This column, That Nature Show, is about the nature right under your nose, in our backyards, playgrounds and parks! Stop and look around, you’ll be amazed at what surrounds you.
In Cambridge, Massachusetts where I am reporting live for the next three weeks, I am hanging out with mothers, like an embedded anthropologist.
I’ve become for good or ill a Baltimore County mom. It took me a while to fit in when I moved to Baltimore County from Cambridge six years ago, but eventually Baltimore County won (or it wore me down) and I ended up constantly in the car (I gave up trying to walk to places because there is no sidewalk) and grew my hair long, went blonder, painted my nails, and wore fancy pants (my grandmother would have called them trousers) and heels like every other white-lady mother (maybe not every other mother, but the majority) on the sidelines of a private school soccer field. My concerns became: Sports. Sports. Sports. College. Like, for example, How do I get my kid a lacrosse scholarship to Yale?
My Cambridge friends were like, What’s lacrosse? And when I explained the game, they said, “Why would you want your ten-year-old-son playing a game where you violently hit each other with sticks? Difference #1: Cambridge moms don’t care about sports. Like, at all.
Difference #2: Cambridge moms are more comfortable with their age. Baltimore County is full to the brim with white-lady moms working their well-worked-out behinds off trying to look younger, blonder, and skinnier with lifts, tucks, implants, trainers and Botox. I do it. When my angry-tired-look shows up in the worry lines between my eyes, I Botox the heck out of that area, I blast it off my face, so I appear fresh and enthusiastic about high school soccer.
My Cambridge mom friends were like, Why? (Cambridge is far crunchier, more woo, the place for hip science nerds, and English PhDs and has been for so much longer than Hampden, hon.) I was like, Gee, I would save a lot of money if I didn’t have such expensive hair. Perhaps the phrase “silver fox” should replace the phrase “MILF” in my vocabulary. Maybe, just maybe, I shouldn’t try to dress like my eight-year-old daughter. (But her jeans are soo cute!)
Which brings me to Difference #3: Shoes. At home in Owings Mills, I slip my manicured feet into pumps (to hopefully slink MILFishly — oops, I mean silver foxishly — around at PTA events). Here I have seen not one mom pushing a stroller, or herding toddlers, or on a college tour with sullen teens wearing heels. Moms here wear comfortable shoes, and worn red backpacks instead of complicated large purses with expensive provenances.
I’m bringing this kind of sexy back to Baltimore County. Look for me in “orthopedic walking sandals,” with a worn red backpack, gray hair (gasp!) that’s short (double gasp!) saying, seriously, Let’s find a way to walk to the new Wegmans that’s going up in Owings Mills! It’ll be fun!
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