Ode to a Soccer Mom

Disclaimer: This is NOT an indictment of all ‘Soccer Moms.” Just a particular one with whom I had dealings with this summer. You know the type.

Dear Soccer Mom,

I just wanted to tell you thanks for having my stepdaughter over to play with your daughter. Based on what I heard afterward, it sounds like they had a wonderful time. My stepdaughter can hardly wait for school to start again so they can see each other every day.

I also wanted to commend you for being the first mother to actually make me feel inferior. Not only about my life as a stay-at-home dad, but the rest of my existence as well. Does the local Y or community college offer courses in such a practical life skill?

To be fair, it’s entirely possible I’m being overly sensitive here. There is an awkwardness that sometimes comes over me when explaining what I do to other men. But this never happens when I’m around mothers. Yet from the moment you arrived and proceeded to climb down from your 10-foot high SUV, you immediately put me on edge with a single disapproving expression. Please understand there’s nothing wrong with owning a nice vehicle that can crush inferior automobiles and keep British Petroleum solvent for ages to come. Nor is there a problem with wearing a skimpy white tennis outfit that fails to hide horribly spray-tanned skin that looks like a worn out catcher’s mitt. Whoops. Sorry. You’ll have to forgive me. I shouldn’t be taken seriously.  Although had this been our first meeting, I wouldn’t have even thought to judge you on such superficial observations. But then again, isn’t that what you did to me?

I suppose I could understand why you would be incredulous over my assertion. You’re probably thinking “How dare he?” But I’d like to know what was going through your mind while you were gawking intently at the apartment complex where my family lives. I would’ve thought nothing of it until you hesitated after saying “this place is….” It seemed like you were searching for that perfect word to complete your sentence—a word with just the right blend of tact, disdain and sarcasm. I think you nailed it though, with that slight pause before eventually going with the adjective “nice.”

I agree this place is nothing spectacular. It’s just that we needed something quickly inside this school district, since it’s one of the best in the area. Also, being in a lease makes it easier for us to move closer to my three sons in Chicago once the opportunity presents itself. I was in the middle of explaining all of this to you before you loudly interrupted to remind your daughter not to mess up the car’s interior. Almost thought you punctured my eardrum there for a second, but don’t worry, my hearing’s fine and my stepdaughter understood the implied message concerning the leather seats.

Oh and thanks for informing me to retrieve my stepdaughter early because of that thing that suddenly came up. What was it again? Oh yes—a “previously unplanned errand in the afternoon.” If you recall I made good on your request. But then again, how could you forget the dented minivan I pulled up in? Judging from your facial expression, I thought maybe parking it in front of your exquisite home caused your property value to plummet. Forgive me, I jest. If the neighbors in your finely manicured cul-de-sac inquire as to the van’s presence, feel free to explain I was a pizza delivery or that the house cleaners had come a day earlier than usual.

Maybe I was reading too much into our encounter, but I think not. Not when you burst out with, “How did that happen?” after I admitted to being a stay-at-home dad.  Someone may have already brought this up after tennis at the country club, but the economy is not exactly thriving. So, as any basic economics textbook will confirm, being unemployed is not all that uncommon during such conditions. It was kind of funny though, the way you chuckled under your breath while mentioning how your husband couldn’t lose his job because he’s too valuable to his company. I thought that once myself which is why I laughed along. I love irony the way hobos love free hot dogs.

I hope you believed me when I answered yes to all those questions pertaining to my proficiency at cooking edible meals, cleaning our rundown apartment, getting the girls ready for school, picking up groceries and performing all those other duties you pay others to do on your behalf. I liked the way you mentioned how your hubby would make a royal mess of things if he was forced into the Domestic Services Corp. Guess he’s not quite as valuable at home as he is at work.

