More Peggy Bundy, Less Rachel Ray

You remember how I balked at moving to the suburbs, right? Well, looks like I’m seeing more social action here than I have anywhere else I’ve ever lived at any other time in my entire life, with the exception of a raucous sophomore year in college. Seems lots of moms are itching for connection and interaction. I mean, I knew I was, but the volume of women I met who “just want to get out” is prodigious and somewhat alarming. My theory is that as our kids grow, a certain number of us are re-discovering who we are as women, not just moms, and so are reclaiming our youths. Or identities. Or inner bar wenches.


At any rate, this isn’t so much about that, although I will muse on it a bit later, because I am feeling somewhat conflicted and unhealthy about the amount of times I’ve been out with moms just this month (i.e. the last 5 days). Last Thursday’s Christmas party alone nearly killed me.


No, because I am a malcontent, this post is about how I can’t cook or keep a house.


So yesterday afternoon, I watched from my driveway as Toots and Booger played in the cul de sac. A few houses away, some neighbors also hung outside and soon enough, we all congregated. Next thing I know, other people joined in and there arose a makeshift pub on our cul de sac curb. Well as the day is wont to do, it got cold and dark and none of us we’re ready to distangle from each other, so we tramped into the home we had mingled in front of a few hours before. And here’s the thing: if this had been my house, there’d have been crusty clothes on the floor and maybe a broken Christmas ornament on the couch. Also, there’d have been a whole pot of NOTHING cooking on the stove and probably an Indian food-smudged take-out menu by the phone.


But this place? This cozy home where inside we traipsed? Candles flickered, Christmas decorations festooned, stew simmered, and soft music played. And all just because that’s the way this mom rolls. I mean, she didn’t EVEN KNOW that people would be inside her house, yet it was like a Martha Stewart elf had just left.


And the other thing? Magically, there was enough stew for all six adults and a teen-ager, even though she’d only expected to feed her two children and herself that night (her husband was out of town). And salad with pomegranate seeds. In addition, she had mini hamburgers and mini buns for the kids. Also? LIMES when someone asked for one. Seriously? People have limes about? They don’t run to the store for them on an as-needed basis? WHO WAS THIS WOMAN? (It doesn’t help matters that she is lovely inside AND out.) And her dining room table? The one where we all sat? There abounded stained glass candle holders, fragrant something or others, holly. AND BERRIES! Just ready to go and all prepared for drop-by guests. People do that?


I am telling you all: I would need 48 hours advance notice to prepare my home for human habitation. Not to mention, there’d still be no homemade stew and frackin’ holly.


So I felt pretty lame by comparison.


Until my friend fell asleep in the closet.


Not that I was happy about that or anything, but COME ON! The Universe needed to right itself from all the perfection.


Also, I really needed to know it’s OK if I don’t have a Christmas tree up yet.


P.S. You should see my other neighbor’s yard, literally dripping with inflatables and flashing LEDs. I think there should be a SURVIVOR: The Suburbs edition. It’s dog eat dog out here.


9 Responses to “More Peggy Bundy, Less Rachel Ray”

  1. Shana says:

    The ONE and ONLY plus in my whole “let’s sell our house” fiasco is that it is now ready. For anything. Anytime. But holy hell, is it hard to maintain. Your neighbor obviously suffers from some form of OCD. I’m constantly reminding myself…. we’re the sane ones. we’re the sane ones. It’s my mantra.

  2. Some of us haven’t done anything for Christmas yet. Cough cough. Ahem. Except shop for ourselves. I mean me.

    Maybe next weekend.

  3. No tree up…no limes…and absolutely positively no frickin’ frackin’ holly over here. ;)

  4. Just be like me–morally opposed to Christmas trees before December 15. I’m not overwhelmed, I have ethics!

  5. MissM says:

    Well, we have limes and a tree here, but neither of them are my doing. And that is about all we have, so I am not ahead either. Because baby… and teething. Not that I would have it together if those things weren’t happening. You are totally the normal one… There is a super power going on there or something…

  6. Me says:

    You never know what lies behind closed doors because most of the time things are not always what they appear to be.

  7. adrianne says:

    i would rather have a dirty house that is ill-prepared for drop-in guests, lived in, used up and full of life and love. (life + love = dirty clothes, broken toys and scattered piles of dried dog vomit.)
    and, to add to what “Me” says above, people who have their shit together on the outside are often f-ed up on the inside.


  8. MomZombie says:

    I know women like the one you described. It must be an inborn trait because for a while I tried to be like that and just failed miserably. Thankfully the ones I know are really nice, too, and maybe I haven’t caught them sleeping in a closet but I have had a chance to see that they aren’t as “perfect” as I think they are. Also: no holiday decor seeing the light of day here either.

  9. Da Goddess says:

    In an effort to infuse a bit of the old Christmas spirit, I asked Buster if I could do a little tree or something. Home away from home or something. He said he didn’t know where it would go. True. But I think I could somehow find a place for a small — 18 inch — tree if I tried hard enough.

    I desperately want to be June Cleaver instead of Peg Bundy, although Peg did have a certain charm.

    When I’m in town for Christmas, do you think we could meet for a drink one night?

Leave a Reply