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Happy Valley Moms

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Happy Valley moms aren’t really any different than the moms of any other affluent town. Many volunteer at the neighborhood school and make it a point to get to know the other Happy Valley Moms. Their white collar husbands work eighty hour weeks and the moms themselves stay home, keep the house immaculate, and run kids to dance, soccer and lacrosse.

For the most part their hair is blonde, some natural but most is “enhanced” and always perfect. They have well manicured nails, constant pedicures and see their massage therapists on a regular basis. No one is supposed to know, but everyone does, that they see their “counselors” monthly, sometimes more, to discuss the hardships of being a stay at home mom with their 2.5 kids.

The kids, by the way, also are generally blonde haired, blued eyed, perfectly dressed and stars in school. During the mornings you’ll find the moms in the neighborhood Starbucks dressed in new matching workout gear and pristine cross-training shoes. Their flaxen hair is pulled into ponytails and the requisite Dolce Gabana or Chanel sun glasses are propped snuggly on their heads. They’ll grab a bottle of filtered spring water along with their lattes before jumping into their leather upholstered cars to head for the gym.

BMW, Lexus, Land Rover and Mercedes are the cars of choice and they’re always perfectly spotless and gleaming. You’ll find them parked neatly in rows away from the “other” cars in the parking lots in the community. Many of the cars are also labeled with the stickers of the liberal politician of the day.'

The Happy Valley Moms are always outgoing and seemingly friendly. However, it’s mostly a fa├žade. If you’re not a part of their bunco games or volunteer organizations (which are impossible to penetrate) they’ll politely rip you apart over margaritas and tapas at their weekly gatherings.

Yesterday after coffee and on the way to the gym I glanced into the rear-view mirror of my Mercedes and screamed “Holy freaking shit! I’m a Happy Valley Mom!” My highlighted blonde hair was pulled in a ponytail and was shimmering in the sunlight that streamed in from the open sun-roof. I had my Chanel sunglasses on and my designer bag was at my side.

There was a bottle of filtered spring water in the cup holder next to my latte. I could feel my heart race as I froze in that horrific moment of realization. I quickly ran through my lifestyle, searching for anything to separate me from that clique. OMG! There had to be something! I had to find it before I hyperventilated and wrecked my Mercedes.

It wasn’t looking good. I had just had a pedicure and my massage appointment was scheduled for the next day. I kept driving and saw my therapist’s office on the right hand side of the road. The sight of it jolted me. I grabbed the wheel of my car and jerked it back into my lane. My latte spilled all over the leather interior. I needed a xanex. I could feel a panic attack coming on.

“Breathe Teri, breathe” I kept repeating to myself. I reached to turn down the volume of the entertainment center. Wait! That’s something! I had to turn down the volume of my new Nickleback CD. No other Happy Valley Mom would be caught dead with a Nickleback CD in their car. Ok, good. That’s a start. “Keep going Teri. You can do it”.

The pressure was on. I ripped the Chanel glasses off of my head, pulled the hair tie out of my hair and let my chemically treated tresses fall around my shoulders. “I’ve got it, I’ve got it!” My 2.5 blonde haired, blue eyed kids totaled eight at last count and they were far from the stereotypical Happy Valley kid. My kids are black, white and conservative.

My husband, while the owner of a company, is blue collar and my house is anything but immaculate. Ok, now I’m getting somewhere. Hey, what about the Harley, and the tattoos? My breathing slowed and my heart began to return to a normal pace. The secrets I told my therapist weren’t ones of the trials of raising children they were much darker and much deeper.

I never volunteered at the schools, my kids were home schooled, another difference between us. Then my thoughts wandered to a subject that I hadn’t thought of. Yes on the outside I looked like the typical Happy Valley Mom, just like the other moms. How did I know what they tell their therapists? What if they had wanted more kids and couldn’t have them? What if their husband’s jobs were on the line? What if, what if, what if?

When I stopped at the red light I pulled my hair back into a ponytail, put on my Chanel sunglasses and turned up the volume on my Nickleback cd. I couldn’t judge them anymore than they could judge me. The light turned green and I drove on to the gym. I wasn’t a Happy Valley Mom on the inside and they might not be either. For all I know late at night after the 2.5 kids are tucked into their designer beds a glass of wine is poured and a joint is lit.

3 comments:

Rob-bear September 20, 2010 at 4:39 AM  

What a sad life!

No bird watching. No back-packing. No walking along the river or sea wall. No kayaking in the ocean or river. No camping under the stars. No fingers-in-the-dirt gardening, or pruning trees.

Have these poor souls ever lived?

Rob-bear September 20, 2010 at 4:45 AM  

P.s.: I forgot — No biking, or even cycling.

Unbelievably sheltered lives. Not healthy.

Classic NYer September 23, 2010 at 3:43 AM  

You know, hun, sometimes I think we're opposites, and sometimes I think we're exactly the same, and that disparity is why the hell I like you.

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