Oct 7, 2006

Survival of the Fastest... or Most Fashionable

Depending on whether you are Katie's age or mine!

I ran around yesterday morning - where are my good jeans?? I need my good jeans!! John, can you watch the baby for a second while I find my other shoes? I need to get some makeup on!! Crap, my hair looks dorky like this -- I guess I'll have to do the mommy ponytail thing. Where's Katie? Oh, ok, she's chewing belts in the closet. Damn, where is the back for this earring?! Mascara, mascara...

John stood there, tying his tie, a look of complete bemusement on his face. Aren't you just going to town hall?

But this is Connecticut - people are very obsessed with appearance here and I don't want to look like a complete dork.

John: You're not a dork.

(patiently - or, rather, as patiently as I can manage whilst imitating a decapitated chicken) Doesn't really matter if I am, only if I look like I am! Katie, please stop chewing the humidifier cord! Now!

As sad as it is, I'm glad I took the time to put makeup on instead of going out as the sloven I usually am. I'm glad I took the time to find my nice shoes instead of wearing my sneakers and the nice jeans. The other women were nicely dressed for the most part and they *all* - even the mother of a 2 year old and a 3 month old - were wearing makeup. Connecticut seems much more obsessed with appearance than anywhere else I've lived. I don't know why. I decry it's superficiality and egotism but, ironically, in trying to ensure my appearance conforms, I am just as culpable as the fashion arbiters.


The place was a madhouse of small children running rampant. Katie didn't know quite what to do - a lot of stimuli for an only child that stays at home all day with a somewhat taciturn mother. I think she liked it though. By the end she was willing to crawl away from me for a toy she had her eye on. Katie was one of the youngest (indeed, she's barely old enough to be in the class) and the craft was a bit beyond her but she seemed to have a good time anyway staring at all the other kids.

We have 7 more classes or something like that. I believe she'll be a lot more into it by the end of the session. I also think it's good for her to be exposed to other kids and maybe have to learn to share and take turns with other children.


Anonymous harriet said...

I'm glad it went well. I made AJ and I do things like that when he was small because I worried about the only child syndrome. He had trouble with the noise and chaos at first, but he was also attracted to it. As for CT dressing, I have to totally concur. I lived in Fairfield County for much of my childhood and they dress to go everywhere. Going to the Stop & Shop to get baby formula at 7 a.m.? You not only need to shower, but you need jewelry. And possibly hosiery. If you wanted to blow up the hair and makeup thing, you'd better make sure to drive to another town.

11:14 AM  
Blogger smileymamaT said...

Sounds like a good outing for the both of you, even though you need to "dress up", but sometimes that makes us moms feel a little more human (wow, I am wearing a shirt that has no stains today. I feel great!) Been there, I really have. I'm sure she's enjoying the socialization. After a few more sessions, you may feel a lot more at ease. Have fun! -T

5:09 PM  
Blogger LauraJ said...

you know what it is? they all just try too damn hard. because they are allsitting at home thinking all of connecticut wears makeup so i might as well. what if you went there with no makeup, the sky won't fall, unless chicken little was invited. either way you both had fun, sort of. you looked good i'm sure, katie enjoyed herself and here's to 7 more outings. you can do it, you can do it, just keep swimming, just keep swimming. (tell me you've seen nemo, if not i'll scream-then again i've probably seen it as many times as there are residents in connecticut)

oh as far as connecticut and makeup and superficiliaty goes, promise me you wont bake yourself in the sun!! (i have aunts who live there and that's what they did, ewww)

10:52 AM  
Blogger Jade said...

I had to force myself out of the house for Gayle's benifit too... Mommy and Me classes when she was about a year old. I had the benifit of being in Santa Cruz, where college students dress in PJ's to go grocery shopping in the middle of the day, so having solid shoes on was pretty darned dressed up! I do know how you feel about the make-up though, I always felt like a complete slug if I ventured out to San Jose or (gulp!) San Francisco. I don't care what people say about "laid back California" - San Francisco is more like LA than they care to admit - at least from a Northwest perspective.

Seattle is fairly laid back and artsy, but living on the east side of it I tend to see the moms who manage to look all put together more often than not. How do they do it? I don't know. Why do they care? I'm not sure. I much prefer the attitude I grew up with, the quintessential Northwest attitude where "Black tie optional" means you can dress up if you really feel like it.

1:48 PM  
Blogger graymama said...

Katie, please stop chewing the humidifier cord! Now!
You make me laugh so hard because those moments are so real and true.

I was serious when I said your bravery inspires me. It is hard to face our fears, especially in public! And how as moms do we successfully not pass on our own fears to our beautiful children? You deserve a big pat on the back for doing this for Katie!

As for the make-up, etc..., I really wouldn't fit in because I did not even wear make-up for my own wedding, so I definitely wouldn't wear it for a bunch of strangers.

You look beautiful no matter what!

11:26 PM  

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