Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Chapter 8: In which our hero calls the kettle black.

This last weekend, I was shut in a room for 2 days with a number of stay-at-home moms, working on a craft project.

Yeah, I know. Let’s just say that y’all don’t know everything about me, okay? You don’t know the secret Martha Stewart-type shit I go home and craft when no one else is looking.

So anyway, these women. As much as I tried to tune out the incessant chatter about food, husbands, food, kids, food, I couldn’t help but notice a couple of things:

1. No swearing allowed. No politics, no religion, no world events except to say how sad something is, as in “So sad to see all those people homeless after that hurricane.” Now, why is that, exactly? We’re all adult women. What is this self-imposed censorship, and why can’t I say fuck if I want to?

2. Kids. No one listens to what anyone else says about their kids. They pretend to listen, but really they are just waiting until it is their turn to talk about their own kids. Consequently, no one learns anything about being a parent from their peers. What’s more, they don’t learn anything about their peers, and don’t learn anything about themselves, either. They’re all flying solo, even though they have this incredible resource of experience sitting all around them babbling about soccer games and membership dues and meals you can make in 10 minutes.

3. Okay, I love food. Good food. I actually think about food a lot: what will I eat for my next meal, where will I get it, what beverage will go with it, etc. But these women were absolutely fucking obsessed with food. Especially desserts. Especially chocolate. And it’s fucking pathetic how excited they get talking about cheesecake, man. I think there is definitely some sublimation going on there, if ya catch my drift, which brings me to…

4. Husbands. Wow, there is some fucked-up shit in the marital unit, and I say that as a 2-time loser myself. What it comes down to, I think, is that all the energy goes toward the partnership, and the relationship that began it all is forgotten. It becomes about who’s done what, and who is slacking, who executes the household tasks correctly, and who fails to do so. What happens to the affection, the consideration? What happens to the fucking good manners? I mean, does leaving the milk out on the counter really warrant such condemnation? Really? Is getting in the way while someone’s shaving really all that irritating, or do we just descend into the marriage game of counting coup and find ourselves unable to extricate ourselves from it? And if it becomes about that, then how the hell do you stop guarding your turf and once again become the people who can shut the door and do sweaty, nasty, intimate animal things to each other? Is it any wonder that that part of our lives practically vanishes the longer the marriage, the longer the tally sheet becomes? Because we need to be able to be those people. We need it. And if we don’t get it, we start to dress like shit and dream about cheesecake and vote Republican.

And do crafts.


Anonymous said...

You're onto something...

vikkitikkitavi said...

Ya think? Because I am determined to break the cycle. I really am.

Anonymous said...

My friends only recently got married, and at a dinner party this weekend, all they could talk about was when they were going to have kids. Three newlywed couples and that's what the conversation kept turning to. "When", "Oh, I don't want to know", "I have it planned out", "I'm on a schedule", "Oh, I think I'm on the same one". I wanted to kill myself.

vikkitikkitavi said...

That's good and creepy, huh?

Roger, Gone Green said...

Great little screed; and you are on to something! I have tried the married thing a couple of times before, and it didn't work out for lots of reasons. By the end, there was always an element of what you are talking about here.

I think I am having a better time this time around because, in part, of letting go of the counting-coup -- and noticing if I may have slipped into that place again.

In that respect, I found a lot of good stuff in a silly little book called "Buddhism without Beliefs," which is not about religion per se. Rather it distills the valuable life skills that inform the religion, and leaves behind the magical thinking, the local ghosts and saints and such, as well as the National flavors the dharma has acquired over the centuries. An excellent little book.

By the by, did you get my response to your question about Oak Glen? (