Friday, February 20, 2009

The three Jacintas

Jacinta is not a very common name. At least not around here. What's odder still is to coincidentally employ three Jacinta's in a row. What am I talking about? It's a long story.

You see I know a Stepford Mommy who has had that happen. Her last three nannies/housekeepers/indentured servants were all named Jacinta. These three (unfortunate if you ask me) women came from different parts of the world and yet all shared this one name.

Jacinta the first, as we shall call her, was a very nice lady. She was a bit older but was able to keep up with our Stepford Mommy's three young daughters pretty well until the arrival of baby number 4. That was just too much for Jacinta the first and so she hopped the first train out of town.

Of course our Mommy was distraught. Calls were made and lo and behold! Who arrives on the doorstep but Jacinta the second. An odd coincidence considering that Jacinta the second was from Brazil not Florida like Jacinta the first- but nonetheless our Mommy was saved!

For about one week. Poor Jacinta the second was no match for those four adorable little blessings (or maybe it was the one Mommy- who knows?) So despite offerings of riches and even a car, Jacinta the second hit the road as well.

Finding Jacinta the third took a bit longer. This time our Mommy (and the agency placing all of the Jacinta's) wanted to be sure that the proper match was made. They needed someone who had been through rigorous training- perhaps the Israeli army even. Someone who wouldn't be put off by our Mommy's shrill voice or frequent rants- perhaps someone hard of hearing. Someone who had boundless energy so that she could not only keep up with the children but simultaneously clean, cook and carpool- because our Mommy is busy enough keeping herself entertained and can't do any of the above.

And were these prayer's answered? Yes they were. And I'm happy to announce that as far a I know, Jacinta the third is still alive, well and living in her cramped nanny quarters in Stepford. But the funny thing is that Jacinta the third (and Jacinta the second come to think of it) they don't ever refer to themselves as Jacinta. For some odd reason when they introduce themselves they use some sort of code or nanny pen-names like Maria or Sara. It's really quite odd. Almost as strange as employing three Jacintas in a row. . .

Monday, February 16, 2009

Stepford Mommies are following me

I'm on vacation this week and, as you might have guessed, I've been looking forward to a week without interacting with my hometown nemesis so imagine my surprise when The Flyer said "Look Mommy! I see a family from my school!! And wait! There's another family over there!!
Guess what I said? Fantastic! Grab your stuff- it's time to go!!
Ok, so maybe they're not following me but they are showing up wherever I am so you make the call. . .

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Stepford Mommies have always been crazy

I was lying in bed last night not sleeping- which I do a lot of- and trying to recall what the average Stepford Mommy was like when I was a child. To tell you the truth, I don't really remember. I was pretty caught up in my own little kid world.

But then I remembered one of the wackiest Stepford Mommies ever. She was a very nice woman- rail thin; beautiful natural blonde hair; gorgeous home; athletic; funny and as nutty as a fruitcake. This woman walked around everywhere with a plastic bag full of parsley and she would proceed to eat it all day long. I don't mean a nibble here and there- this lady spent her entire day eating parsley like it was popcorn.

To make matters worse, she would go through 'spells' of extreme exhaustion (probably due to malnutrition) and she would be forced to call the Stepford Police Department to pick up her kids from the Stepford Country Club and deliver them home because she just was not able to do it herself. And you know what? They did pick up her kids and drive them home like a law enforcement cabbie service and they didn't even arrest her for being a loon.

Only in Stepford.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Stepford Dump

I love the Stepford Dump. I really do. It might be argued that I can't get enough of it. I go as often as possible and its the very first place that I take anyone who is visiting from out of town. Am I deranged? Possibly yes. But, we already knew that didn't we?

So, I thought I'd toss together a list of reasons I love the dump.

6. They have an amazing recycling facility. I'm not the world's greenest person but I'm trying

5. They have a swap area where people leave very nice stuff for others to take. I once got a great shop vac there.

4. They have a book swap area too. I have to admit some of them are a little funky but its a great place for people who collect National Geographics (which I don't but my little brother did for years) because somebody's always dropping off their old discarded collection.

3. They compost all of the plant material that is left at the dump and give it away free so I can have compost for my garden without all the work. :)

2. They provide all the salted sand you can shovel in the winter. That is certainly easier than buying expensive bags of ice melt.

And the absolute number one reason:

You will never, never, never run into a Stepford Mommy at the Dump.

The Supermarket Runway Fashion Show

Am I the only person out there who isn't always ready for her close up? I can't be the only one who runs out of cat food and has to go to the store in her sweats can I? I guess I don't have to go in my sweats I could change into a designer outfit or even a ball gown if I wanted but we're out of cat food and Phantom is howling. Mind you, if it was Knucklehead I'd be all set. He's more than happy to have a big old bowl of cereal when these issues arise. But the cat is less flexible so somebody is going out. And guess who that somebody is? Mommy.

