One day, while I was visiting at my daughter’s college apartment, she and her roommate were remembering how they took their other roommate’s mom out to the bars for some dancing and college decadence. I was laughing along with the girls up until my daughter started to describe how this woman danced in the clubs. She called it the “Mom Dance”.
I was a bit taken aback and asked, “What the hell is the Mom Dance?” At that point, the two girls stood up and started to sway in place at a brisk speed. Then they swung their arms back and forth simultaneously snapping their fingers.
Insulted by this little demonstration, I said, “Who dances like that? I don’t dance that way!”
“Uh, yes you do. All moms do.”
So, in an attempt to prove them wrong, I started to dance. And then it hit me! I do dance the Mom Dance. I never did before. I never had these lame moves. I was voted best dancer in high school. I danced on my fair share of tables in college (it was college—that’s all I can say), and now I do the Mom Dance. My God, what is next—support hose?
The two girls saw my shock and tried to comfort me the best way they knew how.
“All moms dance the same way. It happens when you get old,” said my daughter who was not a psychology major.
“It’s okay, Mama Cav, my mom can’t dance anymore either,” said her roommate, the compassionate nursing major.
Need I say I was crushed? I have always felt youthful, and now my daughter and her entire generation were lumping me with the frumps who could no-longer- hold-their-own on the dance floor. When I got home, I began Facebooking my high school and college friends querying them about the Mom Dance. To my surprise, several had heard about our changing dance moves. The other two, who had not heard about the Mom Dance, left our chat to check their dance moves in a mirror. I tried to warn them that this was not a good idea, but their curiosity was too strong. The shock did prove to be too much for them as one came back with an unopened box of chocolate doughnuts which she proceeded to open and then devour, and the other a bottle of Tequila which…how shall I say this? ... left her totally incapable of typing a coherent sentence. The rest of us finally convinced her to shut down the computer and go to bed.
Well, this whole Mom Dance thing got me thinking. If my once admired dance talent had morphed into something called the Mom Dance, what else in my life had morphed? What other transformations are waiting to take over my once youthful existence? I posed these questions to my daughter the next time she called, and she was ready and willing to give me the answers. (It’s these tender mother-daughter moments that make me appreciate those species that are smart enough to eat their young.) Anyway, this is the list of “Mom Things” that the younger generation has noticed. I just want to say here and now that I do not remember these “Mom Things” with my own mother. Either that woman was an alien or she had me brainwashed, and if I was brainwashed, why the hell didn’t she teach me how to do the same thing to my kid?
Mom Jeans: Apparently, it does not matter how thin or thick a mom is, she eventually seeks out jeans that sit comfortably upon the waist. Yes, Mom Jeans are meant for comfort—not style, and as my daughter pointed out “Mom jeans are a must because who wants to see their mom’s thong hanging out the top of low rise jeans.
Okay, I had to give her credit on this one. I know very few women over the age of thirty-five who reach for a thong in the morning. It just doesn’t seem like the natural thing to do.
Mom Undergarments: This goes along with the thong thing. According to my daughter, women go from wearing a thong to granny panties the instant a baby is born. Yes, apparently a baby brings with it from the birth canal a woman’s first pair of old lady panties. Okay, it’s true that we all own a pair or two of granny panties, but we don them when we are cleaning or mowing the lawn or flying on an airplane or driving long distances—doing things where we don’t want to waste our good underwear.
I guess while we are on this topic—sucking-in underwear garments should be added to this list. I think these intimate apparel items used to be called girdles. I am not even sure if they make the old-time girdles anymore. Now, it’s Spanx and another brand that some chick sells on a Sunday morning infomercial. She promises that her comfortable undergarments will eliminate love handles and muffin tops completely. Now, I was with a friend who bought these wonder products and tried them on. I almost had to call 9-1-1 to get her breathing again. So, under no circumstances will I join the other moms in their purchase of these items.
Mom Heels: Okay, we all own that sexy pair of pumps or sandals with the four-inch heels. You bought them on sale at Bloomies or some other expensive store because they looked so sophisticated, and you swore you were going to wear them at least once a year. Alas, those heels have made it out of their box once, five years ago, for your cousin’s wedding. You wore them for the ceremony, but you knew you were not going to last in them. So, before the reception, you went to the closest Payless store and bought a pair of comfortable flats so you could get on that dance floor and dance what you did not know at that time was the Mom Dance!
Mom Glasses: I can honestly say that I do not need Mom glasses or what are commonly known as reading glasses. I read fine. I can’t see far, but who the hell cares about that? I go out to lunch with my friends and they all whip out these multi-colored, fashionable reading glasses that they bought in CVS at the display by the canes and walkers. And they all say the same thing when they put them on, “I hate that I need these glasses, but I don’t mind because these are so cute.”
I want to say, “Are you kidding me? They are freaking ugly! Let’s face facts. They can make those glasses in pink, blue or neon colors, but they are still ugly.” In case anyone is wondering, I don’t say anything. I let them live that fantasy. We are, after all, friends.
Well, I think I am done with my list for now. I am sure there are many other things on the Mom List. Truthfully, I prefer not to think about these things; I prefer to face them when my daughter or her friends force me to. In any event, the one consolation I can take from learning about the Mom Things is that one day my daughter will have her own child, and I will be there with a pair of granny panties, flat shoes and a live band so she can do her first “Mom Dance” the second the kid hits the delivery room.