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Saturday, October 01, 2005

Thick as pea soup, Part I

I made some marvelous split pea soup. It was almost as thick as mashed potatoes. But I'm feeling kind of spent this evening so I'll post the recipe tomorrow. Jasper didn't nap until 5:00. I spent the entire day thinking about Gwynneth Paltrow's life. She's in this month's Vogue. I need to stop reading that magazine.

Here's a day in her life. She gets up around 7:30 and plays with Apple. They have lunch around 1:30. Then there's naptime and Gwynneth leaves her with the housekeeper so she can take an exercise class (Huh? Where, the local gym?). Then she feeds Apple dinner, gives her a bath and massage (SNORT! I tried that with Jasper and he wouldn't put up with it.), puts her to sleep, and then either goes out (again, housekeeper comes in handy) or stays home and cooks supper. She does all this in casually thrown-together Balenciaga because she's just too busy a mom to bother with really dressing up. "Sounds glamorous, doesn't it," she says sarcastically to the reporter. Um, actually, it does.

Today I made the pea soup, baked corn muffins and oatmeal cookies, cleaned up several hours' worth of Jasper toy mess, did two loads of laundry, started and completed a little craft project, played with my son, rinsed the poo out of a cloth diaper into the toilet, wiped up about four pee spills because Jasper has a rash and I let him go diaperless today. I spent most of the day vacillating between bouts of joy that I get to putter around the house playing with the cutest, smartest little guy in the world and making my beloved pea soup and envying Gwynneth the few extra million she has to spare herself the indignities of ill-fitting clothes and wiping up pee pee.

Such is the lot of the middle class, no? I grew up painfully aware that my father had grown up in poverty in Mexico. We took family vacations there regularly, and I saw firsthand at an early age what real poverty looks like. Now I ride the train with people who work multiple jobs just to put food on the table. At the playground I see women caring for other people's children while their own children are cared for in another country by relatives, they hope. I know how fortunate I am.

But them I pick through a magazine that paints a lifestyle so unlike my own -- and in a tone that assumes that this lifestyle is just what's done, and anything less is just tawdry and depressing. And Lane works in a profession that regularly throws us together with these absurdly rich people. I start thinking ridiculous thoughts, like gee, d'you think Valentino means women like me when he says the kind of woman he wants to see in his dresses is a woman who loves to eat? Butter, check, milk, check, eggs, check, black alligator flat-soled boots...still working on that. I start forming opinions on designer collections I can't buy and that I'd have no place to wear anyway. It's madness.

Here, Adriana! Here you are in the middle. You're not rich, but you're not poor. You have the luxury of lavishing your son with your full attention. You live in two rooms. Life is mostly great as long as I can tune out the siren call of la vida fancyfolk with my own bohemian song.

3 comments:

janeannechovy said...

You DEFINITELY need to stop reading Vogue. Though maybe then you'd be less inspired? Hmmm.

When I had to clean up pee, I thought cornstarch was absolutely miraculous--just sprinkle it on, let it soak it up, then vacuum. No actual physical contact with noxious bodily fluids required.

As for the whole cloth vs disposables issue, I've got my heart set on trying the new flushable diapers that are supposed to be coming out any day from gdiapers.com.

Margo, darling said...

This is a great post. Thoughtful. Smart. Funny. Love the study in contrasts, esp. the two room apt./forced socializing with absurdly rich people.

Gwynneth is being pretty insufferable lately, and not without notice: her obnoxious bragging about her super-wholesome, super-simple non-movie star (and apparently single? where's her conservative-rocker husband in Apple's nap and massage-filled day?) life got her a mention on the Daily Show, where Jon Stewart suggested she shut up and be grateful that she, unlike many of the women who actually pay to see her awful movies, has the privilege of choosing to stay at home and raise her kid (amidst luxury and with lots of help). I wish she would just go away, like Celine Dion did. We get it: you're a mother now, and it's, like, totally transformative! I can't believe no one thought of it before you, Gwynnie!

sniffalicious said...

What a wonderful post. How lucky you are and to think you get to mingle with the wealthy who are well able to afford your artist husbands treasures. You are without a doubt "LUCKY" and blessed.