And yes, you did hear correctly. I’m a writer and yet I somehow manage to avoid alcoholism. Can you believe it? Despite your instant assessment that, “it must be hard to live off such a low and unstable income.” Even I’ve wondered the same thing you did aloud—that part about how you couldn’t see anyone ever succeeding financially in such a “profession.” I suppose that’s why I felt compelled to add the part about my consulting work with financial firms. Sometimes feeling inferior makes you do funny things, and besides, I didn’t want you calling CPS because you thought the children were living in squalor with their slovenly stepfather.

After so many probing questions, I trust you were still able to make it to that unexpected errand in time. You probably could’ve saved yourself 20 minutes by asking the one question that all the others appeared to have some basis in: What tax bracket did I file my federal return under?  When you approached my wife and me at the school musical this spring, I’m betting you took one look at how well-groomed we were and it served as confirmation we all were born of the same affluent stock. Stock! Get it? That’s probably silly of me to think, but I only mention this since that’s how you’ve been judging me all day. My wife always says money can’t buy class. And guess what? I just now understand what this means. Ha! Thanks!

Well, here’s to surviving the new school year. It’s too bad the girls didn’t have the chance to hang out much after they practically acted like sisters before their summer play date. I’m sorry the several invites for your daughter to have a sleepover didn’t seem to fit with your schedule either. And really, it’s my mistake. I should’ve taken a hint. Honestly though, it’s probably for the best. I don’t want my stepdaughter using the words “Botox” and “augmentation” in her vocabulary until she’s old enough to vote.

Toodles.

—Ron

Photo GlobalX/Flickr

NOW TRENDING ON GMP TV

Super Villain or Not, Parenting Paranoia Ensues
The Garbage Man Explains Happiness
How To Not Suck At Dating

Premium Membership, The Good Men Project

About Ron Mattocks

Author Ron Mattocks is a father of three boys and two stepdaughters. After losing his job and becoming a stay-at-home father, he started the blog Clark Kent's Lunchbox, which eventually became the basis for his book, Sugar Milk: What One Dad Drinks When He Can't Afford Vodka. Ron lives with his wife Ashley in Houston, Texas; he sneaks off to the comic book store whenever possible.

Comments

  1. Ugh. Hate this… this right here? This is why I get irritated when the suggestion comes up that I might be a soccer mom. I’m sorry.

  2. What a low class bitch. I’m sorry you had to deal with her and hope her daughter is a better person than she is.

  3. Ohmigosh, Ron!!! Thank you for just saying in one post all the things I’d have loved to have said to women like this when I was a single mom with my oldest. God, the condescension and belief that I was to be pitied and was somehow “less than” because I didn’t have a husband (but then the jealousy because HEY! I might try to snag one of theirs!), the looking-down-my-nose attitude because I “had” to work while they spent their days tanning and playing tennis. Sigh.

    Faiqa…we are the good soccer moms! And there are others, the coach’s wife on our team this past winter was awesome and we are friends now. I’d never have met her if we hadn’t played soccer.

    Great post, Ron.

    • Thanks. Yeah, what’s up with that? My wife got the same treatment as a single mom. All she wanted to do was be involved to give the girls extra support, but then dropped out of all the school stuff because of the same reasons. The “snag their husbands” comment I love–if they were worried about it, it’s probably because they thought their husbands had a reason to want to leave them. =-)

  4. Ron, this is why I like you. You were able to express yourself so eloquently in this post. If it were me, I would have posted something like, “Piss off”.

    • I have to admit, the whole time in my brain I was repeating, “Don’t call her a b#tch, don’t call her a b#tch.” It would’ve saved me some time. I did throw in as many subtle jabs as I could, but she wasn’t listening to me anyway. Thanks

  5. You painted a PERFECT picture of this woman, who shall henceforth be considered the epitome of obnoxious soccer moms! Nice job Ron.

    • Thanks. She was a real piece of work. After this incident, her daughter had a birthday party. When I showed up with my stepdaughter, Soccer Mom basically told me that I shouldn’t stay there. To paraphrase “It wouldn’t look right with only one dad here and all these moms.” Nice.

  6. even money the soccer mom is undersexed. nice work, ron.