Anyway, I'm now faced with the fact that my already hectic day must now include an unplanned trip to the grocer. "So what" you ask? "Big deal!" you say. Well you have obviously never experienced (cue the big booming voice over. . .) The Stepford Supermarket Runway Fashion Show show show. Perhaps there is some reason for it, but I have to say I've never come close to understanding why a person would go to that kind of effort to buy bread.

I'm talking full make up, manicured nails, hair blown out and styled, fancy schmancy shoes and the kind of clothes you have to dry clean. I don't even own any 'dry clean only' clothes anymore. . . Again I ask- is anyone expecting the President to drop by for cold cuts? Will the Pope be making an appearance in the Frozen Food aisle? I didn't think so.

So, that's whats facing me as I stumble in the door and slink through the produce section trying very hard not to be noticed. Why bother? They're not going to be seen talking to me anyway but I'd rather not get "the look" when really what I need is cat food. The whole scene is almost as uncomfortable as whats coming next. The un-needed help that is about to be thrust upon me.

For some reason the supermarket in Stepford has grocery assistants. Now I don't mean the nice men and women who bag your stuff as you check out. They have those too but there is also a secondary level of assistance. They actually employ people to assist you with your shopping even after you've checked out. And if you think i'm kidding I assure you that I am not.

The Stepford Mommies have already done their allotted work for the day in collecting all of these groceries in the cart. They can HARDLY be expected to put them into bags, push the cart out to the Mercedes and put the bags into the back all by themselves can they? Of course not! The housekeeper will unload the groceries when she get's home but how the hell is she supposed to get them home?? Thank God for the Grocery Assistants.

My problem is that I only have a 5 pound bag of kibble and I don't even have a cart. I don't even need a bag for goodness sake! But still I am absolutely bowled over with "oh no ma'am's" and "please let me get that for you's" and I'm on the hook. They will not allow me to leave this store unless someone is trailing behind me carrying the cat chow.

Ok, I realize that this service creates jobs so I'll play along even though I find the whole thing humiliating. But what gets me is the big "It is our honor to serve you so please no tipping" sign I have to walk under as I lead my temporary servant out to my car. This store will absolutely not allow you to tip or treat these assistants like humans in any way. I've given up trying to walk next to them or make small talk. Apparently, like tipping, they've been trained to refuse any morsel of friendliness or kindness.

So, needless to say, the very long walk back to my car is excruciatingly uncomfortable. Why the long walk you ask? Well I always park as far away as possible because Stepford Mommies are horrible drivers- but that's another story.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Circle of friends

The Stepford Mommy loves to chat. She loves to hang out with her peers and just chat chat chat chat chat. Don't they have any 'friends'? I mean you should see them at pickup. It's only 3:00 and you'd think that they'd been through the war. They absolutely must get all of the horror off their chests. So, they all pull up in their Suburbans, Escalades, Audi SUV's, Mercedes SUV's, Lexus SUV's, Porsche SUV's etc (please note that there is not a single mini van among them- they'd rather walk thank you very much) and then the games begin.

There is obviously some sort of pecking order because immediately upon switching into park the subordinate mommies jump out of their cars (and are nearly hit by other mommies who either can't see over the dashboard or really just don't care) and they do the "preppy jog" over to the driver window's of the superior mommies for a little chat. The superior mommies roll down the window and hold court. They're not getting out for anyone-including their kids! Regardless if little Lance or Emma is stumbling under the weight of his 40 pound backpack. . .

Anyway, it's really quite a sight. I'm sure there are anthropology PhD candidates out there looking for a good dissertation topic and the ritualistic behaviour of the Stepford Mommy would make a great one! All the danger of studying a pride of lions without the trip to Africa!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Mommy Mafia

In a world where we are obsessed with smoking out the last remnants of the Taliban and destroying the structure of Al Queda you'd think that someone would have noticed that there is a domestic terrorist group out there that is holding literally millions of American women hostage. That's right folks. I'm talking about the PTO.

Unlike their 1950's predecessors the PTA, today's PTO doesn't "Associate." Oh hell no. That stuff is for lightweights. These women were put on this earth to ORGANIZE and by God, they're going to do it. Pity the fool who drives through the pick up line the wrong way or dares park too close to the playground. In some towns the PTO mommies will come to blows if need be but not here in Stepford. All renegade behavior is met with the most deadly of weapons- the icy stare.

Needless to say, I'm familiar with it. I've tried folks. I really have but I can't deal with these committees and women who for the life of them have no idea what they're doing. Last year I got roped into volunteering for one of their damn fundraisers. Seeing as I'm really not the poster-painting type I said I'd keep track of the money. Everyone signed up in advance and sent in checks and I was to keep track on a spreadsheet. No big deal.

