Jesus God, we moms are crazy.
I’m not talking “look how wacky I am in my ironic ugly Christmas sweater,” crazy – I’m talking straight up Texas cheerleader killing coo coo for Cocoa Puffs Momzillas. What are we even doing anymore, guys?
Maybe you’ve read the blog posts written by other Gen X mothers out there detailing how our 1970’s moms were so lax in our upbringing. You know the ones that all pretty much say: When we were kids, mom smoked Kools with her Sanka and we didn’t wear seatbelts and she fed us red Jello and look! We turned out just fine! And then they go on to contrast our mothers with our own brand of hyper-attentive helicopter parenting, and we read it, and we laugh and we laugh and we laugh. All the way to the funny farm.
Look. I get it. We were raised by the Me Generation. Our moms were too busy consciousness raising to teach us how to shave our underarms or apply eyeliner. Our parents divorced. They all drank too much. They dressed us in rust-colored corduroy.
We have a lot to buck up against.
But ladies, please. Can we dial it back just a little bit? We’re killing me.
Yesterday morning, my friend and partner in motherhood called my phone to tell me she was in line to buy tickets for our daughters’ dance recital. Would I like for her to pick up some for me too? They were selling out fast.
“Seriously?” I asked.
“Yeah,” she said. “There’s a line around the block. It’s like a freaking Grateful Dead concert out here.”
Our daughters are going to perform for two nights in a row at Carnegie Hall next month. Over the last couple of years, there has been a bit of a controversy surrounding these shows, because, despite the studio director’s best efforts to not allow families to “save seats,” some of the more scrupulous mothers devised elaborate schemes to sneak into the auditorium and cordon off the best seats.
So, while the rest of us suckers lined up outside the building an hour-and-a-half early, those other moms managed to get into the auditorium and place their Dooney and Bourke purses in every seat in the front row. Another mother actually draped a ribbon, with a sign that said “Reserved,” across the entire third row.
Anyway, in order to prevent a full-on brawl from taking place at this year’s show, the studio opted to sell tickets in advance. The guy selling the tickets told me the moms started lining up at 7:45 a.m. in order to buy tickets at 9.
Listen guys: when I was 14, I spent the night in a van outside of a Miami record store with my cousin so she could get Rolling Stones tickets. When I was 18, I spent a weekend in a Las Vegas campground, in the middle of summer, and watched the Dead play for two nights under the desert stars. When I was 21, I managed to get on Social Distortion’s tour bus.
And I can’t be the only one, can I?!
Is this what we’ve become?
Are we so damaged by our own parents’ perceived shortcomings that we have to overcompensate like this? Do we really think that our entire extended family – and two of our best friends – actually want to sit through a two-hour dance recital? Are you freaking kidding me?
According to my ticket-buying friend, who thankfully picked up a couple tickets for me and my entire list of contacts household, some of the moms were buying 12 tickets at a time! Listen, I love my daughter as much as anyone, but I live under no illusion that anyone other than myself, her father, and her grandparents have any desire to see the show. This isn’t the Stones, guys.
Shoot. It ain’t even Beyonce.
This afternoon, as of 3 p.m., the entire two-night recital was sold out.
So, for those of you who are gnashing your teeth in regret that you didn’t get tickets to the recital, let me recommend this: relax, because Beyonce is performing at Hershey Park on June 12, and those tickets are still available. Go. Leave your kids at home, get a hotel room, a six pack of beer, a pack of Kools and go watch the Queen Bee remind you that you are more than an anxiety-ridden, coat-tail riding, middle-aged mess of a mother. Dance in the aisles, eat a soft pretzel with mustard, drink a full-calorie Budweiser. Remind yourself: you are more than your daughter’s mom.
I’ll see you there. I already got those tickets.