There are two parts of my life. As writer, I spend most of my time in front of my computer writing, wearing grubby clothes and no makeup. Many days don’t see, or visit with, anyone outside of my family. Instead of bemoaning those days, I consider it to be a good thing because it means I’m productive. I also read a lot of news and try to keep up on what’s going on in the world so I don’t write in a vacuum.
I also try to be an involved parent and as a freelancer, I’m blessed with having a flexible schedule which makes me available for school festivities. When I do venture out of my office and go to these activities, it sometimes puts me in contact with other moms and that’s when I get an education and realize just how isolated and out of step I am with normal moms.
Now, before I give you the impression that I’m a recluse loser who is completely, socially inept, I proudly tell you that I do have a few friends outside of my critique group. These girlfriends are other moms who know me, know what I do, and lovingly accept me for who I am. They are willing to put up with my persistent questions about everything and overlook my cock-eyed views and penchant for stating the obvious, sometimes without care or tact.
Recently, I was at an informal, get-to-know you meeting at a beautiful home with a group of other moms from my son’s school. At this get-together, I stood in a circle with women who talked incessantly of re-painting, re-furnishing, re-wallpapering or otherwise re-doing their houses. The whole time I was thinking that I just can’t fathom why someone would put themselves through such torture. Don’t get me wrong. I envy women who have the decorating knack. I’m jealous of women who do such things. But I simply don’t have the patience, taste or inclination for that particular area of “normal mom stuff.”
For example, I once told another writer friend of mind that if I had the money, I’d replicate every room in my house to look like photo layouts from a Pottery Barn catalog. The paint, the furniture, the knick-knacks, everything. And I would just leave it like that. My friend replied, “Oh my God, me too!” That was when I knew we were kindred spirits.
While the women at this party were standing around, talking about decorating, I listened politely and nodded my head, trying to be agreeable and fit in since I didn’t have anything to add to the subject. However, when the conversation changed to something about the news or politics, or some story that was buried on page eight of the local newspaper, I was all over it and got excited that I could actually contribute to what was being said.
At that point, the moms asked me what I do and I told them I write. There was a time in my career when saying that made me feel shameful for not having a “real job”. Guilt would plague me and I felt dirty, almost like I just admitted that I cook up meth in my kitchen or do drugs. However, as I’ve become more confident, I just throw “I’m a writer” out there and deal with the consequences. In the past, some moms acted condescending and have said something like, “OOOOhhh. A writer.” Other times, moms have told me, “You know, I’d like to write a book.” And they say this in an offhanded way that lets me know they don’t know anything about writing. But occasionally, I find that one mom whose reaction is, “That’s really cool.” And that is the person I know I can call a friend.
- None Found
© 2008 – 2010, Daniel Dessinger. All rights reserved.