Role Models Of The Runway

The Next Family

By: Ann Brown

I’ve been sick. Stomach flu. Or food poisoning. Or maybe I accidentally swallowed some dynamite and tap dancing snakes, because that’s what my innards feel like. Even typing the word “stomach” makes me gag a little. And typing the word “gag” totally makes me gag.

I know what you are thinking – it’s the first thing we all think of when someone gets the stomach flu – so I’ll just tell you: three pounds. Yup, three pounds. Up and out and down the toilet. After the chills and light-headedness set in the next day, I dragged my sick butt outta bed to try on the pants that had been a little tight. And then, in an altogether different kind of sickness, I jumped up and gave a feverish little fist pump into the air because they fit so nicely now.

No wonder the terrorists hate us. We are insufferable. Fist pumping at a good barf because now our jeans zip up easier. God, it’s so fucking twisted. This is why the universe gave me boys – I would have been a terrible role model for daughters.

As it is, I’m not sure I’ve been such a great role model for my sons, either. Lately, I’ve noticed that pretty much everything that bugs me about them, they might have learned from me. Oops.

For one thing, they have this slightly negative, snarky outlook on the world. Where did that come from?

Hmmm…

Well, perhaps I do have this small quirk of putting the word “stupid” in front of everything I say.

“I have to go to a stupid meeting,” I’d tell my little kids as I kissed them goodbye.

There were stupid meetings, stupid empty gas tanks, stupid refrigerators that were out of stupid milk for the stupid cereal. Even seemingly good things were stupid, according to my continuous narrative.

“I have a stupid awards event,” I once told my kids as I put on my fancy clothes, “I am getting some stupid award for something.” Looking back, I really hope the award wasn’t for my stellar role modeling.

And everything I did – waking up, measuring the coffee, answering the doorbell, going out to dinner, hosting a party –  was done with eye rolling and long suffering sighs. I don’t think I once woke up and said to my sons, “what a perfectly glorious day!” In fact, they probably thought that, “fuck, my head hurts” is a normal morning salutation. I might lack a certain, I don’t know, joie de vivre.

And instead of exposing my kids to unicorns and rainbows to balance my poisonous melancholia, we listened to Leonard Cohen and hung out with my friend Amy who once said, upon hearing that our band was going to make it BIG and embark on tours and appearances, “Success. This is the last thing I need!”  I totally get that. I hate shit that gets in the way of my hating shit, you know?  Thank God our band turned out to be an abysmal failure that imploded and left in its wake a raging river of detritus and suffering.

Yup, thank God nothing ever worked out with that. Or with much else.

Hunh, I guess I do see the sunny side of things.

Dr. Strangemom

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