Playing with stereotypes is one of my favorite pastimes. Often they are woefully inadequate and often they are spot-on. I wanted to start a conversation WITH you ABOUT you. Do you live in the suburbs? Are any or all of the following true about you? The media (entertainment industry, advertising, magazines etc.) tells us the the following about US:
- You like to have your house spotless, as you feel it reflects on who you are as a person.
- You live in a cookie cutter house on a cookie cutter street.
- You are homogenous, equal to all the other suburbanites.
- You live in a McMansion with at least 5000 square feet of bliss.
- You mooch off your husband, lie around on the couch all day and eat bon-bons.
- You whine about being bored.
- You are fat and stupid.
- Your conservative exterior hides a sex-pot interior.
- You watch Oprah, and now that it’s no longer on tv, you download old episodes from You-Tube.
- You live your life vicariously through your children.
- If you subscribe to the Mad Men archetype of housewives, you are frustrated, repressed, disturbed, martyred, unhappy and demanding.
- You have a fenced in yard which contains your perfect pet and your stellar vegetable and flower garden.
- You have dirty little secrets and dirty little lies.
- You are less cultured and refined than city dwellers.
- You are lazier than country dwellers.
- Your extra pennies go to botox and plastic surgery.
- Desperate Housewives. Enough said.
- You shop in strip malls, chain stores and big box stores.
- You don’t walk anywhere, you’ll drive around the corner rather than walk.
- You compare yourself to others always, and make every attempt to fit in. Not belong, just fit in.
- You are checked out, out of touch with your children, only concerned with yourself.
- You are a clone, masochistic, classified and stereotyped according to the Descent’s “Suburban Home.”
- You are a dreamer whose lies fell apart according to Kottonmouth’s “Suburban Life.”
- You are divided into tribes where your friends don’t really know you per Arcade Fire’s “Suburban War.”
- You are a big fat nothing where your dreams are out of reach and you work til you die in Hard Fli’s “Suburban Knights.“
Wow. The suburbs sure are a place we love to hate. What is it about the place that elicits such vitriol? Why all the haters? The suburbs refuse to take that shit! Some of the best people I know are suburbanites. But I admit it, it is a little fun. My friend Barbara and I have taken the liberty to identify some of our own stereotypes of suburban women. Get ready… Here they are, along with what you might likely hear that particular stereotype say:
Soccer Mom: “We have a tournament all day on Saturday so I can’t make it. Jennifer’s coach wants her there on Sunday too. It’s only a two hour drive away, and she’s enjoying it so much.” Soccer moms believe in nurturing their children’s athletic prowess and their car’s gas tank. Once revered for their voting power, the soccer mom has taken second fiddle to this year’s media darling: Wal Mart mom.
Working Mom: “~~~” They don’t have much time to chat. On the career track, these moms work hard and spend the free time they do have with their kids. Moms who work full time hold my utmost respect and all of us who work part time or less should help them out whenever possible. As someone who has the absolute luxury of working part time, I believe we should all have each other’s backs.
Checked Out Mom: on Facebook: “Finally put those damn kids to bed and I’m sitting here with my bottle of wine. Were parent-teacher conferences today?” These are the clueless moms who worry more about their next night out than anything else. I know very few, if any, of these types personally but have heard about them here and there. They may even be an urban myth like the infamous Slut Mom of Desperate Housewives or daytime drama fame. Maybe we have made them up to make ourselves seem better.
Stay at Home Mom (On a side note, I have always hated that term. What the hell does that mean anyway? I am sure a non-mother started that one): “First I’m going to do some laundry then head to the school to volunteer. After that I have to take the dog to the vet and then I have to pick up the kids from school and get them to practice.” Yeah, that sounds like someone who stays home.
Mom for a Cause: “I am on the board for the Children’s Society and we agreed that the best thing we can do over the holidays is give of our time. I am planning on doing lots of networking and soliciting in the days ahead.” I am grateful for the dedication of these gals who so generously devote so many hours to helping others. They deserve our help, too. And maybe some caffeine. And your credit card number.
Also worthy of mention:
Fit Mom: ” After I walk the dog and do some yard work, I have a personal trainer appointment. Then I am hitting the sale at Lululemon!” You know these gals. They are out of sorts when they miss their daily workout. They invest in sleeveless tops so we can all ogle at their ripped arms. They kneel at the altar of fitness and leave the rest of us to wonder how they have sculpted themselves to such statue-like physique. You are goddesses!
Walmart Mom: “Thank God they brought back layaway!” These are the moms who make the choices the nation watches: her buying power and her voting power have the ability to change the face of our country. Wal Mart moms know value when they see it. They are uncompromising in their belief that they should get what they want in a reasonable and fair manner.
What stereotypes have I missed?
Which ones relate to you?
Which one pisses you off?
After all, this is one label we all share:
Thanks once again to Barbara Paulsen for inspiration. Check her out. Mt. Hood MaMa Photos. Magic by I-phone.