“Hi, I’m Cheryl. My husband is a podiatrist.”
I had just moved into my house and was trying to remove a stinkbug from the ceiling. When Cheryl and her brownies knocked on my door, I was naked (the evil critter had fallen, and on the off-chance it was in my shirt, I chose nudity over sanity) and screaming for my son to see if that tiny vermin was stuck in my hair. Lucky Cheryl-the-podiatrist’s-wife arrived when she did, though I never saw her again after answering the door wrapped in an old sheet and sweating like I had just been ravaged by every member of One Direction.
I also never referred to her as Cheryl again. When I saw her walking her new dog, I yelled “The podiatrist’s wife got a Labradoodle!” When I saw Dexter reruns on her tv through her picture window, I said “The podiatrist’s wife got Netflix!” (What? The houses are close and I’m sorry but if you don’t close your blinds at night, you are basically handing me your housekeys and asking me to judge your bedroom performance.) If Cheryl was so immersed in her husband’s snoozefest of a job that she lost her identity to it, then that was how I would address her.
But dingbat Cheryl (whose Labradoodle I only occasionally ‘borrowed’ for Instagram photos**) is not alone in her identity loss. I’m willing to bet that every mother has walked into a preschool classroom and announced “Hi, I’m Teddy’s Mom!” Not: “Hi there! My name is Samantha, and I’m a Pisces, a paralegal, and can make a mojito that will have you knockin’ boots with the lights on!”
The same identity-loss happens when you are married. Suddenly you are telling people at parties that you are “Tom’s wife,” and not “She-Ra, Princess of Power.” Take back your name, Ladies! There is no better game to play than telling a stranger that you are attending a party alone, only to have your husband come over and stick his tongue down your throat after too many rounds of Flip Cup. Your notoriety at the next PTA meeting will be Bachelor in Paradise-worthy.
My only brush with this phenomenon (other than ages 17-20 when I had to tell every bouncer in the tri-state area that i “lost” my ID) was my Freshman year of college. My 14 year-old sister came to visit, and we went to a fraternity party. She did keg stands, made out with at least 3 dudes, and incited a rousing Broadway-esque performance to ‘Sweet Caroline’. Meanwhile, I sat on the front porch drinking Zima and trying to figure out how to use the excuses I learned in D.A.R.E (cold shoulder? allergies?) to decline the continual joints being passed my way. Obviously, any time I introduced myself that night, I shrugged, pointed to the head of the Conga Line, and said, “I’m HER sister.”
**I can also see security system codes when you leave your blinds open.
© Calling All Cool Moms 2017