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Monday, April 7, 2008

Mommy Politics...Holy crap, help help help, I'm trapped in a less mature version of "Mean Girls"!

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.


for a different kind of girl said...

I had to take a moment after reading this part:

"....Ryan Reynolds abs now."

My apologies now if the remainder of my comment comes off more scattered than my typical comments do.

I think you're onto something here with this pissing contest idea. I know women can truly take time in an initial gathering to size the prey up. I've been to play groups and women's gatherings and you can see the stalking going on. It's rich. Then I realized that I've probably been one of those women who have bared her teeth a little bit when another woman has come sniffing around a friend. Not to be mean (though I suppose there's the chance for some latent meanness buried in the growl), but when you see something as "you'rs", you don't want to be cleaning the other's scent off of it, or you exhaust yourself trying to make the other person remember why they dug you the most from the beginning.

I think I'm rambling. All over Ryan Reynold's abs. I suppose there are worse things.

DeeDee said...

"....Ryan Reynolds" come on!! Although I wouldn't kick him out of bed for eating crackers he seems a little dorky! Funny post though! Women are definitely territorial when it comes to certain things if you want to see a true example just go to an aerobics class and take that bitch's spot in the far right corner and see if she doesn't stare your ass down in the mirror during the entire work out!
By the way, Erin is too cute for words!!

Headless Mom said...

I hate that girl-drama cr**. (Do you suppose that is why I don't have many friends?)

I just want to slobber all over Erin-too cute!!

Shannon said...

Yeah girls are weird.

Mandy said...

I laughed SO hard reading this entry. My husband never gets the subtext between women (not me, I don't do pissing contests). Anyway, I am so glad you're channeling your inner mom and are able to do so many girly things... A bead store??! Man, even I don't go in them. :)

Anyway, great post.

Kelly said...

I love how you've brought Dazed and Confused into your post. My husband is always quoting Wooderson.

Anonymous said...

Want to hear something sad....I have a dad friend who does the pissing contest thing. He has to top us women on who makes the best home made mac n cheese, who does this, that and the other thing the best. He is always trying to one up us women...and he hits on us at the same time...

drives me nuts. I keep play dates few and far between.

(p.s. is it bad that I have no idea who Ryan Reynolds is and that i've never seen daze and confused??)

Mumma Boo said...

Ohhh, so THAT's Ryan Reynolds. (I have got to get out more.)

Women are definitely territorial - starts in pre-school and I don't think ever ends. Just try to ask a mom-friend who she uses for a babysitter on those rare nights out, and see if you get a true answer. I guard my babysitter's phone number like she's in my own personal witness protection program. She's mine, darn it, all mine! I found her, she's great, and you can't have her! (Ok, maybe for a cut of the babysitting fee. We'll talk.)

mamatulip said...

I love Dazed and Confused. I am constantly quoting Slater. He was my fave.

Check ya later...

Seriously though - that kind of girl business is business I don't understand. Like, I bought my purse at the five n' dime, you know? Who gives a fuck?

bsouth said...

Blimey - hope you enjoy your smear. I kind of do the pissing thing, but only because I'm scared I'll have no friends if I let anyone in on the few I have!

Funny post but I'm off to google Ryan Reynolds now.

bsouth said...

Goodness, he does have lovely abs doesn't he?

Backpacking Dad said...

FADKOG: You're welcome.

DeeDee: I'm never going to take that spot. I'm afraid of what would happen to me.

Headless Mom: I'd give up on moms altogether if they weren't, every single one of them, otherwise awesome. Give them a chance.

Shannon: Yer weird.

Mandy: If I do them, then they're not girly. By the time I left that was a damned manly bead store, a testosterone-laden yoghurt shop, and a No-Pink-Anywhere gym.

Kelly: That's what I like about them high school girls, man. I keep gettin' older, they get more and more illegal.

Patty: The Ryan Reynolds thing was strictly for FADKOG's viewing pleasure. Although he does show off some kick-ass abs in Blade:Trinity. And yes, you need to rectify your ignorance of Dazed and Confused immediately. And also do something about the dude who is hitting on you at playgroup. That is so lame that I don't even have the words.

Mumma Boo: I found that out when I asked a friend if her housekeeper needed to pick up any extra hours. I was rewarded with her housekeeper's daughter's phone number.

For cleaning. I didn't mean for that to sound as lecherous as it did.

