Monday, March 30, 2009

The politics of playing

" Can I pleeease go to Max's house today?" 

Lou wants to know, as he does every morning, because he is sick to death of our house, our five broken toys and the horses they rode in on.  Its been a long winter and he wants to go be someone else's boy for a while.  I try to explain that we cannot invite ourselves over to Max's house, we don't have that kind of friendship. I can't just show up in a paint splattered sweatshirt, with no socks on under my boots, open their fridge and start eating their way better snacks. 

"They have to invite us, honey. Or we can invite Max over here." 

But he doesn't want Max to come here, because here would still be here and here sucks. Especially after seven months of winter lock down.  I don't blame him, I'd like to be elsewhere too.  Lou asks me every day if he can go over to "someone's house", and his tone lilts between "Drive this car to someone's house, bitch, or you will know the meaning of hell!" and "Can no one hear my cry for help?!"  

What I can't understand is why we don't get more invitations.  I would go pick out hammers at Kmart if someone asked me to tag along. What I've come to believe about our lack of social life is that its because I'm off-gassing liberalism. I think the parents in this republican bedroom community take one look at me with my frantic hair and no makeup and they just know I'm growing a pot seed in with the cilantro.  

On my dark days I imagine that all these parents are having some giant party in their finished basements, all the kids in an orgy of enrichment games, while me and my kids hand plow our driveway with broken Walgreens shovels.  I feel there must be some better kind of life happening behind my back.  A secret life that those people don't want me to know about because I would sully it with my loose morals, foul language and dearth of hostess gifts.  

This winter I volunteered in Lou's classroom for a party.  One of the good moms brought those little upside down plastic champagne bottles filled with tiny explosives that shoot confetti out the end when you pull the string.  The adults yanked the yarn on about four of them, to thrill the kids, and the whole room filled with blue smoke.  I don't know what possessed me, but I actually said, out loud, "Nothing like the smell of gunpowder in the classroom."  


I don't know if I can't fit in or if I just don't want to.  

But I do know if someone doesn't invite my kid over to play soon, this liberal may just start to enjoy the smell of gunpowder. 


  1. I love it when you sully me with your loose morals. Sully me some more!!

  2. The townies should be arriving in busloads. Where else can they get stand-up comedy and a play date?

  3. Have I mentioned that you've got a kind of sexy Sarah Palin vibe going in that photo? I'll bet that gets Vidly super hot.

  4. You live on the damn east side in the hinterlands, Jess. This westside f-bomb dropping liberal misses the f' out of you. We loose libs need to stick together! (Do you use that pot/cilantro mixture in your salsa? I'm coming over for Cinco de Mayo!)

  5. The gunpowder line was effin' hilarious.

    The great thing about these posts, Jess, is that the more virulently (and wittily) you belly-ache about your life, the clearer it is how much you love it.

    Sort a Stockholm Syndrome thing. In Ohio.

  6. In my neighborhood you can't throw a rock without hitting a Mary Kay or Lia Sophia rep. Lucky for me, though, I don't have to go far until I hit some serious lefty anti-establishment strongholds that define Madison. When I start to feel sorry for myself and whine about all my chemlawn neighbors, I'll think of you in Ohio and zip my lip. As always, wishing you were my neighbor...