taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Monday, July 26, 2004

Every day at six o'clock I start to look for my husband's car. I know the sound of his door opening and the beep of the lock, and I imagine this signals some kind of freedom from my self-imposed exile here in the house. But when he comes home I find myself even more exiled--to the basement or the office, trying to avoid my family because I need "alone time", as though that's not what I've had all day.

I felt almost as imprisoned when I was an advertising girl, so I suspect it's something inside me, but it still makes me wonder why thousands upon thousands of us women, well-educated and witty and employable, choose to Stay Home. Our stimulation is limited to other mothers, well-meaning old people in the grocery store, and the futile entropy of housecleaning and catalog-drooling. "Wouldn't it be nice," I find myself thinking, "if the bedroom was done in a minimalist style, a la West Elm?" Or, "If only I could afford more Hannas for the children, we would look really great at the grocery store or in the five minutes I spend picking up from camp." This is not me, for the love of God. I used to read, look at art, write, and care about things. Nowadays I hear about someone's fancy dinner party and I think, "I've got to throw one of those!"

As far as socializing goes, the top ten topics of conversations among mothers are:

10. Why do the kids whine so damn much?
9. He never does a goddamn thing around the house.
8. I'll never forget the last three hours of labor.
7. I got those at Pottery Barn! Aren't they cute?
6. I would soooo fuck that guy.
5. Maybe polygamy wouldn't be so bad, so long as I got to be the Head Wife.
4. I can't pinpoint the source of the smell, but I've narrowed it down to the kitchen.
3. You've got to try this new technique for getting rid of unwanted hair.
2. Check out this bra--I got it on sale.

And number one...

1. I can't wait til we have enough money so I can get my tits done.


At 5:55 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

you forgot: "i am soooo exhausted. did you ever think you would be THIS exhausted?"

if you get the new yorker, there's a really disturbing article on munchausen syndrom by proxy this week. it really pinpoints certain pressures placed on mothers (ie: give up your life to care for your child or you're a bad mother, but don't get TOO attached or over-involved in your kid's life, or people will suspect you're a weirdo).

man. games you can't win.



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