A Blogazine, based out of Park Slope, Brooklyn, that features fun and interesting articles. Topics include: parenting, society, real estate, career, style, spirituality and more. Written contributions are always welcome!

Monday, March 31, 2008

GUEST BLOGGER: A Single, Country Mom Shares Her Perspective From The Cornfields Of The Midwest

Hip Slope Mama came across a great mommy blog about a month ago. There is nothing that I admire more then motherhood. But being a single mom warrants a unique brand of admiration. This is why when I found Sarah’s blog www.OkWhereWasI.com, I was further impressed by the fact that she was a single mom with such a keen sense of humor who really tells it like it is. I asked her to provide her perspective as a country mom to us urban mommies. In her usual matter-of-fact, yet hilarious way she manages to show that even though it may seem like new urban moms and new country moms are worlds apart, in some ways, we may have more in common then we think.

“Hip Slope Mama asked me to write about my perspective as a country mom. I suppose that’s obvious, really, since I am a mom and live in the country. People have certainly flown in from other cities to visit me and panicked about whether they’d hear banjos playing. But at first I wasn’t so sure I was one. I don’t listen to country music. My car is foreign. I don’t harvest anything. And I don’t know the difference between hay and straw.

I mean, there is this out my window.

Nothing screams “country” like a great big old, falling down barn.

But I don’t use it. I’m not a farmer, and I don’t know any farmers. I don’t put cows or pigs or hay in it. I don’t store some kind of tractor in it. There isn’t even any manure in it. Well, ok, there probably is manure in it, but I didn’t put it there.

Then there’s this.

It’s not just that my bare-butted child played with an umbrella in the rain in the front yard, but that this represented those first days of summer, an entire summer he’d spend much more naked than this. Outdoors. He ate at his picnic table naked, slept on a blanket under a tree naked, played in the sandbox naked, and swam naked. Who allows that? I can tell you who doesn’t—someone who lives among other people and jaunts out of their front door in a cute outfit to go get a white chocolate mocha grande.

That someone used to be me. I may never have lived in a loft in Chicago, but I’ve lived within various cities’ limits. Places with Starbucks, Targets, Blockbusters, and Borders. Libraries, museums, and places for live music. Oh, and movie theaters, bars, and restaurants. All of these places were so plentiful, in fact, that I could actually drive right past them and not feel the pull to go in simply b/c “I was in town.”

Even crazier? I used to dress nicely when I went to these places. I had a red leather jacket that I loved. I wore boots with heels whose height made me feel invincible and sexy (OMG, did I just say that I used to feel sexy?!) since they made me over six feet tall. I didn’t even own anything at all—even for exercise—that we country folk call “sweats.”

I frequently wore jewelry AND lipstick when I left the house. I’d casually throw on a watch in case I wanted to know what time it was. It mattered to me what time it was. I’d put on a necklace for no other reason than I liked it and it was Monday. Or Thursday. It didn’t have to be a holiday or a funeral. Oh, and then there was perfume. When combined with my boots, I actually felt like I could flirt with a man. Hell, even a woman. It was a mad, mad life I led.

Then I got pregnant unexpectedly and with someone whom I did not expect to ride it out with. But we tried, and then I got pregnant again a few years later. Before the morning sickness had even subsided, we parted ways and I became a single, pregnant, country mom.

I moved back to my roots—back to the Midwest and corn and barns and big pick-ups that ride down the center of the road. Back to knowing the distinction between the smells of pig and cow poop. Back to a place where an indulgent trip to a bakery means using plastic tongs to bag my own cream-filled donut after filling up my gas tank.

It was in this environment, where no one watches, no one stops by unannounced, trips to the grocery store are made at the most once a week, and deer poop generously adorns my front yard that I was not only introduced to but fell in love with flannel pajama pants and slippers that become so comfortable I have actually forgotten to take them off before I left the house. And I’m not even going to tell you how often I wear a hoodie. I’ll just say that I never thought it possible to survive a Midwestern winter without at least one nice sweater.

Under the hoodies and missing sweaters lie bras that do not match the underwear—unless you consider well-worn cotton a theme. But that doesn’t register on my radar as terribly important these days b/c no one is going to see my bra or my underwear unless I get in a car accident or break up with my lesbian partner and wander around a ranch babbling about aliens and looking for my ride to the fourth dimension.

When exactly the scent of the Jergens Ultra Healing lotion I put on my dry feet started passing as perfume I’m not entirely sure. I’m certain there must be interventions for these sorts of things. For when a woman—one who has some real potential—slides down, down through the rustic cracks of big tired trucks and all-you-can-eat buffets and into the giant craters formed out of the inability to shower alone or poop without someone coming in to tell you “ah-pew.”

And yet, truth be told, I don’t know if I want that intervention. Sure I could use a good haircut and a lacy black bra. And tidying up the hedges down below might make me feel like someone’s going to knock—forcefully and passionately—on that front door again someday. But the truth is, I like this country mom life. I like being single. I like that I look out my window and see miles and miles of space in every direction. I like that the only person who drops by unannounced is the man who checks the electric meter on the side of the house and that he doesn’t care whether my legs are shaved or not.

Of course the fact that I peek through the window to check him out and can almost envision myself running down the driveway to throw my cotton panties at his truck does suggest I could get out more”.

Visit Sarah’s blog at www.OkWhereWasI.com.