Guess what? I am an influential New Yorker. Know how I know this? Because someone left hangers for me in my lobby. To some, they’re just hangers, but to me, they are tangible, fuzzy, no-slip, highly- engineered proof that someone out there was thinking about me.
The hangers came to me from Joy Mangano, closet organizer. (I wonder, does she introduce herself that way? A la, Lois Lane, ace reporter? Or George Clooney, movie star? Turns out Joy Mangano is famous! These hangers she sent me aren’t just any hangers — they are the best selling item in HSN history!! 167 million of these babies have been sold. Who knew? (other than the millions of hanger owners) Yet she’s decided that she’d like ME to blog about her. Maybe she’s hoping I’ll write things like “Gee, this Joy Mangano, who pays me no commission, and who I have never met, makes the best hangers in the world.” Perhaps she’s even hoping that I’ll tell you that — should you be able to find your way through the clutter that you surely wouldn’t even have, had you employed Joy Mangano in the first place — you should check out her website and see the wonders she hath wrought with her organizational skills. Point is, a woman who has beaten out spray on hair, Susan Lucci’s jewlery, and Suzanne Somers’ …everything — is interested in ME.
It’s no surprise that one you pass 40 you become invisible to a large segment of the population. I’m just a little upset that once I had children I kinda became invisible to, well, EVERYONE!! I’m sick of everything being about my kids. What about me?
Yes, I love my kids, but sometimes I wouldn’t mind if my kids ceased to exist for a few hours.
Now before you start thinking I’m some kind of monster, know that I’m talking Twilight Zone style disappearance: they wouldn’t be on a playdate, or at school, or heaven forbid have anything sinister happen to them, they just “wouldn’t be,” as if they never were. They’d come back in a few hours, and life would go on as before, but for that brief time, they wouldn’t be part of my consciousness. Because once they exist, I am first and foremost their mother, and I can’t help but think about them.
Some examples to prove my point:
1) I’m getting a manicure at Cindy’s (well-priced, clean and quick), relaxing, trying to enjoy a little me-time, when suddenly, I look out the window and notice a new children’s store across the street:
“Oh, look at that!” I think. And with that I’m already on that slippery slope, ladies, and it ain’t paved with lavender scented hand-lotion. “They have some cute little socks in the window. My son needs socks. His feet have really grown. My daughter’s grown; she needs pants. Oh, crap, her pants! I left them in the dryer. Now I have to go home and iron her pants. ”
There you have it, from relaxing me-time, to ironing board in no time flat.
2.) I’m contorting myself at Life In Motion, my favorite, non-competitive, totally un-scene-y yoga studio, when the instructor tells us that Triconasana, (which sounds like an STD, but really means triangle pose) builds both strength and flexibility, offering the best of both worlds. Immediately, I’m in Hannah Montana-mode. How do you say frighteningly precocious teen in Sanskrit?
3) I’m having sex with my husband…and, well, you really don’t want to know.
So let’s just say my little science fiction fantasy could come true. For a few hours, I’d just be me. What would I do?
– I’d go grocery shopping and not worry whether every item in my cart falls into the kids’ll eat it categories of dough, meat covered with dough, or dough covered with sauce.
– I’d get a massage and not be reminded of playdough.
– I’d go to the gym. Nothing witty to say. I’d just have enough time to get to the gym.
– I’d try to get pregnant.
Did that last one surprise you? It’s true. If I didn’t have kids I’d probably be trying to have them. My kids are the central fact of my life. And while I may resent that sometimes, I love being a Mom. Truth is, my kids give me purpose. I quite literally don’t know what I’d do without them. I think I’d be bored. Maybe Joy Mangano finds “just me” important enough to merit a free gift, but let’s face it, she spends a lot of time inside of closets! What does she know?!!
I’ll still take her free hangers, though. I’ll hang my sense of self on one of them. And every once in a while, I’ll take it out of the closet, dust it off, and remind it that I know it’s still there. That I’m still there. That being a mother is only a part of who I am. Then I’ll iron some pants, make some dough-based dinner, and remember to be glad that I have kids so cute, that people have to notice them — and by association, me.