  7. Thanks for sharing. I’ve seen/dealt with people like her, and it’s just a shame. She probably has deep-seated issues, not the least of which is a clear love of all things materialistic. Oddly, she probably deserves our pity for living such a shallow existence.

    I don’t wish any evil upon her, but can you imagine if she had to face any kind of real adversity in her life? What if Hubby got caught in a round of layoffs and they couldn’t make their $6K mortgage payment? Or if (again, NOT wishing) someone fell ill? Or her manicurist or tennis coach moved away? Crumble City.

    • Thanks Harley. I’m with you. I don’t really wish her any evil, mainly because I know she will face adversity at some point. Life never lets us stay in our comfort zone for too long.

    • Yeah, I love the bit about her husband being indispensible. Has she ever read a newspaper? A magazine other than Vanity Fair and Cosmo? I went if the top guys at Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers were too good to be let go.

  8. Great commentary. I hope someone in your city pops a printed copy into her mailbox. She already despises you, so who cares if she knows how you really feel about her? And Ron, your step-daughter’s probably better off not remaining friends with a girl with such shallow influences – your family may very well have dodged a bullet there!

    • Lyn, thanks.

      I’m with you about the daughter. I found out later that my stepdaughter was okay with not being friends anymore because she felt “too much pressure” being around this girl. Even she saw what was going on.

  9. “Rich people are just poor people with money.” -Kurt Vonnegut

    I really think it take a lot more out of a person to be someone they’re not. Unfortunately, I get the feeling her daughter is going to turn out more like her mom than the sweet, non-judgmental little girl she is now. There is so much we can learn from kids. My son said to me, very matter-of-fact, early Monday morning, “I’m going to have a fantastic day.” After I got a little farklempt, I had a fantastic day too!

  10. HumbledDad says:

    Damn, I wish this mom didn’t have to be associated with soccer. I like soccer. I’m a soccer dad. And I like some of the mom’s who like soccer. But I digress…

    I have spent the last 18-years doing everything in my power to point out to my children the emptiness of status. Granted, some of the reason for my zeal is that I cannot afford the trappings of my neighbors and my kids’ freinds, but I hope mostly it comes from an honest place. People feel obliged to flaunt wealth and look down on others for all kinds of reasons – insecurity, vanity, competitiveness. I try (oh! I try) not to let the kind of attitude you describe affect me. I do know that women/people like that tend to be really miserable inside and suffer hellacious personal relationships. And, if or when the shit hits the fan for your soccer mom, she will fall awfully hard. Splat. I would hope I have the compassion to show her how to clip coupons.

    • Insecurity is exactly it. They’re trying to hide something with their money. I know a ton of wealthy people who you’d never knew were “rich” because they simply act like themselves. Soccer mom will, no doubt get her day–we all do, but as you say, it takes a bigger fall for some. Great comment.

      • There are definitely different classes of rich, arent there? I think middle class people are conditioned to pretend or strive to be rich, and the poor strive to be middle class. Its in the air we breathe and the advertising we consume; and it is why my neighbor currently has a perfect 8×10 hole in his roof, right where his attic vent should be. Yet, he owns a Cadillac SUV, and has two RVs in his driveway that, combined, are larger than his single family ranch home with rotted shingles and dilapidated shed. He’s cousin Eddy of National Lampoon’s Vacation. It also explains the housing boom’s love of McMansions, those large 450k homes that were about 150k more than your average family could afford…

  11. Great post about an unfortunate set of events. I, too, love irony the way hobos love free hot dogs.

    One of my biggest fears/worries about our next move is figuring out a way to live in a nice place but not be surrounded by people like this. They’re not good for me. But they’re a worse example for Jack, as their kids may very well be materialistic jerks in the making.

    Thanks for sharing. It’s small comfort, but I hope your stepdaughter finds a friend with a more down-to-earth, real set of parents soon.

