La La How The Life Goes On

Archive for June 2011

Well, how do you like that? Yow know I love to finger-wag at all the mom behavior of which I disapprove. You’ve read me take all kinds of moms to task for all kinds of behavior that I, in my Andy Rooney ivory tower grumpy old man entitled way, find not to my liking. So how did it feel to be the mom being judged this week? Kind of weird, kind of bad, and kind of liberating.

The week began with an email from the mom of a boy in Bambina’s class, inviting her for a playdate. Fair enough. But wait for it: the playdate was to involve Bambina “hanging out in the hot tub” with this kid and his parents. You’ll recall Bambina is seven. I’m still trying to figure out if this is universally weird, or whether I am just such a child of the 80’s that I cannot separate hot tubs in a suburban back yard in 2011 with jacuzzis in T&A movies featuring geeks and jocks. Or Rodney Dangerfield. My primary thought–to this day–when I hear about “hanging out in a hot tub” is “ohmigod! I totally heard you can get pregnant that way!!” And, since 2007’s transplant, “Jesus Christ, I KNOW you can get 55 fungal diseases that way.” So the invite for my first grader to hang out in the hot tub with a boy and his parents just completely weirded me out, and had me in high dudgeon about what a great parent I was since I neither own a hot tub, nor would I invite a minor into same were I to have one. Oh, yes, I am so much better than THAT mom. Pull a muscle patting myself on the back…

Then Bambina has a playdate at our house with one of her friends. The plan was for them to walk to our house after school since we live less than a 1/4 mile away with no streets to cross, and Bambina does it twice a week. I am always home, and I always have the front door open for her, and I am really rather pretty certain that she’s going to make it home just fine 100% of the time. Except: it’s so no big deal for Bambina to walk home that it never occurred to me to mention it to her friend’s mom. UNTIL: I hear Bambina’s voice in the yard so I go out to welcome them both home and there is the friend’s mom looking at me like, ‘What the FUCK, bitch?!” I was still not sure what was going on, so I said, “Oh, you walked them all they way here from the school?” (She was there to pick up her elder daughter and they live in the opposite direction). She said, very stonily, “I’m not there yet on the walking home alone thing.” I stopped myself from saying, “but they weren’t alone; they were together” because I could tell she was not really interested in chatting with me at that moment.

So the playdate lasted 2 1/2 hours, the entire duration of which I felt really terrible, like, oh man, she hates me now. And, should Bambina not be walking home from school? Am I a crazy reckless mother? Should I be picking her up and driving/walking her a 1/4 mile even though she crosses no streets, is surrounded by other kids walking home and would be so pissed if I told her she couldn’t? Am I the pedestrian-kid version of the hot-tub mother? Are people posting Facebook status updates about the insane mother who lets her kid walk home twice a week? Will I be blacklisted for home playdates? It was agony. As well as genuine guilt, because the truth is I really should have cleared the method of transport with the mother. 100% my fault and I own it. So it was bad.

But it got worse. Oh yes! It got worse! When she came to pick up her daughter I apologized profusely and declared that OF COURSE any time her daughter came over I would absolutely go and pick them up at the school and walk them home, and I was so tremendously sorry that I had not thought to mention it to her prior to the playdate. She was visibly calmer by then, so I was starting to relax. When my two girls decide this is the moment to climb the outer edge of the banister–up to the 5th step–and start singing, “Jingle Bells Your Bum Smells.” The mom says straight up, completely bypassing the potty talk, “I can’t even look at them; this is an injury waiting to happen” and shuffles her kid out the door.

So, my guess is that Bambina will be required to go to their house after this if she’d like to ever see her friend again. But not to worry; I have a plan to turn this thing around.

I’m going to install a hot tub.

HI folks. Just doing my part, along with Representative Anthony Weiner, to further torture all those kids out there with the last name Weiner and/or its derivatives. Yep. You can be outraged about his online dalliances with all manner of nubile young starfuckers. I’ll be outraged first about the damage he’s done to the good name of Weiner. I mean, as if these kids do not have enough to contend with! Even Ralph Lauren changed his name from Lipschitz for a REASON: because kids are mean as hell, especially if your name can be turned into something sexual or scatological. Now the Weiner/Weingart/Weinert kids have to suffer the slings and arrows of sharing a surname with a guy now famous for his… (wait for it) weiner. For this alone, Anthony is a weenie. Or, for the Jews reading, Dy-weenu Dy-dy-weenu, dy-dy-weenu, dy-wee-nu!

Moving on to the issue of the online, ahem, conversations, I simply wonder why we all act so shocked and surprised when this stuff happens. With all respect to the lovely men in my life, I think we can all agree that men are fucking idiots when it comes to sexual behavior. I cannot imagine sitting at my computer and thinking, “I know! I’ll take a picture of my cooter and mail it to someone I’ve never met!” The very notion boggles my mind, not to mention the physics, the lighting, the focus, etc. And yet many males–some lovely people–would think nothing of it, perhaps seeing it as a necessary step in the online mating ritual. And if you read the transcript of the Weiner/Las Vegas blackjack dealer sexts, (but if you do, bear in mind that you cannot un-read something even if you desperately want to) the man cannot stop discussing his giant awesome penis and all its many accomplishments, past and future. Beyond the fact that this shows a shockingly low standard for sex talk on the part of the woman, it shows the juvenile nature of even a grown man on a computer. If I hadn’t known it was a sitting Congressman with a pregnant wife, I’d have thought it was a 15 year-old boy left alone with a stash of 70’s p*rn as inspiration. He just needs a Tom Selleck mustache and some tube socks and he’ll be good to go.

Which brings us to the women in these encounters, some of whom have been only too happy to come forward “reluctantly” with their full, downloaded-and-saved, verbatim texts from A. Weiner. Bitches, one and all. Yeah, I said it: Bitches. The man is married. End of fucking story. Now you’re so sad he lied to you? Yu’re so embarrassed he was doing it with so many other women? Please. My bullshit meter doesn’t go that high, honey. You talked dirty to a married man via computer, and now you’re “sorry” or “sad” or “embarrassed?” Well, let me get out my Anthony Weiner-sized violin and play the tiniest, saddest song for you because you never saw this coming. Or maybe I’ll spend my time feeling bad for his pregnant wife instead.

So what’s the solution to these ongoing ugly situations with men in power taking pics of themselves for The Ladies Not Their Wives? Simple. I’ve said it before (*cough!* Clinton!) and I’ll say it again: If you are famous, and I am fucking you, please know that I WILL BE TELLING SOMEONE. It may not be a Linda Tripp-style sting, but it might be my roommate or my hairstylist or my sister. Because what girl is giving it up (online or otherwise) for a famous guy, be he Bono, Justin Beiber or Conrad Burns–and is keeping that to herself? NO girl, that’s who. I know, Congressman. This girl is different! She understands you! She supports you! Bull cookies, dude. Girl is telling someone. Know it and act accordingly. And for those Men In Power over the age of 18 not raised on the fine points of internet behavior, please also understand that getting naked online doesn’t make it LESS likely you’ll be found out. It just means it’s that much sooner that we all get to see your weiner.