Thursday, June 09, 2011

Mothergate
This story is for loyal readers, especially fellow mom blogger MJ. If it makes zero sense because you are new to these parts please know that my next post will be less cryptic, I promise.

Let's say that I am mother X. And there were these other mothers ABCDEG.  Let's leave F out of this. And one Saturday some weeks ago T was having a horrible time at the birthday party, which took place at mother A's house, partly because she was feeling nostalgic for a friend back in Brooklyn. After much agonizing,  I picked T up, not that night, but the following day because we didn't want to offend mother A or her offspring or classmates. However, when we did come three hours early, we ended up offending everyone. The birthday girl still refuses to look me in the eyes. Are you with me so far?

I attempted to recount that story of mother A to mother B in an exaggerated and funny way, kind of like Tina Fey in my imagination would. Big mistake. Mother B understandably misunderstood the story to mean that Americans do not like to host other children for long periods of time. She told this cultural novelty to mother C who is American but thought she might have missed the boat on this trendy trend of being an inhospitable boob. This explains why for months mothers B and C have not wanted to have their daughters hang out at my house and why T is constantly frustrated that the children of B and C are always together and she can never get enough time with either one. Culpa mia. Still with me?

Then I had the idea to plan the surprise party that T has always wanted in honor of her surviving and doing well in middle school this year with mothers A, B, C , D, E, and G. The invitations went out to B and C which were no problem because they speak English.  I asked Italian mother D first because she is closest to me. She was talking to her daughter while I was talking to her on her cell and she misheard the date that I wanted. She said, "Great, but you better talk to the others." Famous last words.

I held my breath with mother A  for obvious reasons, but she said yes and signed her text message with a kiss! Success! I held my breath with mothers E and G and they also said yes. I was euphoric. Things like this don't happen to me. Then when I reconfirmed with D, she said that I had told her the wrong date and that her daughter couldn't come after all. Ah yes, this is what happens to me. A familiar feeling of doom settled on my jaw muscles; it was accompanied by an increasingly rapid reprise of the Maroon 5 song misery, if you must know. For good measure she added that I would destroy her daughter's happiness if I went ahead and had this party without her daughter. Could I change the date? Daughter D was being honored by her old school and they can't do both events in one night. Of course not. I replied that I was too afraid to call the other Italian mothers A, E, and G. They finally were liking me. I sound like Sally Fields at the Oscars even to myself and that is pathetic. So I said if  she wanted to change the date fine, but I asked if she could call the other mothers. It wouldn't be as perfect as it would be on the last full day of school, but that's life. This is where my social anxiety went full blast and my Italian language skills kind of crashed and burned.

So for two full days and one sleepless night passed in which mother D was upset about the situation, I worried about what the heck I should do next. I did not want this to end in disaster so I reevaluated my stance on not calling A, E, and G and offered to do whatever necessary to make D happy because in the end that is what will make T happy and me happy. So D called E and A and I called G and everyone agreed on a new date. T will grill me on what letter was who but only after the event will have happened; and by then Mothergate will just be a really crappy Sunday that happened that one dark day in June. I know some of my French readers have young children and so you think that this could never happen to you, and, thank goodness, you are probably right because I have come down with a new syndrome: spastic expat. Watch out, though, because it is contagious.

Later mother G called after confirming that the new date was okay with her to say that it wasn't okay with her and could we move the date? I said NO, making me a complete hypocrite after saying that we had to move the date because we wanted everyone to be included, but I'll cook your family dinner. By I, I mean F, but you knew that, right? Anyway, she said okay but my husband can't come. I said, well you are still invited or I (F) can make you dinner when he can come. And she said: let's wait a few weeks. And I said fine because T was invited to a concert that same night. But the funniest part is that I bet that no one talks to me the whole night except for possibly, and not definitely, F, who thank god is nobody's mother.

It is possible that surprise parties are the worst idea ever. And to think . . . it was all my idea.

1 comment:

T said...

Ok so by my (T) logic:
X = Tina Fey
D = Hillary Clinton
E = Sophia Loren
A = Celine Dion
G = Julie Andrews
C = Amelia Earhart
B = Jackie Kennedy

Complicated stuff...