    • Thanks Alan. I totally get that dilemma about where to live and for the same reason. We’re finding out as the kids get older how much energy it takes to deprogram them from a lot of the stuff they are learning from their friends particularly some of the status items–cell phones, iPads, designer labels. The good thing, though, is the girls get it.

  12. Hey Ron. You know what this smacks of, IMHO, a blend of class consciousness and Sam Keen, you know, the Fire in the Belly guy. Men are supposed to be head of household, the bread winners, or at least bringing home SOME bread. Our worldy possessions “matter” to us, tell everyone who we are and what we’ve accomplished. Then along comes this woman, who is the epitome of Stepford wife, the $50,000 car with all leather interior. If she wasnt looking down her nose at you as some trailer park dad with an ugly 1990s minivan (with a dent!), you might have imagined her to be. I say that because I left a very nice apartment last year, relocated to my home country (USA) and crashed with my parents for a while, all while pushing 40. When my daughter had her friends over, their moms and dads were all very nice, and all much richer than me, currently, and I always felt so bad about myself for being the guy that lived with his parents. The only thing that kept me from really beating myself up was a line from George Costanza: “Hi, my name is George. Im balding, unemployed and I live with my parents.” Then he gets the girl! There are happy endings, I guess. Glad your (step) daughters no longer BFFs with the soccer mom’s kid.

    • You gave me an idea, next time a mom (or even a dad) looks down on me I’m going to tell them how much I’ve really come to enjoy not having a job. “It’s kinda nice havin’ the kids bring me beer all day.” I’m going to employ my own version of shock and awe.

  13. Hey Ron, Great post. All I can say is I met a ton of soccer moms when I coached youth soccer, from the put upon who didn’t want to be there, to the driver who wanted me to turn their kid into the next Beckham.

    I drove a beat down ’69 GMC truck and lived in a three bedroom ranch, the kind that looks like a trailer house with the wheels removed. I felt like The Man because I was the coach and the other neck-sweater wearing, bare feet in Italian slip-on wearing guys weren’t. And I didn’t know soccer.

    What I did know was every soccer mom and styling dad wanted the same thing: a good experience for their kid.

    What they got from this home daddy who drove a rig that got 8 miles a gallon on idle was parenting advice. “Little Johnny tries so hard. He’d like to see his parents with the others instead of watching from the Lexus. ” Or, “Why doesn’t the Mercedes foldable chair come with cup holders?”

    All I could think was if you’re going to hang your wallet out on display something will fall out, like any spare dignity.

    Dave

  14. Love Sports says:

    I like your blog a lot. I have issues with the title.
    Soccer moms aren’t a bad thing, but this woman is. I guess because I’m a single mom and I love to go to and participate in my son’s sports games and would hate to be grouped in together with this woman.
    How ’bout An Ode To a Bitch of a Mother?
    :)

  15. Our house is in a meh neighborhood (moreso since the “economic downturn”) but we are still in the boundaries for the best schools in the district. Unfortunately, this means we’re neck deep in the kind of women like the one in your post. I rub elbows with them at T-Ball and cheer practice and while some are not so bad, some act like being middle class is a contagious disease.

    I call them poodles because their entire lives are dedicated to their personal grooming (i.e. spray tans, highlight touch ups, hair extensions, mani-pedis, personal trainers) I *almost* feel sorry for them because they are clearly not allowed to get wrinkles or gain weight or go gray or be untanned lest they be replaced with a newer model.

Trackbacks

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Faiqa and Ron Mattocks, The Good Men Project. The Good Men Project said: One SAHD stands up to the sarcastic Soccer Mom (we all know one like her!): http://bit.ly/i6q23z #DadsGood @CK_Lunchbox […]

  2. […] we get at the playground. We’ve all encountered Ron Mattocks’ reprehensible Escalade driving Soccer Mom who invariably insults us with comments such as “Oh, I see dad is babysitting today huh?” […]

  3. […] don’t want my daughters to turn into this woman some day.  I also don‘t want to raise my child to be like this kid bemoaning his parents’ […]

Speak Your Mind

*