Friday, September 01, 2006

Stacy's Mom

Fountains of Wayne came out with a song a couple years ago, big hit called Stacy’s Mom. In it, a teenage boy falls for his friend’s mother. The refrain, “Stacy’s Mom has got it goin’ on,” is repeated, over and over.

That year, I remember going to the Marathon route with Ben. We ran into a variety of people, some we hadn’t seen much of during the winter. The Boston Marathon is run in April, and this particular one was warm enough for shorts and tank tops. We saw his friend Scotty’s mom. I said hello to her and we chatted a little before parting ways. After she left, Ben said to me,

WOW. Scotty’s mom looks really GOOD.

Joyce had lost some weight over the winter and she did look good. I was a little surprised Ben noticed but then, nothing should surprise me anymore.

I had to start singing, “Scotty’s Mom has got it goin’ on…”

He simply ignored my insinuation and mentioned her fashion was different.

It wasn’t. It simply fit a little better.

But as I have said before, payback can be a bitch.

I was at the beach today with Suzy, my friend of 30 years and all eight of our children. The ninth vistor crashed and burned yesterday- poor kid is an only child and the chaos of 8 other kids was bravely handled for three days and then, no more. He lasted longer than Jeanine, though.

My wife abandoned ship two nights ago. The night I thought was picturesque put her in tears. I… can’t… take… any more… children… I have to go home.

Suzy and I looked at each other and shrugged. We thought the kids were great. I'm guessing that's the difference between the stay at home parent and the one who works full time.

I sat watching three bob in the waves today, while two built a sandcastle with Jake- clearly in heaven with the big kid attention. Ian, Suzy’s sixteen-year-old son and his friend Joe, seventeen, sat with us listening to our conversation. They love to listen. I think they feel very grown up to hear us swearing like sailors back and forth. When Suzy and I start telling stories, we play off each other like an old vaudville routine. There is a conspiracy they feel, knowing we don't do that in front of the younger kids, just them. Today we were laughing about the last time either of us wore a bikini. I confided I had seriously considered one this year but was afraid I’d be one of those women walking down the beach who really, really shouldn’t wear one but is anyway.

Oh, no way, Ian said. You are totally buff enough to wear one.

I changed this child’s diapers. I played matchbox cars with him when he was three and called everything a ‘dude.’ Somewhere along the line he sprouted a full beard and reached over six feet tall, but I'm still back at the matchbox cars.

Yeah, Joe added his agreement. And for Joe? that was as effusive a statement as he'd made all week.

I was both horrified and flattered all at once. Mostly horrified. Slowly, I pulled a very large towel around me. Thanks guys, I said, now go help build Jake’s sandcastle. Shoo.

Suzy was barely able to contain her laughter. You got the aura, she said.

The pathetic housewife aura?

I’ve never really thought much of the way I looked, certainly not about how I would fit a bikini, ever before in my life. I actively dressed to avoid unwanted male attention- and all male attention was unwanted- so I spent my life under a lot of layers. I had incredibly short hair for years, and been called sir more times than I care to remember. I find, now, something has started to shift for me.

I have no desire to paint my nails and wear pumps. I don’t want teenage boys commenting on my … physique. Especially not ones I carried around as an infant and burped on my shoulder. But I may stop buying two sizes too big. I may do more than just let my hair grow down to my shoulders.

I may just buy a bikini.

And Scotty’s mom and I? We’ll have it goin’ on…


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