Thursday, October 20, 2011

Morning Rush

I'm a disgrace to my profession.  No, not chauffer-laundress-chef-secretary-social secretary-gardener/landscaper-maid-grocery service.

I'm a disgrace to the fashion industry about which I spend my professional life writing.  I've had this inkling for quite some time.  But it was put into sharp focus today when I read a NY Times article about moms who wear Prada, Gucci and all manner of designer duds to drop off their little darlings at school.

Apparently, it's becoming quite common for NYC moms to bring their kids to school carrying Celine totes and wearing Christian Laboutin shoes -- y'know, the ones with the red soles.  If my shoes are ever red on the bottom, it means Ryan's spilled something and neglected to clean it up.  Again.

To be honest, I don't even want to say what I wear when I'm racing my kids to their respective schools.

Before you say, "Why do you need to race these kids to school?," let me just put it out there that our town doesn't have bus service.   We have five elementary schools and one high school.  Somebody, about 100 years ago, had the quaint idea that the children would all walk to their "neighborhood" schools.

Well, many of us in our neighborly town of 18,000+ never got around to regularly having our kids walk.  Especially in the morning.  For us these days, morning is when we're desperately trying to get Cara to school on time, with her 30-pound book backpack, gym sneakers & clothes in a drawstring backpack, tennis gear in another bag and, if she's lucky, a piping hot cup of tea in her hand.

My son's school starts a little later than the high school.  But with much arguing and ranting, I manage to get him and his gear in the car at the same time as Cara, so he's actually early for school every day.  All of which leaves me looking, well, a little rough around the edges.

What I'm not is the Manhattan-style "calculated casual."  I mean, I'm looking casual, but in that "what a slob" kind of way.

It wasn't always like this.  When I used to walk the kids into their pre-school, and in later years when I waited with them until they went into their grammar school doors, I made somewhat of an effort.  It wasn't Rag & Bone jeans with a Prada coat and boots.  But it wasn't my current sleepwear-meets-sweats-meets-"Look away, man!" either.

I'd feel worse except I know I'm not the only person in Rutherford dropping off my kids wearing the Ab Fab combo of pajamas, Merrill slide-ons and my kid's sweat jacket.  You know how I know that?  Every now and then, some idiot kid -- and by "idiot" I mean, "rat bastard out to humiliate his mother" --  leaves his lunch in the car.  You see a mom start to pull away, jam on the brakes, then jump out screaming and waving a lunch bag.  And you think, "There but for the grace of God go I...."

I do manage to brush my teeth -- in case I get pulled over or into an accident.  And I get my contact lenses in -- because I'm too vain to be seen in my glasses if I get pulled over or into an accident.  I yank my hair into a pony tail and rely on Jackie O-sized sunglasses to hide as much of my visage as possible.  If I'm lucky, I HAVE the Merrill shoes on, and I'm not wearing slippers.  Although, that's happened.

Ironic how I worry about getting pulled over by the cops when, apparently, I should be worried about getting written up by the fashion police.  These Manhattan moms are going simple when they pair a shirtdress with ballet flats.  Some of them are considering snapping up some red skinny jeans to wear with their impractically high heels.

Me?  I'll be in my "Mom, dear God, stay in the car and keep the windows rolled up!" garb.  Livin' the dream....