I wanted a mom uniform. I felt like it would level the playing field and cause me to get picked on less…oh and I would never have to think about what I was putting on.
But then I went to a mall. Don’t get me wrong, i’ve been to the mall more since I had kids than I EVER imagined possible, eat your heart out teens I get to go to the mall as much as I want. Except I don’t get to grab hot tea and peruse bookstores while holding hands with my hubby like I imagined going to the mall as a married woman would be. Partially because finding bookstores in malls is no longer normal and partially because of these tiny creatures hanging off my body.
No these days mall visits are steered by a crazy eyed, 3 foot maniac who wants to touch every game in the arcade for 11 seconds before dragging us to the pet store, the glass elevator, the escalator twice and Teavana for a sample of his favorite cold, caffeine free tea. But I digress, that is a NORMAL visit to the mall, we take these on random weekday mornings when I have an off day or afternoons after a doctor’s visit (the Cleveland Clinic shares a parking lot with the mall so it’s the perfect, “be good for the doctor” bribe).
This visit to the mall was abnormal..and far more sinister. Why? Because my husband’s bizarre work schedule made us forget it was a Saturday night. (I know we are total weirdos). No one should go to a mall on Saturday because EVERYONE goes to the mall on Saturday…it’s like shopping in the an expensive sardine can.
More disturbingly being at the mall on a Saturday night made me feel like I should be covering my sons eyes in the same way I would if I accidentally turned down a street with a …gentlemen’s club on it.
But it also made me feel a little like I should be sweaty and jumping off the eliptical.
See there were two distinct groups of moms among the throngs of people filling the mall.
First, there were mom’s whose uniforms included knee high stiletto boots, lowcut tops, enough makeup to make the jersey shore proud and tights worn as leggings which meant if they stopped right in front of our crotch level food court table I could not enjoy my ice cream without getting a very vivid picture of their lady parts. These usually had a young child in tow but were clearly looking to impress. They rarely glanced at the child(ren), always with eyes glued to some form of tiny tv screen, who lagged just behind them but instead searched the room with prowling eyes…(for what i’m not sure since men who go to the mall on Saturday nights are either helping their wife with the kids, 14 years old or working at the jewelry store).
Next, were the moms who kept convincing me there must be a Curves hidden somewhere in the mall because their haphazard pony tails, sweats with just a few too many stains to suggest clean and tennis shoes more expensive than my wardrobe screamed they were working out only seconds prior to sitting down with their circle of moms for coffee. At first these women appeared to be sans children but without fail a few minutes of watching the groups would allow you a glimpse of a preteen/teen child(ren) appearing to beg quarters or cash from one the women and then disappearing again into the masses.
I looked down at my own jeans, normal blouse and flat low boots and wondered…where do I fit? I have no desire to look like i’m hunting a new baby daddy but I also don’t want to scream to the world “I’ve given up!” (although if you catch me at home you will totally find the latter but come on you didn’t accidentally run to the mall, put some clean pants on!).
While Jidgey, the painfully slow eater he is, began to finish our shared small blizzard I frantically glanced around… and I found them. The other moms like me, always with only their children and/or husband, never congregated in the groups like the first two sets had but they were there. Women whose clothing neither said, “Look at me” or, “Stop bugging me and go away” in fact their clothes had no message. To learn something about these women you would have to dare to meet them, to get to know them, I like that. I want to be that. I guess I am that.
I decided I was wrong, the other women weren’t wearing mom uniforms because there is no such thing. Those women were using their clothing to send a message about who they are as women not as moms. So maybe you can be a mom on the prowl, looking to meet a new man or a mom who just doesn’t give a rip or a mom who looks like…well… a mom. It’s all deceptive, there’s always going to be a couple women in there, who you used to be, the many levels of who you are now and even maybe a hint of who you will be. I just hope my clothes never send a message I didn’t intend to write. I want people to have to get to know me BEFORE they can judge me (cause man I can give them some REALLY juicy stuff to judge if they give me a chance!!!!)