School gate mothers or should I say school playground mothers as the behaviour from some is far more like that of children of playground age rather than that of fully grown women.
Now you may wonder what I am doing at the school gate? Simple, my stepdaughter is in top juniors – retro description I know, year 6 for those of you modern types. So at least two days a week, sometimes more, I do the pick up. Or as I like to say, face the catwalk of silence.
A catwalk, yes, as that is what it’s like, a fashion catwalk. Now I like fashion more than most, fifty pairs of shoes and counting, a subscription to Elle and Grazia magazine, you get the picture! But what I see amazes me. This place where these women bearing the motherhood badge of honour unite to contest who is the biggest motherhood martyr of all, also appear to spend a lot of time and money on their overall ‘look’. Who knew the burning martyr shopped at Harvey Nichols, Selfridges and Topshop?
I describe it as the silent version, as it is, well for me at least. I do not utter a word or rather get the opportunity to. I am not deaf and dumb, or in possession of a highly trained golden retriever to guide me through life, hence maybe missing their advances for conversation. I get blanked, blatantly, often with no attempt to hide it. Some women acknowledge my stepdaughter by name and just look right through me. Who knew I was not only mute, but also invisible?
Others do acknowledge me with a stare or glare. I am a poet and did not know it! Again I am not being sensitive, they do. I think at present there is more chance of me meeting a talking dodo than there is that some of these women looking at me in a friendly manner despite my best efforts, I smile at them REGULARLY. DAILY. I am not rude.
Even my accidental attempt to conform by purchasing the trendy school gate mothers designer trainer of choice, aaaargh – what is happening to me???!!! – does not seem to be doing anything to get my foot in the door of the club if you know what I mean!
Still in reality am I bothered? No, and I really mean it. I listen to some of the conversations and cringe. Ailments, hygiene, educational analysis, sporting prowess. If these women were men you might say the discussions of their children resembled a big dick contest. It’s one upmanship at its peak. Pushy mothers. Shoot me now!
I just find it all so petty, to ignore someone like this. I mean I have not pulled a Myleene and dared to challenge them en mass in public. I stole nobody’s husband. It’s just plain bitchy, a clique resembling the masons where Delboy and I alike are blackballed and blocked from joining anytime soon.
What’s more I have done nothing to be treated like this. They do not know me or rather very little of me. I am younger than most but why would that cause it, I have friends of all ages. Are they all shy? Their behaviours suggest not. Nor do many of them lack confidence. So what is it? Do stepmothers who muck in and show they care intimidate them? It seems it might be the case.
Well it’s this or I have terrible body odour and bad breath and am completely clueless about both. But I very much doubt it. I shower. I brush my teeth. I spray a lot of deodorant and perfume on my person at regular intervals.
Also consider this. These women have stood and spoken to each other, morning and night, five days in seven, for over seven years. I thought someone new might be of interest to them I mean what do they find to talk about? I know we British women can chit chat complete bollocks with the best of them but this is pushing anyone’s limit for mindless chatter surely?
So here we are, nearly at the end of another term. A break from it all is looming, the Easter hols is not far off. Then the summer term beckons, which leaves me with maybe eight weeks of the catwalk to endure. I am literally counting down the days.
I admit defeat. I give up. I get it. I will never be in the gang and happy to be so. But one thing is for sure. My new trendy trainers are going nowhere I just love them too much and nothing comes between me and my shoes, NOT even the school gate mother social leper treatment.