Monday, August 4, 2008

From Ariel Gore's Blog

Ariel Gore is a journalist, novelist, and nonfiction author. She is the founding editor and publisher of Hip Mama, an Alternative Press Award-winning publication covering the culture and politics of motherhood. Through her work on Hip Mama, Gore is widely credited with launching maternal feminism and the contemporary mothers' movement. She is the author of several works of fiction and non-fiction including, "The Hipmama's Survival Guide". Ariel lives with her partner Maria and their son in Portland Oregon.

You at the grocery store

I don't want to name names because I realize you're just trying to be nice, and you're maybe a little socially awkward like me and you really have no idea what to say to anyone. I mean, I do much prefer you being nice to being mean, and I appreciate that you don't duck away or avert your eyes like you haven't seen me at all. But here’s the scenario, and it happens all the time:

I'm in line at the grocery store, my little pint of Coconut Bliss on the belt, baby propped on my hip. He's smiling gleeful mischievous as he pulls my hair.

Comes a voice: "Hey? Ariel?"

I turn around. "Oh, hey–how are you? I haven't seen you in a while."

"Oh my god, I know, and your baby is so CUTE. Congratulations. He's adorable!"

"Thanks, I know. I think he turned out rather well." I'm nodding and smiling and trying not to be socially awkward.

And then you nod and you're silent for a moment before you continue. "Yeah, you know, one of my daughter's classmates has two moms, and you know, he's just a really great kid."

I keep smiling, wonder why you are telling me this. "Cool," I say. "Right on."

"Yeah," you say. "He’s just very normal and great. I mean, we've never had him over or anything--"

And then it dawns on me. You are telling me this because you know that my son has two moms, too, and you want me to know that this is all right with you, and you want me to know that this other boy who has two moms is cool--is normal--and so maybe my adorable baby has some hope of being cool, too, of being normal. Like maybe he won't grow horns from his head after all, and, you know, you won't have us over or anything, but my baby might turn out fine, might turn out good enough even to go to school with your daughter.

"Well, thanks," I say. "That's great news." And it's not like I really want you to be embarrassed, but I'm mildly surprised to see that you're not.

You're not the least bit embarrassed!

So I pay for my pint of non-dairy ice cream and go.

1 comment:

RepSoccrMom said...

I love it when people tell me, I heard about you and I just want to let you know that I'm totally cool with that. I stand there and look at them and then I slowly say, Great, well, I'm cool with you too.


I feel so normal. It's too bad that others don't. LOL