Except that apparently it was a big deal. I said I'd just make a spreadsheet and fill it in as the checks were received. We could sort it alphabetically whenever and all would be fine. Except that they kept insisting that they had the spreadsheet from last year and it would be better for me to use that. So, I kept a list of about a million checks, names etc waiting and waiting for last years spreadsheet. And guess what? When they finally emailed it to me IT WAS BLANK!

So, I called and asked them to resend the one with the names and they told me there isn't one with the names but this was the "spreadsheet" I should use. OMG How did these people get through college? How do they get through their days? They are so damned out of touch that they don't even know Microsoft Excel one of the world's most popular programs? NEVER AGAIN!

Now I make sure to volunteer only for jobs that can be done over the net or by email. No more PTO bullsh*t. Heaven.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

How dumb am I?

Ok I've bitched enough about ending up here. I think I'm actually more mad at myself than anything. . . To be honest, I can't believe that my 18 year old self was so much smarter than my 32 year old self.

At 18 I fully recognized the importance of getting out of this place. I knew I had to do whatever it took to get to the social and cultural opposite of this place. So how is it that after 15 years of living the dream, I ended up back at square one? Well actually a mile down the road from square one but still. . . I'm going to call it cultural amnesia. I completely forgot what a nightmare this place can be.

I guess it's not all bad. There are good schools here, the location is good too- not far from the city. If only the place was populated with people instead of these darn trophy wife androids! I guess since I'm stuck here anyway I should do my best to make it liveable. . . that's definitely going to have to involve some serious venting! I hope you're ready. . .

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I don't fit in

I don't fit in with these people. I don't dress like them, I don't think like them, I don't care about the things they care about. I'm not a size 2. I went to college to get more than a husband. I have a job because I don't want to be a stay at home mom. And-oh most scarlet of scarlet letters- I'm divorced.

Oh yes I did! I said it- DIVORCE! Rumor around town is that they're thinking of making that word illegal. It's merest utterance within the bounds of this lovely burb ought be punishable by stoning or perhaps caning in the town square- but not in front of Talbots- that's bad for business. You see, there are no divorced people here. None. It's simply not allowed. I think they make you sign a contract when you close on your house or something. Who knows how I slipped through the cracks. . . maybe its because I grew up here? Did that little fact distract the secret police enough to let me quietly sneak in? I guess we'll never know but it looks like they've tightened things up quite a bit since then because I haven't seen another divorcee since.

If you think I'm kidding I'm not. Don't bother looking through the phone book- nobody's listed anyway including yours truly. The real skinny can be found in the school handbooks. Not unlike the parent registries at Milton, Winsor and Roxbury Latin these little books contain not only the addresses but the phone numbers and emails of some of the most "hard to get to" people in the state. And if you read very carefully, you'll find just one entry where a mommy and daddy don't share the same address- that'd be the Flyer's.

Of course those pages don't tell the truth of any of those marriages. I know for a fact quite a few of them are ridiculous shams. Just try and get both of those spouses into the same room at the same time- unless there is a social columnist
with a photographer present its not gonna happen. But for all the world to see they are still Mr. and Mrs. So and So- still just as blissfully wed as ever. . .

Do I sound bitter? I think I might actually. Which is weird because I couldn't give a hoot. I don't want what they have. If I did want that crap I'd still be Mrs. Wrong! Nope, I'd rather be Ms. Happy any day. . . We already know what happened to the Stepford Wives. I'm just trying to make it through as a Stepford mommy.


Long, Long ago, when the area that is now known as Stepford was discovered, the early settlers were so sure of the superiority of their new home that they named it "I'm-better-than-you-ville." Although the name has changed over the centuries, that same feeling of undeniable superiority on the part of the residents toward their home remains just as strong. . .

What am I doing here? Have I lost my mind? This can't be real . . . how the hell did I end up in this place?

All good questions. Perhaps the best might be: why in God's name did I pay all that money to live in a place where I don't fit in? Ok, let's be honest. I actually do know how it is that I ended up back here. It was just after giving birth to my daughter that I realized I'd accidentally married Mr. Wrong, I was completely alone and I was in
way over my head. I just wanted to go home. So I did.

Then the chaos of raising a child on my own and the nightmare which is an out of state divorce took over and before I knew it. . . it was too late. I'd missed my window. . .it was time to register for Kindergarten. I was stuck here.

Now I know how all those poor dolphin and whales feel. . . one minute you're swimming around just trying to get your bearings and the next-wham! You've stranded yourself on the beach. Except mine isn't so much of a beach- it's more like an immaculately groomed country club-like prison. But I'm still the same fish out of water.

Somehow my my knee-jerk reaction to 'come home' had resulted in my being not only a resident of Stepford but -
and here it comes so sit down - a Stepford Mommy.