Disclaimer: Just like stay-at-home dads who don't like the "Mr. Mom" title, I know there are mothers who feel the same about the term "Soccer Mom." If you are one of those (or any) mothers who loathes being categorized as such, please forgive me. In fact, this post is NOT even directed to the "Soccer Mom” demographic but rather, a particular person I had dealings with this summer who I'm referring to as such since she personified this stereotype.
Dear Soccer Mom,
I just wanted to take an opportunity to tell you thanks for having my stepdaughter over for a play date with your daughter. From what I heard afterward, it sounds like they had a wonderful time. My stepdaughter couldn’t wait till school started again so they could see each other every day.
I also wanted to express my thanks for being the first person to make me feel inferior about my life as a stay-at-home dad. It’s entirely possible that I am being overly sensitive here; there is an awkwardness that comes over me when explaining what I do to other men, but this never happens when I’m around mothers. However, from the moment when you came to pick up my stepdaughter and crawled down out of that ten-foot high SUV, you immediately put me on edge without a word. There is certainly nothing wrong with owning a nice vehicle that can also crush cars, nor is there a problem with wearing a skimpy white tennis outfit that failed horribly in hiding your spray-tanned skin, the consistency of which reminded me of a worn out catcher’s mitt. Had this been our first meeting, I wouldn’t have judged you on such a superficial basis, but you brought this upon yourself.
I understand how you could find this claim incredulous given the way you were intently gawking at the buildings in the apartment complex where my family lives. Again, I would’ve thought nothing of it until you hesitated after saying “this place is….” It seemed like you were searching that perfect word to complete your statement, but that pause changed the implied meaning in your use of “nice.” Yes, this place is nothing spectacular. It’s just that, we needed something in a hurry inside this school district, and being in a lease also helps make it easier for a future move to Chicago. I would’ve explained this to you, had you not been busy telling your daughter not to mess up the car’s interior loud enough for my stepdaughter to hear you.
Thanks too for informing me to be early in picking my stepdaughter up since you now needed to run a previously unplanned errand in the afternoon. As you may recall, I made good on your request, but then again, how could you forget, what with the dented minivan I pulled up in. By your facial expression, I thought maybe by parking it in front of your place your property value had dropped by 50%. Forgive me; I’m jesting of course. If the neighbors in your exquisitely manicured cul-de-sac inquire as to the van’s presence, feel free to explain that it was a pizza delivery or that the cleaners had come a day earlier than usual.
Again, maybe I was reading too much into our encounter, but I think not, not when you burst out with, “how did that happen!” after I admitted to being a stay-at-home dad. Maybe there hasn’t been much talk about it the country club, but the economy’s not doing well, so being unemployed is not all that uncommon right now. It was kind of funny the way you chuckled under your breath when you mentioned how your husband couldn’t lose his job because he’s too valuable to his company. I thought that once myself which is why I laughed too.
I hope you believed me when I answered yes to all those questions pertaining to my proficiency at cooking meals, clean our apartment in the projects, getting the girls ready in the morning, picking up groceries and performing all those other duties you pay others to do. And yes, I’m a writer, and I’m happy about it. You’re right, it doesn’t make much money, and sometimes I wonder the same thing you did aloud about not being able to see how anyone could make it financially in such a profession. That’s why I felt compelled to add on that part about my consulting work with financial firms; it’s irregular, but sounds good at least. Besides suddenly not feeling good enough as a person, I didn’t want you calling CPS because you thought the children were living in squalor.
After so many probing questions, I trust you were still able to make it to that unexpected errand in time. You probably could’ve saved yourself twenty minutes by asking the one question that all the others appeared to have some basis in: What tax bracket did I file my 2008 Federal Return under? When you approached us at the school musical, I’m betting that they way my wife and I dressed caused you to believe we all were in the same bracket didn’t it? That’s probably silly of me to think, but I’m only saying this since that’s how you’ve been judging me all day. My wife says all the time that money can’t buy class, and I just got what this meant. Ha!
Well, here’s to surviving the new school year. It’s too bad that the girls don’t seem to be hanging so much now after being practically sisters before the summer break. I’m sorry the several invites for your daughter to have a sleepover don’t seem to fit with your schedule. Honestly, it’s for the best; I don’t want my stepdaughter using the words “Botox” and “augmentation” in her vocabulary until she’s old enough to vote. Despite everything, I do hope your daughter liked the bracelet my stepdaughter made for her to wear on the first day of school. That reminds me; I’ll have to send you an autographed copy of my book when it comes out. See you at the next school function?
PS. I noticed you’re 3,500 square-foot home was for sale and I wanted to mention a few things: There are several shingles on the garage roof that need to be replaced; that green stuff at the gutter spouts should be power-sprayed as should the mildew on your siding, and adding a little color to your flower beds might give some curb-appeal. Also, I checked and your home’s been listed for almost six months, it’s priced well above the market and competing with four other newer homes less than a mile away. I guess I forgot to mention that my last job was as a VP of sales for the largest homebuilder in town. Had you not looked down your nose at me so much, I would’ve offered to contact three of the top realtors in the area and they could’ve had it sold before I ever made it back to the projects with my busted up minivan. Now I hope you loose a butt-load on it.
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