Saturday, July 31, 2010

Other Childrens Parents

I took the kids to the paddling pool by our house today.
With chagrin, I noted that a member of the exclusive Kindergarten Club was there with her daughter.
Good for Payton, bad for me.
Payton happily reunited with her friend.
Bracing myself, I sat down next to Jane.
Small talk ensued. How 'bout this weather? How 'bout that rain we had? It was going good, so far as small talk goes. And then this:

"I haven't been making chocolates molds anymore, just as an FYI. People seem to expect them from me at Christmas time, so I'm letting people know ahead of time"

(First of all- I wasn't even kind of expecting a Christmas chocolate mold from you. Secondly, it's July. But thanks for the heads up on that one.)

I nodded sympathetically. "It must be a lot work."

She laughed as though that were an understatement. Maybe it was. What do I know about making Christmas chocolate molds when you can buy Pot of Gold pre made chocolates at Wal Mart for 5.99 any given day or time??

"I have ZERO time for it," she pronounced with an intensity that kind of scared me. "The only time I can get to it is when the kids are in bed. And by that point I'm already exhausted."
This I could related to.
"I know! The only thing I can do once the kids are in bed is have a bath and then read a book."
And then she laughed. Laughed! As though this were a joke on Evening at The Improv. "Oh God. I haven't READ in AGES!! Who has the time anymore?"
To which I sort of looked away and shrugged and changed the subject back to the weather, trying to kick my paperback ("Gone" by Lisa Gardiner, FYI) underneath the bench.
I have the time for it. Does that make me a bad person??

I have time for it in the bath and at bedtime and on my lunch break and sometimes in the car when I'm stopped for a red light.
From there on out, the conversation got pretty spotty. I was getting annoyed with the way she would pronounce her daughters name "BreanNA", with a heavy emphasis on the last syllable, as though trying to prove the point and then really drive it home, in case I had missed it the first time, that her daughters name was BreanNA and not merely Breanne. As though Breanna is so much more clever than just Breanne. Which personally, I don't think it is, but that's just me.

Anyways, I find these types of covert insults difficult.
It's not an overt insult, so I can't act overtly insulted. But, to me, the subtext is clear: I'm somehow an inferior parent by virtue of the fact that I have time to read.
Or am I reading too much into it?? (Pardon the pun)
And it seems to me that it's these types of people who protest to have "ZERO time for anything anymore" that seem to know anything you've ever wanted to know (and even things that you've never wanted to know)about every contestant on "The Bachelorette" for the last five seasons.
A show which, incidentally, I have never watched.
It's like this woman I work with who says things like this when I was eating a cupcake one day at work: "Oh, wow. A cupcake. I haven't had one of those since I was eight years old. I wish I could be like you and not even care about my weight at all!"
I'll tell you what I wanted to do with that cupcake.
Well no I won't. It wouldn't be proper.
Anyways. That's all for now.
Thanks for reading.
I shall be going now. To read.
And drink.
What say you to that, Jane??

1 comment:

Dee said...

People like that seem smug with an over-inflated sense of self importance. Everyone has *some* down time. If not, then they are sad individuals who don't make time for themselves and it will come back to bite them in the ass.