "24-hour women" to take care of us "kept men." But, that's a whole other issue.

  29. @Leah Rubin - I promise. Note to self: Don't go Stepford. :-)
    I once had a friend who said that she wished she looked like she did when she thought she should lose 10 pounds. All that wasted time. Takes too much energy, and creates negative vibes to boot!

    @LadyTruth - I WILL call you and everyone else I know, have known or will ever know if Johnny stops by. I could die happy, right then and there!

    @Little Miss Blogger - There are those that are caught up in the shell game. I mean, I'm not going to TRY to do nothing and 'let myself go', but my friend Matthew had a recent post about his wife being upset that she was heavier now than she was when they met. He thinks she is 'smokin' hot' and she won't believe him. I want a man like that! Wouldn't that be wonderful!!!

    @Carlos - For you, I'd give you 26 of my 24 hours. ;-)

    Love your comments. THANK YOU!

  30. Happy Birthday, Charles. Single and amazingly, I've never met him.

  31. I think the problem can often work the other way though, that people take their judgements of those with 'privileges' and they become part of the problem, you ever seen that? You often see it if you know somebody who has made a lot of money on their own, people assume they were 'helped' or 'lucky' or 'there's money in the family' - It's like a mass conspiracy. Anyways, what do I know, I have no money. Nice blog :)

  32. @Chrissy - duly noted. I love you anyway, how cool would that be to have you at all family functions!

    @Kid in the front row - Thanks for the compliment on the blog. YOURS by the way, is fab. I'm a new follower. I'm not really passing judgement, it's more of an observation, from my skewed perception. :-)

    Oh, and I don't have any money either, otherwise I'd have a personal trainer too.


  33. i have the privilege of working at home quite a lot and lemme tell you, another spritz of perfume will often do in lieu of a shower. my child is always dropped off at school with me wearing sweatpants or flannel PJ bottoms.

    where you are undoubtedly superior to the perfectly coiffed manicured ladies who lunch is that you get to use your brain on a daily basis. so seriously, nothing to be jealous of.

    however, i do advise a cleaning girl. i have two, they're coming tomorrow and will spend 3 hours and i would go without food (and maybe even wine) to keep them. they are from heaven.

    and they definitely help me have it all...

  34. You know why those prissy bitches all mingle together?

    ...Because no one else likes them.

    You're perfect just the way you are. You're "real" and I have a whole lot more respect for someone like that.

  35. I can't even get my act together by 830 in the morning and I don't even have kids! Keep doing what your doing, because it sounds like you've got your priorities in order!

  36. You are awesome for doing all that you do!

    Haha, your "privilaged mom" reference made me think of that Julia Louis-Drefyss show The New Adventures of Old Christine. Her son goes to private school and there are these two blonde, rich, moms that are always perfect and she's always a mess. Funny stuff.


Do it. Do it NOW!