Dear "Elite" Mom

I've been growing increasingly irritated with you the last month or so, because I feel I'm being practically dragged into your sisterhood of mothers, with kids who just happen to attend the same school as mine do, yet have almost nothing in common with me. Nearly every week, I encounter one or three of you "elite" moms, and it's gotten to the point where I feel Karachi is loaded with ridiculous women. I mean thank you for inviting my kids to your child's birthday party, which resembles a circus, but it wouldn't be wise for us to meet up for coffee, or "do" lunch during the week. For one thing, I "do" lunch with my kids everyday.


But yes, sadly (in your opinion) this is the life I chose when I decided to stay home and raise my kids. And no, I do not have a nanny who cares for them while I attend mid week lunches, or spend hours at the salon. Sue me.

And, second of all I think it's both pathetic and hilarious that you arrive at the school gate, allow your driver to hold up traffic while he jumps out of the car, and opens your door, and you instruct one of your maids to sit still, while your two year old screams bloody murder in her lap, and then proceed to yell at the other maid to hurry up and get out of the car because you don't want to be late.

I slip my phone out of my pocket, and yeah, I don't carry my handbag to school because I have two hands to hold, two backpacks to juggle, two water bottles to prevent from being dragged on the road, and crazy traffic to fight my way through, while listening to a couple of excited voices telling me about their day. And, no I don't carry designer bags everywhere I go. But, moving on... I'm going to pretend now you don't exist, because I know you'll grab my attention in one way or another.

You don't disappoint.

I'm about to start pretending, when you march right up to the closed gate and loudly ask what time the bell rings. The guard gives you a look which says "You don't know what time your child gets off from school?" and then mumbles that you need to wait five more minutes. So, you huff and haw, till you realize there are people around you. Also waiting. Your eyes quickly pass over the two hijab clad women with whom you avoid making eye contact, as if they're contagious. You step away from the males, stare at a few maids, wrinkle your nose at another woman's shoes, and then glance down at your pretty slippers and smile.

And, then you spot me.

I pretend I'm busy texting someone on my phone.

I feel your eyes raking over my jeans and kurti, my barely combed hair, twisted into a knot and held with a clip, my phone which wild horses couldn't drag my eyes away from at that moment. You move closer... It is a Blackberry!

And, you've found a friend.

"Does your child go to school here?" You ask.

I groan inwardly, and look up at your face half hidden by massive Jackie O shades (which look ridiculous on your face btw). "Yes they do" Because you know, otherwise I would be just another psycho woman who hangs around outside school gates in the burning sun.

And, so begins the conversation

You: Which class?
Me: Kindergarten
You: Oh, my daughter is in Kindergarten.
Me: That's nice.
You: I don't usually pick her up, but the teacher wanted to see me today. She sent a note yesterday... Such short notice... I have a lunch appointment at 1:30, so this is really inconvenient.
Me: I can imagine.

Then I start my slow turn away, but it's not meant to be.

"And, my maid took the day off today, so it's been chaos since morning!"

I cannot.ever. and I mean EVER, resist this kind of stuff. I'm such a sucker for punishment, and a complete blog fodder instigator.

Me: How many maids do you have?
You: I have three... Well, two are nannies, and one does all the cleaning etc. I have a man who cooks.

And when you say "man," you do not mean "husband." I know that much.

Me: And, how many children do you have?
You (confused): Just two... That's why I have two nannies.
Me: That makes sense.
You: You know how difficult it is to manage kids, and my maid knows exactly the kind of day I would have if she doesn't show up, so she takes advantage and all these days off, and then my other maid has to neglect my daughter so she can do all the housework.

School Bell!

I smile sympathetically, but it's really a "STFU" grimace, and start walking. But, you match me step for step, rambling on about your maid problems, and the stress you endure daily at the hands of your three shrews. Then suddenly, all that's forgotten and I feel you pressing something into my hand, while you beam at me and say "Let's get together for coffee or lunch one day, it was SO nice meeting you... How about Thursday morning? Is 11:30 good? I'll ask a few friends to join us.... But, I have to be done by 1:00 because I have to be somewhere else by then."

So, while the tune for The Twilight Zone fills my head, I look down at a pretty cream color business card, with a golden motif and lettering. Your name and cell phone number printed neatly in the middle. And, nothing else. I mumble something about my kids waiting and practically run off.

Much later, once the kids have eaten lunch, and settled into boisterous play at home, I remove your embossed card from my pocket, place it on the table, pull my note book and pen toward me, and start to write.

Things to Do Before Calling and Confirming Meet-Up with School Gate Mom

Get your hair cut and styled.
Reserve a table three days a week for club coffee mornings.
Go to the gym everyday and work out.
Eat a 1500 calorie meal at some swanky place right after that.
Apply for 9-5 job, or insist J get rich enough, and then join at least two charity committees.
Employ someone to drive the car, or alternatively employ someone who will sit quietly in the back seat while you drive yourself everywhere.
Name him "Driver."
Import maids and nannies from remote villages across the country.
The younger the better.
Pretend you shop in Dubai and Europe only, but sneak into Zainab Market and buy all the export reject clothes you can.
Tut Tut and snicker at anyone who buys shoes from a Zamzama shop.
Insist J leave his job and start up some "business" so you can talk about it vaguely to your new friends.
Learn to complain incessantly about maid problems.
Find male, Bengali cook.

I rip your card to shreds and throw it in the trash.



Sheryl said...

Thank you Anne. I've been racking my brain trying to figure out why I can't get my days to run smoother, now I see all I need to do is hire a driver, a maid, two nannies...well, three I guess and a cook. I'll get right on that!! DH says to tell you STFU but he's just hearing cha-ching and not thinking about my need for "me" time, my need to do lunch,coffee and hit the spa. Insensitive bastard.

Millions Of Atoms Man said...

They have those over here too. Too many people with "no time" to take care of their own kids, but plenty of time to chit chat and "do lunches". Makes me sick.

Jenni said...

You are making this up right? No, really. These women cant possibly be this horrible and still walk out in the daylight and show their faces!