About Me

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My interests include veganism and vegetarianism, health, ethics, politics and culture, media, and the environment. I have three kids; I teach college part-time, study piano and attempt to garden. I knit. I blog on just about anything, but many posts are related to my somewhat pathetic quest to eat better, be more mindful of the environment, and be a more responsible news consumer. Sometimes I write about parenting, but, like so many Mommy bloggers, my kids have recently told me not to. :) Thanks for reading.

Monday, September 13, 2010


I am.

I admit it.

Yesterday, at my daughter's soccer game, I was visiting with some of the Moms (while trying to watch my daughter in front of me and my son in back of me; forgive me if I didn't take in *all* of the game).

I thanked one of the Moms -- I had just met her the day before -- for bringing my daughter home the previous day.  (Long story short:  my husband was out of town, the city-wide soccer jamboree was in full swing, and I was driving my daughter all weekend to her *six* games and driving my son to his *four*; this Mom was gracious enough to give my daughter a ride so that I didn't have to criss-cross the city *again* that day.  It goes without saying that OF COURSE the kids' games were nowhere near each other and overlapped in terms of time.)

She replied, "Oh, no problem!"  Then one of the other Moms asked where I live.

Mom #1's reply:  "She lives in that RICH neighborhood with the BIG houses."

Mom #2:  "Nice!"

Me:  "I still feel embarrassed admitting I live there."

Immediately I'm thinking (but not saying out loud):  Why should I apologize for where I live or for what kind of house I live in?  Isn't their discomfort *their* problem? Why am *I* uncomfortable?

Apparently, these women are uncomfortable with where I live, which makes me uncomfortable, too, because golly gee whiz, I don't want somebody to assume stuff about me or my personality based on the size or location of my house.  I feel compelled to tell them that my last house was WAY smaller (it was), and that the cost of living here compared to where I used to live made it possible for us to buy a house that we wouldn't have been able to afford back East (true). 

But should I feel that I *have* to offer them any justification at all?

I think not.

But I did (see above) because their discomfort went directly through my thin skin.

They hurt my feelings, essentially.

THEN today I take my son to Kindergarten.

My lovely, playful, charming son who was described by his preschool teacher as being in the "bottom third" of his class.  Well, another mother is there, talking about how her daughter (also in K) is swimming across the pool, riding her bike without training wheels, reading and "writing all the time".

Needless to say, my son is doing NONE of that.

Yes, I am thin-skinned and feeling very inadequate.

But I do have a great house. :)

1 comment:

  1. Well, you do live in a nice neighborhood. But I know what you mean -- you don't want people to judge you by your house. You actually don't fit in there, in a lot of ways, with the generally conservative neighbors. It isn't you. You would be more comfortable in the neighborhood with chickens in the backyard and veggies growing everywhere including the front yard. Am I not right?

    Remember that the moms who cannot afford nicer houses are also self-conscious, perhaps worrying that you would not take to a more modest place. They may worry that, if they invited you over, you would not like their place. I know and you know that you are actually more comfortable around people who are living a bit more modestly and down-to-earth. But she doesn't know that. And she doesn't know your kids, either. Maybe the mom with the precocious little girl is actually worried about something else, so she brags about what she can. I mean, you seriously never know what another person is struggling with! Make sure to smile and be friendly, invite people over (or join them at a park), and congratulate the mom with the precocious kid. She needs to hear it.

    The thin skin thing happens to everyone. Keep that in mind. Everyone!

    I think your kid, BTW, is FINE. Absolutely, 100% gonna be a winner. In my eyes, he is just the baby of the family and still enjoying that status.


Politeness is always appreciated.