My mom is always clipping articles out of the home-town paper to give me that feature one of my former 40 high-school classmates. At first it was engagement and wedding announcements, which I took as a passive-aggressive reminder of my own “spinsterhood” since I was a month shy of turning 30 when I got married. Aside from a couple of other classmates, who were either gay or a few cards shy of a full deck, I’m sure I was one of the last to submit an engagement picture to the editor of the paper who may or may not have doubled as the fire chief, the motel manager and bar owner. The type of newspaper who could take the highest quality photograph and make it look like a wanted picture from 1885.
From there, the articles she would clip would be the assorted birth announcements (many before I even graduated from college), travels “abroad” – you know – to Kansas, and even the tiny postage size blip that was published weekly of persons hospitalized back before HIPAA took away that spot of joy from every retiree who ever subscribed to the paper solely to snoop in on their neighbor’s colon issues via the printed word.
Twenty-five years later, she still shows up with clippings and I’m wondering if she’s rubbing my face in the accomplishments of my lame-o classmates or if she’s under the impression – a highly mistaken one – that I give a rat’s ass what any one of them are doing (unless of course it’s being booked for indecent exposure).
The most recent was an article featuring one of my classmates that I hung out with quite a bit before I suddenly dropped off the face of the earth and never heard from again once I realized that ohmygodI’vebeenlivinginavacuum! and that people really did do something with their spare time other than park on a low-maintenance road and indulge in keggers until the county sheriff came by to drop off his daughter break things up.
My “friend” had been awarded Nebraska’s Young MOY (Mother of the Year, don’t you know?) according to the blurb under the picture of her, her husband and five children. Good for her *yawn*. The article sat on the counter for a couple of days and one morning I read the full article as I had actually put away the cereal box, effectively leaving me with nothing to read.
It was a blah article, to say the least, but by the time I read through it, I found myself annoyed deeply. Why? Because the article listed the requirements necessary to be nominated for MOY of this organization, with this one standing out in particular:
Has been married to her husband, a man, in a legal ceremony.
Of course! Why, you can’t be a good mother if you’re a single parent or have a husband (do they come in any other form than “man”??) through common law, don’t you know?! And heaven forbid ~whisper~ a lesbian might be a mother, much less one that is an excellent mother! No awards for you since only women in hetero relationships qualify as good mothers (that should bring some interesting google hits).
My mother’s innocent attempt to keep me somehow connected to people I haven’t talked to in two decades only reminds me of why I cannot maintain contact with those who won’t see beyond their white-picket fence lifestyles. I can’t even imagine how they might react if their moms clipped an article about me if I was ever outed as a blogger, an infertility blogger, a donor-egg-recipient, infertility blogger! I can see their June Cleaver aprons curling up in horror now.