We went to the park today. It was cool. However, there was an under current to the park that I hadn’t really paid attention to before. I mean, I’ve seen a little of it in the short time I’ve done this but as I get more and more into the SAHD thing, it just becomes more and more obvious.
Let me explain.
I used to play office politics. I sucked at it. It would appear that now in hindsight I may have been a little to aggressive in the game and not so much subtle. Instead of going behind your back and calling you a douche I would usually find a time to actually go to you and call you a douche. This was not good but I felt good on the high moral ground, because, you know, you’re a douche. I’m less James Bond and more the big dump truck that backs into your house when you’re sleeping. It’s the fat feet that prevent me from treading softly.
But it’s the way I am and I’ve come to love myself for it. I say what I means and I means what I say. I like to think that this blog is pretty straight forward, there’s no guessing what I mean. There’s no hidden meaning. For example, the guy that got pissed at me for putting my feet on my desk, you’re still a douche.
When I became a SAHD though I thought that all the politicking was gone, that I was done with it. Sadly, this isn’t so and I’m pretty sure that it’s because I am the only guy on the playground at 11 am.
There is playground politics that I was unaware of. If I fail at this though, my daughter suffers and I can’t really punch a woman, that’s not cool.
So here is what happened today. Like I said, I was at the park with Little Hoss and Bubba Hoss. We were the only ones there at first as we got there at 9 in the morning. I was going to let Little Hoss run her ass off so that she would be begging for a nap and I would get a good 3 hours of game time in.
Shortly, other stay-at-home moms starting showing up, usually in pairs or more. I took a seat on the park bench and read my book hoping that Little Hoss would make friends. But after a while I decided that it was the park and as I am a good father, I wanted to play to.
We continue to have fun and eventually dad decides that he is going to collapse the kiddie slide if I go down it one more time. I go back to our picnic table and read. After a while, Bubba Hoss, who was in the stroller by the table, decides that he wants to play to. So I strap him to my chest like Master Blaster and join Little Hoss for some more play time.
We take a walk around the park, throw some sticks at some trees and discover the greatness of week-old dog poop. We head back to our picnic table and see that a group of moms have moved in and taken it over.
No big deal, I think; it’s the park and people want to sit. They look like they are about to have lunch. I’m not sure of the rules of the playground anymore but I don’t really care all that much. I mean sure, they are actually touching my stuff, but again, no big deal.
I put Little Hoss in the sandbox to dig for gold and go to our stuff to pack up. Her prime directive in life so far is to find me money. She’s very good at going through Hossmom’s purse.
To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect but I thought a little playful banter would be in order. I mean, we are all here with our kids and there is no way for me to get my stuff without actually invading their conversation.
So I walk over and it immediately turns weird. In my best Texan drawl I say howdy and start gathering my things. The southern drawl usually disarms people pretty well and gets me in the door. But at the playground, around stay-at-home moms, things are different.
I am different. I am a man, at the park in the middle of the morning. It’s as if I’m invisible. One of the ladies says a quick hi, then they ignore me.
There is a pattern here. There is an undercurrent to the play groups that I’m not getting. If it was a bunch of guys I would probably said something to the effect of “scoot the fuck over”, but I’m trying to make friends in my new city so I just gather my stuff and head over to the sandbox where Little Hoss is playing alone. If this was a movie, there would be some sad music playing in the background. Bruce Willis would play me.
Am I invisible when I’m in the world of the stay at home Mom? Sometimes I think so.
This happens a lot now that I notice it. Last week I was at the mall playground. I was leaning against a bench playing with Bubba Hoss on the ground while Little Hoss was wreaking havoc out in the playground world. Three moms came over and sat next to me. Well, sitting next to me is a little of an understatement.
One actually sat on half my arm. She didn’t say anything. She didn’t say excuse me. She didn’t move off my arm. She just sat there on my arm, like I wasn’t there.
Honestly, I had no idea what to do here. So very slowly, like I was trying to cut the red wire off the bomb, I moved my arm out from under her ass. But I was never the master of the game Operation and apparently I touched the side because she jumped a little. She then said sorry but made no attempt to move, so I scooted over. Next time I might as well give her a goose right on the keister and give her a real reason to give me that nasty look.
I am the invisible man. I am Keyser Soze. Just like that - Poof, I’m gone.