Behind every successful woman, is a basket of dirty laundry...Sally Forth
Except, in my case, it IS a "pile" of "clean" laundry and, well, success is a relative term, isn't it?
According to some members of my family (especially, those who are, you know, mostly, women) I should consider myself lucky, whenever my husband, Garth [not his real name] is brave enough to come home and "actually" gets out of the car, at night.I get that.
Still. Why are we women (mothers or non) so gosh-darned hard on each other?
That's right, I said it, being a woman should feel really, really good, right now and, honestly, I can't remember the last time I felt good-ish about myself...most especially, in the company of other women.
I mean, the minute something goes right in my life (yes, if you haven't guessed it, already, this post is NOT about the kids, so, pretend like I don't have any, okay?) my inner-teenager keeps wanting to bust out and, well, I never really liked her, either.
Take for instance, work.
I am THRILLED about being able to find a part-time job, outside the house, that works with my in-house schedule and, well, did I mention I have 4 kids, who get sick, a lot.
[resume pretending I don't have any kids]
There's this woman at work.
Okay, so, like, there are MANY women, where I work, just pretend you know the one I'm talking about, okay?
Aaaaanyway, she's older (yes, Busy Mom, even older than me) and, well, I bet you 20-somethings think you've got it bad, right?
Imagine being treated like a red-headed step child, with 1 eye, no ears and terribly bad breath, at 40-something, by someone you don't even know.
"Good night, Mrs. Crabby Pants!"
No, I don't call her that (IRL) but, as soon as I open my mouth, to be nice, the woman cringes, every time.
[smells breath, checks for underarm stains]
I just don't get it.
"So-and-So is coming in tomorrow for a visit!"
Then, I overheard her talking with another member (the room is small, what?) and I finally realized what it was (because, I'm smart like that) long story, short (you're welcome) Mrs. Crabby Pants and So-and-So are very good friends, for the last 8 years, IRL.
Aaaaand, I was the one who told Mrs. Crabby Pants that So-and-So doesn't work here, anymore.
So, Mrs. Crabby Pants hates me...the end.
No, she doesn't know me and I don't owe her any explanations, or validations (just because she's woman, like me) beyond the fact that, you know, no, it wasn't the nicest introductions I have ever experienced.
"This place stinks!"
However, it was, to date, the worst first day at work of my life and, trust me, I've had plenty, before kids.
[pretend like you don't know what I am talking about and amazed that a sweet, youngish-looking thing like me is even old enough to have oldish-kids, okay?]
Then again, it's been a while -- full-time moms can lead such a solitary lives, some times -- and I seemed to have forgotten my body armor, at home.
"I'm canceling my contract."
On the other hand, in my humble opinion, I have witnessed enough anti-social behavior, in one day, to last a lifetime.
"I hope you allow yourself some time to reconsider your decision."
I know, I will.
After our [ahem] awkward meeting, Mrs. Crabby Pants continued to express her [double-ahem] dissatisfaction with EVERYONE ELSE, within ear shot (including me) for the next few days.
[whisper, whisper, whisper]
No, she did NOT cancel her contract (yet) however, it's been difficult.
"Why don't you just tell her to SUCKIT!"
My two oldest daughters (16 and 13, respectively and GAWD how I love them) think I'm just being a bit overly sensitive, as usual.
"Because, she's a customer."
Call me old-fashioned, go ahead.
"I also don't believe in engaging in bad behavior."
"Good afternoon, Mrs. Crabby Pants."
So, yesterday, I opened up and pretended like, you know, it was our first day, all over again.
"So, are you always going to be working these hours."
"Yes, you see, because then I can keep my day job."
"Oh, you work during the day, too?"
"Yes, and I am also a writer."
[eyes go wide]
"What do you write about?"
"I make other women look good."
Okay, actually, I meant how I make "other moms" look good, but I wasn't about to play the "I've got 4 kids" card.
"How do you do that?"
"By sharing stories about raising 4 kids..."
Okay, so I played the "I've got 4 kids" card, but wait, there's more.
"...and how moms should not feel guilty about stupid stuff, all the time."
Because, I really don't need ANYONE'S help in that department, thankyouverymuch!
"Uh-huh, that's nice."
No, I don't believe in engaging in bad behavior.
"Have a nice day!"
But, I certainly don't have to take it...either...especially, not from a two-faced, venomous old, cranky pants, drama queen, who could probably use a good bitch-slap in the paunch, or two!
"See you tomorrow!"
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