Friday, March 28, 2008
What I like about Spring Break
Well, today is the last day of spring break for my kids. First grade and preschool. Thank goodness they give the preschoolers a little spring break, what with all the stress of not having potty accidents at school, of bringing acceptable yet mildly healthy snacks that dodge the thirty-eight allergy criteria, of finding your special square on the group rug. I think she's looking well rested and ready to return to the rat race.
It just dawned on me that what I like about spring break is that I have had zero contact with any other parents for two full weeks. DCup is my icon, my moral compass in the navigational sea chart of dealing with other parents. Her attitude, I believe, is to mostly avoid other parents if at all possible.
I am on the board of directors at my daughter's preschool with an UberMom (not Milf - there can be only one!). Her daughter also has ballet with my daughter so we spend a good deal of time around each other.
Once we had a chat about discussing politics with people you don't know that well. I said that personally, I am a very political person but I NEVER begin a political conversation with anyone. I am frequently engaged in political conversations by other people who know my leanings and I don't really mind that. (Essentially, I would never sit in an airport lobby and tell whoever was seating nearby that George W. Bush is a dry drunk delusional poop stain and that Dick Cheney is evil incarnate, even if 78% of the country now agrees with me.)
She said that she felt the same, but then gave up the ghost on her own leanings when she told me that a co-worker of hers was acting downright silly the day after Bush was given a second term. 'I mean, really,' she said. 'That lady thought the world would go to hell in a handbasket'. I wanted to say 'hasn't it?' but I did not.
Then one day we were talking about enrollment at our children's elementary schools. She was complaining about having to check the box that indicates her children's race. "Why do they have to know that?" she wondered. I said that it helps in a myriad of ways, particularly now that we have NCLB and so on. I did not mention that my children are enrolled as hispanic, easily forgettable since I am as pasty white as they come. Her daughter's school has about five non-caucasian non-christian children. My daughter's school (same school district) is about 40% minority.
Then she launched into a racist screed. I won't even go into details here, it was just banal, empty-headed, they are not like us thinking. I felt like the top of my head was going to roll back like a sardine can and my brain would just plop out. The things she was saying were not quite overt. Think of the scene between Mame and the Upsons in the film 'Auntie Mame' and you know what I mean. Wink wink, nudge, nudge.
You know what the problem is? I must not look liberal enough. If any of you have some cast-off hippy togs (preferably that reek of pot smoke, hemp and patchouli) send them my way. I might need to knit up a Cesar Chavez handbag. I could use a Kucinich pin if anyone has one of those.
Hurry though, the next dance class is Tuesday.