This is not what I had envisioned for my first blog, but so be it. So I have recently joined a New Haven Moms group, a place to meet other moms. This may sound silly to you, but throughout my two years at Yale University, I only knew one other parent at the School of Music, and his daughter was significantly older than Jack, and his wife an aerobics instructor (good for him); somehow he didnt earn my sympathy.
Anyhow, my point is that it has been somewhat difficult, in fact, damn near impossible to meet other parents my age, let alone SINGLE parents my age. So this morning I accept the invitation to join this group, hoping to find other smart young women like me. I think to myself, SURELY in this male-dominated town there must be a few more go-against-the-flow-ersbut alas, I scroll through a decent sample of the women (and dont get me started on why its a MOMs group, and not a PARENTS groupgrrrrr) and find that most of them are indeed single or divorced, and have not received any college education, which, I admit, makes me hate myself just a bit more for wanting to separate myself from the majority of them.
But thats not what really gets me going. What infuriates me as I click my way through the pastel pink-rosette background is the way that most of these mothers are choosing to represent themselves. There are many photos which present various tattoos and piercings, and then there was the one that was so offensive to me, I slammed my laptop shut. This was the photo of the woman wearing a black teddy a thong, and lounging across some cheap ass pillows. Now hold on, before you dismiss me as a conservative prude, let me tell you that back in the day, I had LONG pink hair, and an elegant diamond nose ring. I still have a tattoo, which those of you who have seen, should count yourself among the elite, and I own teddies AND thongs, and have been known to sprawl, somewhat tastefully, across my Bed Bath & Beyond sheet set from time to time.
Now that we have that squared away, I will be the first to admit that the photo that I have chosen as my primary photo, my headshot well call it, is not the best one of me, but I feel it represents ME, nonchalant, lazy Sunday morning, pre-coffee (which you can tell if you look close enough). My point is that I have only photographed my face, and have not captured my entire body in some slinky DEB number, (nor have I only exposed my ass-crack with a profile name like TaMMeE, or eZZ-aXXcesss) Why have I chosen to only capture my face and not my bodacious ta-tas, as my sister would call them? Because Im somebodys Momma, and although I love my body, and I know that I could turn heads if I really wanted to, and although the bodacious ta-tas where a little more bodacious when I was breast-feeding, they are still fabulous! (maybe even more so for having nourished my little one) Yes they are fabulous, but they dont need to be showcased. Maybe they do deserve to be heralded in legend and song, but ladies, as a good friend of mine once said, No one wants to see your tired old-business. Cover that shit up!
Ladies: now that I have your attention, here what I have to say. We are mothers! We have manufactured life in our wombs! We are fabulously mysterious creatures, so celebrate it! We are brilliant by nature. There are more books written (mainly by men) on how to understand the female, than on ANY other subject. Were so much more complicated than teddies and throw pillows, so lets celebrate our complexity.
As I sit here at my kitchen table, I realize that Im wearing a T-shirt that an old boyfriend made for me while I was completing a course in Greek myth here at Yale. It reads Kallon Kakon which means beautiful-evil. These are the words that Hesiod used in his telling of the Pandora myth. We are beautiful, but we are also evil because we have within us the ability to create and sustain life, the desire to both delight and deceive, and the desire for MORE, the inability to sit complacent. We run to the tree and taste the forbidden fruit, we rip open that box and let out the evils into the world because we recognize that loving and living fully is having the CHOICE to obey, love, honor or hurt that we experience humanity, that we exercise our will.
Sounding a little academic here, but I guess my point, long-winded though it may be, is that as much as it may be scary to be “alone” at the end of the day (and single parents understand that although we are never really alone, it’s still lonely) I will not use any part of me other than my bodacious brain to engage interest in another human being, because I love myself and my son more than any Tom Dick or Harry could ever fathom.