Mommy Politics…Holy crap, help help help, I’m trapped in a less mature version of “Mean Girls”!

04/07/2008 By Shawn Burns

I had an awesome day today. I took Erin to a gym in Palo Alto called “Vivre”, which has a childcare center. I felt absolutely no guilt whatsoever about leaving Erin in their hands so I could go work out for an hour. It was great; and now I am ripped. I have Ryan Reynolds abs now. I swear.

After the workout I met up with a mom-friend for lunch. After lunch we met up with another mom-friend and went wandering around Palo Alto. I went into a bead shop. Yeah. Beads. I don’t get it.

After the bead shop we went to a yoghurt place called “Fraiche” and sat outside to enjoy our all-natural suburban chick-dessert. I like the yoghurt. It’s also across from the botox place where I’m going to have my crow’s feet taken care of after my next pap smear.

While we were sitting outside a friend of mine from Erin’s swimming class walked by. I’ll call her Swimming Mom, because, well, even though I’ve known her for 7 months I have no idea what her name is. It’s gone on much too long for me to ask her now, especially since she clearly knows my name.

Swimming mom said “Hey, fancy seeing you here!” with a big smile, and I was glad to see her. And I was also glad for the opportunity to do the ol’ “Introduce the people you are with to the person whose name you don’t know so that she will introduce herself and you will finally learn her name” thing. So, I said “This is S and C.” (Pause)

Oops. Nothing. Okay, the pause has gone on a little too long now….”So, are you here at “Fraiche”?” I asked, hoping to cover my obvious blunder. Goddammit.

“No, no, I was over at (someplace) looking at frames.”

Then Swimming Mom and S and C had a conversation I mostly didn’t listen to while I wrangled a suddenly spazzy Erin out of her backpack and tried to give her a bottle. They spoke for a couple of minutes about interior design and baby weights, and I chimed in whenever I could take my attention off of Spazzy McSpazzerton. After a few minutes Swimming Mom confirmed that she would see me at swimming tomorrow and she left.

How nice. Two of my separate mommy worlds coming together in a very random way. Maybe we can all have a big party and I’ll be the dad and they can all talk about n*pples and v*ginas while I fix their cars.

After Swimming Mom left, S turns to C and says something like “Oh my god.” To which C replies “I know. What a bitch.”


What the hell?

I was there for that conversation, right? What could have possibly happened?

Apparently Swimming Mom and S were engaged in a pissing contest: “Oh, who is your designer?” “Well you wouldn’t know him, I’m sure (because I’m too rich to use someone who isn’t exclusive)”…”Well, I’m a designer…try me”, “His name is (blah blah blah)”…”Never heard of him (because I’m legit and your guy sounds like a nobody).” The baby weight conversation was equally laden, I’m assured by the ladies. And there was also a Prada flash, so that everyone could be certain who had the most expensive bag.

After I had all this obvious subtext explained to me by C, I expressed my understanding with “What??”

Guys, I think, are much more open about this stuff. I keep thinking about the scene in “Dazed and Confused” where Wooderson is showing off his car to the greaser Clint, who remarks that he’s sure he saw the ad for the engine in a comic book: “Two ninety five, right next to the sea monkeys.”

Ok, so maybe there’s no universal truth about how men differ from women in the jockeying that goes on. But here’s a universal truth:

I had no idea what was going on around me, and I’m kind of glad of it.

After, I half-mockingly asked C: “What was the pissing contest about? Is it a monied thing? Was it me?”

To which she replied: “I don’t think it’s about money. Girls are like this. But yeah, she was pissing on you, marking her territory.”

Can you imagine a better day? I mean, I had a whole hour to myself. That was awesome.