Mamatulip: Did you ever look at a dollar bill man? There's some spooky shit going on on the dollar bill. And. And it's green too!

Bsouth: What the hell was the "speculum" for? Kicks. I'm never going back to that gynecologist.

Stacie said...

Oh I would sooooo be the guy in this scenario...completely oblivious to the whole thing and I have actually been the one who knew someone for months without knowing their name and was too embarrassed to ask after a time.

Funny post!

Surfed in from DKOG's place. I love that girl..


the husband said...

first post, lurking for two weeks.
i promised myself i wouldn't comment (seeing as i'm soo far away) but this is too good to pass up.
a bead shop?! really?!
seriously though, women are the same here and there!

-k said...

Another great post! Women can be so damn catty. Congrats on the hour of work-out peace! Take it where you can.

Chicky Chicky Baby said...

Aw, you've been claimed. That's so cute.


Yeah, women are freaks. I'm thinking about turning in my uterus.

Anonymous said...

I googled Ryan Reynolds just so I know who you were talking about and he is FINE....i know who he is by face, not name.

Dazed & Confused is on my Block Buster list after Harold and Kumar Go To White Castle (which is on it's way and my husband's all time favorite movie)...

and as for the playgroup pimp....I will generally have him drop his daughter off at my house and leave. Last year he used to hang out after dropping her off, but I've done groups when I know he's got bowling or something so he can't hang. I feel bad that I have to limit his daughter and mine from playing because they are best friends, but he's such an ass.

Brian said...

"Watch the leather, maaaan."

Classic post. Cool blog. I have been surrounded by female family members my entire life, so I've learned to pick up on the subtext. Some days I could use a lobotomy.

kittenpie said...

This is why I went my whole mat leave year without talking to another mommy on the playground. It's all abour who's doing renos and who's going to the cottage... Blech. I just wanna play with my kid, y'know>?

Heather J. said...

Hey, I left a comment here...days ago...didn't I? Did you delete it or did I forget to push publish?
Either way, dude, I feel for ya....My husband and son live with 3 menstrating females and one pre-school girlie who is ALWAYS on PMS mode. They duck for cover, every time we open our mouths.

Ryan Reynolds, reeeaalllllyyy?

Backpacking Dad said...

Stacie: I'm now afraid that I've hurt her feelings badly. She didn't show up at swimming yesterday. Crap.

thehusband: I thought I felt a lurker :} Thanks for coming out of the wainscotting.

-k: I went back to the gym today and bought a membership! Another guilt-free hour. And when we got home? Nap time! Woohoo!

Chicky Chicky Baby: Where do you do that? A uterine pawn shop? Or does the police department sponsor mandatory "uterus turn-in" days like they do with hand guns?

Patty: If you want to play a Dazed and Confused drinking game take a swig every time Mitch grabs the bridge of his nose or touches his hair.

Brian: Teach me.

Kittenpie: I do know what you mean. I'm also not ashamed to admit that I'm a little titillated by the drama I can observe kind of harmlessly. And then blog about.

Heather: You must have forgotten to publish. I would never delete a comment from you. And yes, I'm ripped like Ryan Reynolds.

In "Just Friends". At the beginning. When he was the fat guy.

the new girl said...

"..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."

OMG, I laughed right out loud at that one.

Hilarious stuff, BD.

Redneck Mommy said...

I think I love you.

Especially since I now know you have Ryan Reynolds abs.

Backpacking Dad said...

The New Girl: I'll be here all week. Try the veal, and tip your waiters. Those leather pants don't come cheap.

Redneck Mommy: In the words of Deadly Girl from The Specials: "Bitchin'. My first stalker." But easy there, Tigress. My loving, awesome, gorgeous, sexy, funny, tolerant, forgiving wife reads this thing....You know they kid with these declarations of love, right dear? Yes. Yes, I'll have dinner waiting, dear. Yes, I'll be wearing my apron and chaps....

Jen4 @ Amazing Trips said...

Oh, that's hilarious. The things that women do ... and it's great that you were so oblivious.

Now, if it had been two men sitting at that table and a woman, and a third man walked up >> I'll bet you would have been whipping off your shirt and flexing your Ryan Reynolds abs. Because men are so much less ... obvious!

Elisa said...

I'm sorry, I'm stuck at "beads". Yeah, no, I don't get it either. maybe they keep some in their bags and throw them at each other when the pissing contest develops into a mom fight? hmmm...