Palin: the real chatter from the playground

It’s peculiar to me that most of what I’ve heard and read in the "media" (old or new) about Sarah Palin is along the lines of, “How dare you suggest that she won’t do a good job because she has five kids. A man would never have to answer a question like that -- how offensive!” And brilliantly, defensively, of course this argument is being used by the right to make it seem as if feminists are now on the wrong side, more right-wing than the right.

Now come on. What I've heard, and what I would expect to hear as a fellow mother of a young child, has nothing to do with feminism. The line that I hear through the jungle gym, next to the stroller parking area, is more like, “How dare she consider such a demanding job when her poor kids need her.”

Her peers in motherhood and neighborhoods don’t care about her professional competence – we judge her, we question her judgment as a mom. We're perfectly fine feminists, we're just horrible people.

It's sort of like that Seinfeld where Elaine and Jerry are talking about wedgies in the locker room:
Elaine: Boys are sick.
Jerry: Well, what do girls do?
Elaine: We just tease someone ’til they develop an eating disorder.


Widows' Bedrooms Redecorating Club (Flashback)

After my first (platonic, psychotic with lust) sleepover with Mr. Perfect, I could write. It did seem that many of my friends were in a conundrum about where to have sex, with such need for comfort of home but those homes so full of memories, and kids, kids with ears and eyes. Fantasizing about my upcoming Hilton date with Mr. P, anticipating two steps ahead (at HOME?), I conjured a vision for my widow BFFs:

Subject: The Widows' Bedrooms Redecorating Club

"I can't do it on that old thing anymore," she said, sipping wearily on her Pomegranate Cosmopolitan. Her eyes turned to the shaggy gray indoor-outdoor rug, 20 years old, stained with grape juice and salted from snowstorms long gone, which lay in the foyer. It was one space in her home that didn't remind her of her late husband, Mortimer, and it was the only place she felt comfortable horsing around with Diego, the stable hand. The surface was unforgiving, chafing them alternately, adding odd scents to their discarded hosiery, and they caught drafts in both hot and cold weather, but the hall provided neutral territory, unattached, unsentimental, and that was what she needed.

Until the Widows' Bedrooms Redecorating Club came into her life. A trio of Corona-clutching cronies in sweatsuits and large diamonds solitaire, they showed up one afternoon on her doorstop, so close to the well-used gray runner, and pushed their way through. "Let us in," they cajoled, wielding measuring tapes, swatchbooks, and the latest Pottery Barn catalog. "We're going to help you get your groove back, the expensive way."

But it didn't really cost that much. They worked together, breaking nails and gulping double JavaChip ExtraWhips as they lay down swatches and pointed out sightlines. "A nice canopy here," one would say. "And this wild jungle toile for curtains!" another would chime in. New linens were ordered; the old torn up and sent to dress the horses' cannons. Baubles and doodads were weighed, purchased with hard earned coin, and lovingly placed next to old mementos and new fakes.

Before she knew it, her bedroom was her own again. Her favorite colors glowed at her from all sides. The sun shone in a new way -- had that dresser really blocked so much light all those years? Pictures of the loving first family spawned there were nicely framed and set up in the front hall to greet visitors, and stay away from the action. A young couple, just setting up home a few miles away, dreaming of late-night wakings by screaming babies, were sleeping in the Freecycled heirloom mahogany California King frame with orthopedic pillow-top.

She smelled the fresh coffee from downstairs. Diego was inside, and he'd slept well.


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