Dear Like-Minded Mom,
Thank the lord for you, bright angel.
Before you walked in, I had no one to talk to. I was watching Game of Thrones on my cell phone and angling the screen away from the slide so no children could catch a glimpse of Daenerys Targaryen’s sideboob.
You were immediately my heroine; with your bright blue leggings and copy of The Bell Jar. I thought I was the only one who read Sylvia Plath while eating McChicken. I said this to you, and you laughed, and I thought, FUCKING YES, let’s talk about things! And for the rest of the evening we were like two bright asteroids burning in tandem across a dark sky.
Most parents won’t even make eye contact as they yell for their children, tip milkshakes into their mouths, and force-feed them wilted, yellow fries. Finish them before you play, shouts the guilt-soaked parental chorus. It’s the one consistent rule we stick to here in hell.
But my shame was erased and you made it okay to feed my kid trash on a Wednesday at six.
We chatted and laughed as we drank our delicious (full sugar) sodas, as our wild banshee children howled and writhed along the bright plastic tubes that dangled dangerously below the ceiling. I was reminded of the old-testament followers of Moses who danced and tossed wreaths of flowers onto a golden cow-god and made him so mad. Just as a modern-day Dionysus with a round belly and a Spongebob T-shirt raised a juice box towards the fluorescent lights, you looked at me and your eyes said:
I’m also too exhausted to put a vegetable in the microwave, even ones that come in those sad plastic pouches, and I just can’t turn on the faucet over a sink-full of dishes tonight, and I don’t want my children to melt from the inside out from chemical waste and animal fat, but isn’t this so easy? SO EASY?! There has to be a better way, to connect with our children and keep them alive and help their precious brains develop let them play, while also being productive adults and retaining our elusive identities. I want to read and travel and explore have a career and be a good mother and never have to walk through the doors of this place where a plastic Ronald McDonald waves at me with his frightening-yet-enticing sodium smile. There has to be something more.You aren’t the only one who feels this way. I’m with you.
Then I wanted to touch your orange scarf. I think it was from Target.
Do you want to come to my house in the afternoon some weekday and have sangria? I’ll make it in my kitchen and we can drink it out of My Little Pony tumblers and maybe watch Buster Keaton. We’ll exchange books of poems and get take-out falafel. But two drinks maximum, we aren’t fucking alcoholics.
We can talk about literary implications of Sylvia’s suicide or reasonably priced summer camps or whatever.
Your New Best Friend Sarah