I was part of a movement of "dinosaur moms" when I lived in Maryland (Astrodon Johnstoni is the Maryland state dinosaur.) Which is nothing more than this -- dinosaur moms delight in the half-feral nature of the beasties they parent, even as they whisper Shakespeare and Kierkegaard in their ears at night.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Bobbing and Pretending

I just recently had the “I don’t vote,” conversation with my neighbor. Instant. Deal. Breaker. “I don’t vaccinate.” Another good one. Is it just Arizona?

Here’s my baggage about this. I think it’s my fault. That my persona doesn’t match my politics, I mean.

I cultivate a shabby soccer mom/ civil servant vibe. I hope that it hints at some depth, some worldliness (but it hasn’t netted me any potluck or book club invitations of late, so maybe I’m kidding myself.) I would like to think, at least, that I’m not indavertently giving quarter to people’s crazy stuff.

You come out with some crazy like that, and I will not only think less of you, I will immediately wonder what I’ve done wrong to make you think I was trying to hear that.

It's well-honed, this persona. Most of the time it handily wards off all sorts of unwelcome conversations -- alpha-mommy competitions, sordid confessions, stock tips, jokes about how white people can’t dance, and all but the most dogged Christian testimonials.

Oh, c’mon. We all do it. We build these defenses and then we riddle them with these little doggy doors. I want to hear your secret trash-tv obsession. I don’t want to hear celebrity gossip. Do come out of the closet to me. Don’t tell me about your hot date. Do snark about your kids. Don’t say your wife doesn’t understand you. Do school me on my fashion don’ts. Don’t talk about fashion.

And you can even have your crazy. Lord knows I’ve got mine. But, just. Not...

Look, I’ve got wing-nut friends who call me pinko and that doesn’t bug me. My dear friend’s husband has a bumper sticker on his truck referencing Hanoi Jane. Really? You’ve got beef with Jane Fonda, you’re 35 years old? That's ok.

But just -- it's like the guy who hit it off so well with my Jewish boyfriend that he invited him to a Klan rally. Yeah, thanks for thinking of me, but...


Dinosaur Mom said...

Nice widgets.

Astrodon Johnstoni said...

Thanks. I can't make my good reads come up.