Thursday, January 3, 2008

Made Mommies

Somewhere in some blog I once again came across a mention of the park slope stroller mafia. Sad thing, I couldn't even become a made mom in the PSSM if I wanted to. Why? I live on the wrong side of the tracks in Windsor Terrace. My house is kind of junky, not a brownstone. I have been told so directly, not by a PS mom though, but by a born and bred PS dad. Who I suppose I could characterize as a yuppie.

I saw a mom with a stroller crossing the street yesterday in South Slope. I instantly felt dislike for her. I suspected her arms had fused with the stroller handles. She looked unhappy and yet very entitled. I saw myself in this woman. My unhappiness and unconscious self-righteousness, the fantasy that I can know everything and do everything right, meanwhile, barely knowing myself or what I want.

I thought of a friend of mine who I've seen pushing a stroller down the street while hysterically exaggerating the swing of her butt. Whenever she does things like that whoever is around melts into a dream of a beautiful playful casualness. It is her magic. She is the antidote. I wish I were like her.

Is it the entitlement and uptightness of some PS mommies that people resent so much? Is that it? Is it that they act like the consumate grown ups when in fact it is a misfortune when people enter that head of arrogance in which they think they actually know better than other people, than their children, what's good and bad, and earnestly carry out those judgements. People who are too interested in what they think they know and have been told to enjoy the complexity of the world unfolding in front of them? Is it possible to have too much control? Oh, I know, it's not just some insecure PS mommies who exercise power with fervor before they have any idea of how to handle it. How do you learn how to handle power anyway?

I try to exercise the appropriate amount of control and caution. I know I should try to do that. Then that person in my who insists on walking backwards shows up and I'm the big fat fool again. I see the same thing in my children, especially the boy who deliberately puts all his clothes on backwards every morning. Even his underwear.

I invite anyone who has taken on more responsibility than is humanly reasonable to join me in my circus tent of insanity on the wrong side of the tracks. A note of warning; my sofa is threadbare and my curtains don't match.

*I know, I used to freak out when PS mommies came under attack from Gawker or NY Magazine. But not because there wasn't some truth in their criticisms. It was because they were so mean about it. And perhaps I wasn't ready to hear what they were saying.

Related Post: Scary Dreams


J$ said...

i seriously think there is a huge division in park slope at 6th avenue. the 5th ave side seems younger, more laid back, and less uptight. 7th ave seems old, staid, past it's prime, hanging onto something that is no longer there, bragging about status. 7th is all "look how close we are to the park". 5th is all "who cares, i'd rather be close to the restaurants".

Lo said...

I'm a WT mom, too. We don't even have a house; we have a co-op. Our kid doesn't even have a room.

I think about the PPSM in terms of stroller brands. The Bugaboos are the worst. But even the Maclarens are a step above our Graco Metrolite.

(I don't know what brand of stroller you have, but whichever it is, I'd rather be in your "family.")