Wednesday, May 16, 2007

parents of our lives

Every now and then, I'm reminded how much fun mommies can be.Usually they all seem so stressed and tired and rushed, but every now and then, you can get a glimpse of the wild woman under that maternal exterior. Today I wore my beloved Elvis Herselvis t-shirt, depicting the delightful lesbian Elvis impersonator sneering with elan. It turns out that one of the mommies at my preschool "used to hear Elvis Herselvis having sex with my roommate all the time." This was back in the day, when this mommy was a funloving young woman living in the Castro with four lesbian roommates, and evidently the hijinks never ended. There should definitely have been a sitcom made of that material.

Last night at the annual arts festival at Iris Uber Alles's school (Incidentally Iris's most prominent contribution to the festival was a picture of an imaginary planet, Planet Iris, populated by Oprah-headed aliens. I had never realized my child was so taken by Oprah), I saw a fun looking mommy in a red-and-black African cap. Later she initiated a conversation with me, inquiring about my primitive silver necklace, a relic from my bellydancing days, and we hit it off. This other mother mentioned that she had noticed my husband and I as standing out in the parent population as "artsier" parents (she took a moment to seek the mot juste). I shared that at the beginning of the year, our kindergarten teacher from last year told me that I should "reach out to the new parents" and let them know that not all the parents at our school are cut from the same cookie cutter set (at our school, the relevant cookie cutters are probably best described as hedge fund manager & extraordinarily thin blonde trophy wife). As I related to the fun looking mommy, my reaction was, "How am I supposed to do that? Should I send them notes? 'Hello, I am weird and I can be your friend?'" Then, after that little moment of connection, we both went off to search the grounds for our respective offspring, probably never to see each other again.

This may well have been my Annual Moment of Connection With A New Private School Mommy. Last year I worked a volunteer shift at the fall festival with someone who looked at first glance like a staid trophy wife who'd be afraid to damage a Manolo, but who turned out to be the most amazingly fun person who throws parties with live blues, on weekends when her children are at the ex-husband's. (This did illustrate, of course, that one must never judge a mommy by her appearance. Indeed, not everyone who looks like a trophy wife is a trophy wife, and further indeed, many trophy wives can be a rollicking good time). I loved her, and she gave me her card, but somehow I lost it and never called, and the moment passed when it would have made sense to call and say, "Hey, let's go get embarrassingly drunk together."

Back at the preschool today, I had to use the bathroom at pick-up time just as today's working parents were cleaning it. "Watch out, the seats may be wet", one mommy cautioned me, as she'd just disinfected them. I said, "Don't worry, you don't have to re-do them. It's not as though someone used it like Paris Hilton, where our delicate maternal sensibilities would be troubled if our children had to put their butts there after her." "But isn't she in jail now?" answered the other mother. Our Hiltonian schadenfreude devolved into a spirited discussion of the merits of trashy celebrity gossip sites, wherein it was revealed that two out of three preschool mommies are addicted to, but only one out of three mommies has breathlessly followed the ongoing coverage of Hercules the morbidly obese tabby:

Now of course, it's not all fun and games in the world of parents. I was aggressively tailgated by a rude SUV driver today for about a mile... and it turned out to be one of the other parents from my school (or an agent thereof; conceivably it could have been a roadraging au pair). And then again this week one of my favorite parents from our preschool breathlessly passed on the news that a mountain lion had been seen in the canyon, which led to many parents panicking and demanding that the children be kept inside at school. My initial reaction was that some excitable person had seen a raccoon or an obese house cat (Hercules II?) as there is no viable wildlife corridor linking this urban park with any feasible cougar habitat. There are mountain lions in Marin, but I can't imagine the mountain lion who would make its way across the Golden Gate Bridge and half the city to our park. (Indeed, out-of-town drivers find negotiating the toll plaza and its lane merges to be stressful, and they're not on foot). On the other hand, there once really was an alligator in Mountain Lake back in the nineties(note for the non-San Franciscans: "Mountain Lake" is a small pond near a modest hill in northern San Francisco. Everything is named grandiosely here). Secretly, I was rooting for a mountain lion sighting, but I knew it was about as realistic as the fears of those crazy Brits who opposed the opening of the Chunnel, arguing that rabid French dogs would run down the tunnel and cross the Channel. I know I wasn't alone: if we must be conscientious and caring mothers who put our children first, no longer living in households with pop icons having sex in the next room, we can still keep an eye out for whatever thrills may be readily available.


Freewheel said...

"...four lesbian roommates, and evidently the hijinks never ended."

That sounds wonderful.

Epiphany said...

You seem to be back in the DH writing groove, and I am glad to read it!

Never saw Elvis Herselvis when I lived in SF, but I do have very fond memories of going to see Dred Zeppelin, a Led Zeppelin cover band that does reggae-style Zep tunes and is fronted by Tortelvis, another Elvis impersonator.

Anonymous said...

Okay, I'm not sure how I didn't pick up on this before, but now it is obvious to me why I so enjoy your blog ... besides the fact that I just love your writing style, you live in my favorite city! Shout out to the Mission/Noe border - my former home at 24th & Guerrero!!

hughman said...

"artsier"... heh heh heh.

"cooler"? "more interesting"? "smarter"?

yeah, probably. of course we already know that about you.

on a personal note, be careful of rich friends who want a "dancing monkey" at their functions.

Anonymous said...

I love internet gossip sites and spend many qualities moments (when I could be gazing at my children) trying to figure out what the fuck is Britney thinking!

I long for a good mommy moment.

Arizona sucks.

But, soon, baby. I'll be in SF for 5 weeks in June and July!!!!!


crazymumma said...

I would soooo hunt you down int he schoolyard and make you be my friend.