I Hear What You Say About Me in the School Pick Up Line
I generally try not to care what others think about me. But I live in a pretty close-knit community, which means that I have to try at least to play nice, most of the time, if I want my kids to have anyone show up at their birthday parties. While I have a group of moms that I get along with, I am, generally, the misfit. From the purple in my hair to life choices I’ve made, I hear what the other moms, the ones I don’t hang out with, say about me while we’re waiting to pick up our kids.
“She wears those big clunky boots everywhere, and they look so stupid.”
I spent some time on the volunteer fire department. Responding to my first car wreck taught me the value of steel toed boots. I know they are clunky. But I love how they look, and I love how I can wear them anywhere. Plus, years of being the shortest girl on the basketball and volleyball teams means that I jumped, a lot, and my ankles are shot. Those clunky black boots are the most comfortable pair of shoes I own.
“She dyed her hair. Again.”
Yes, yes I did. I love change. Spending an hour every week on my nails isn’t a luxury I have time for, but I can squeeze out twenty-five minutes once a month to dye my hair. I don’t care if you think I’m too old for purple, or that shade of red, or black tips. It’s my hair, and I’ll wear it the way I want to.
“She wears those long skirts sometimes, and they have a lot of kids. Are they Mormon?”
No, we’re not Mormon. Or Catholic. Or any other religion that frowns upon birth control. We’re just really good at sex, and we’re lucky to be the parents of our five beautiful kids. Oh and the skirts are comfy, and I live in them during the summer because they are less restrictive than shorts.
“I never see them in church? Are they even Christian?”
It’s funny because people either assume we’re super religious or not religious at all. In a tight-knit Christian community, to not be church members makes us stick out. Truthfully, our religion is absolutely not your business.
“She wrote that book that has sex in it. She must be a slut.”
I don’t even know where to begin with this. I know, for some people, that the idea that women enjoy sex and have a thorough knowledge of sex is troubling. But this is the twenty-first fucking century. Wake up and pay attention. Women who enjoy sex aren’t sluts.
I know I don’t fit into a little box, and for someone who lives in a close-knit community, that can make someone feel pressured to change to fit into that box. But I don’t want to fit into the box, and I hope that you join me on the outside!