My Illogical Prejudice
It's been a while. In the constant back and forth between writing and trying to get my writing out there, I've been focused on the former lately rather than the latter (hence the very limited blog activity). I've got two manuscripts in the works that I'm hopping back and forth on. Hoping to finish both in the next couple of months.
Anyway, today's post is a departure from the "my writing journey" theme I typically follow here. Instead, I wanted to capture a strong, unfairly sparked emotion that I experience nearly every morning, so I can store the feeling/scenario and use in a future work. So someday, when I finally have a bunch of incredibly popular books out there and one of them has this rant in it, you'll be able to say "I read that on her blog back in the day!" and be the O.G. of my obscure contemporary romance fandom. (Well done, you! Way to get in on the ground floor!)
In my heart of hearts, I am well aware that stay at home parents have plenty on their plates. I know that dedicating your life to support your children's development/schooling/needs and the upkeep of your home is not an easy job. Rare is the parent who is, as the unfair stereotype would have you believe, chilling on the couch, watching talk shows, and eating bon bons (whatever those are).
That said, when I--after a whirlwind of packing lunches, making breakfast, making beds, and making sure myself and my kiddo are dressed and have everything we need for our days at school/work--arrive at the school and stand, watching the kids line up and be ushered in by their teachers, I have a deep, visceral reaction when I see a parent holding a CERAMIC MUG. Not a travel mug. A coffee cup from the cupboard at home. The sight of this sends me, internally, into fits of irrational rage.
What's so bad about the coffee cup? Why should an everyday mug set off such a burning fiery anger? It's simple. The mug is sending a very clear message..."I'm going home right after this". Often the ceramic mug is accompanied by pajama pants (or comparable), Uggs, and a hoodie--some kind of super comfy, dressed down, at-home athleisure outfit, just dressed enough for public, but comfy enough to go back to bed. While I stand, watching the kiddos file into the school in a button down shirt that bunches and shifts too much, under a sweater with a toothpaste stain on it I have to live with all day, tucked into pants that SHOULD HAVE POCKETS BUT DON'T, topped off with boots that aren't quite broken in yet. I'm going to work from here, and I'm super jealous of the coffee mug/athleisure crowd.
A portion of my anger has nothing to do with my begrudging feelings toward the mug parents. I just can't wrap my head around wanting to walk a few blocks carrying an uncovered mug of coffee. It seems like a chore to hold upright and not spill. Why not just leave it behind and resume drinking when you get home in TEN MINUTES? I think this illogical insistence on bringing the mug is part of the reason I can easily convince myself that carrying the mug is an intentional taunt. It takes actual work to bring it, so they'd only bring it to remind me that they're going home and I'm not. (Thankfully, I typically have a moment of clarity that their worlds don't revolve around me like mine does, and I can ignore this line of thinking.)
Now, of course, the pandemic is the game changer for pretty much everything. I now work from home two days a week and have found myself wearing leggings to drop off (much to my husband's chagrin, but that's a separate blog post) and heading straight home to enjoy a blessed free hour before heading into the home office. It's so nice to skip the downtown commute a couple days a week and to be able to stay in comfy clothes. But you best believe, my mug STAYS AT HOME.