Before we had Mercer, we were "double income no kids," commonly referred to as DINKS. This is a moniker affectionately generated by those who had already decided to spawn. It's usually used as a back-handed compliment or an accusation because those using it were jealous of our awesome independence and lack of dealing with another human's shit on a daily basis.
For example, we've heard, "But you wouldn't know anything about (explosive infant diarrhea) because you're DINKS".
We thought we had shaken the whole DINK persona after we had the boy.
Apparently, we've earned a new name - Yuppy Parents. This grandiose title was earned because we did the following:
1. Named our child with an unusual name. Note to future parents out there - you will never win the name battle - someone will always hate it. May that person have enough sense to keep that to themselves - instead of blurting out their opinion and ruining your goddamn day.
2. Both decided to keep our careers. Cardinal SIN. I'm less of a woman and a mother because I don't stay at home. I think this surprises no one.
3. Dress our kids with name brands. Yes, I like brand names, but interestingly, I'm not above Walmart - in fact, I'm a regular there - at the store - not on the site. Do I occasionally spike my son's hair into a faux-hawk and pop his collar?
Hell yea! I'm instilling STYLE. I could be tying a tourniquet around my arm and showing him how to shoot heroin. I'd probably be chastised less, especially in our town.
4. Vacation. Yes, Mark and I vacation WITHOUT our son. Believe me, he needs a break from us - we're no prize to live with.
5. Contemplate keeping him an only child. You'd think we were sending him to Sibera for life. The faces people make when you say, "Only Child" - as if you've decided to purposely raise the next Charles Manson. I remember discussing this with one person and I got a very disappointed, "you really don't know what you're talking about" look and then they said, "The Best Gift I ever gave my children was each other".
VOMIT. No one in life guarantees that siblings grow up to be friends...and if that's why you're adding to your brood - you're delusional and most likely your kids will be plotting to overthrow you by the time they're 5.
6. We exercise Freedom of Religion. As in, we are free of religion.
There's a massive prayer call to save Mercer's soul; mine is already too far gone.
So, we live with the Yuppy label. I drink my Starbucks and refuse to drive a minivan for fear of losing my "edge". And everything was hunky-dory...
Until we met actual REAL Yuppies. And we quickly realized that we were pretending all along.
Mark and I were having lunch out in one of the posher suburbs of the great midwest when a family of 3 walks in. Mom's blond with big giant fake boobies and skin a beautiful shade of dark orange... oh I mean, brown. Dad had his graying hair gelled into the perfect portrayal of "organized chaos", his Prada shades never come off, even INSIDE the restaurant (he wasn't blind, don't even think about going there). And then, there was their "legacy". Outfitted in Abercrombie from head to toe, head buried in an IPAD, was their 8 year old son. The kid never looks up from his computer. He doesn't even order for himself. His parents fret about the kids menu...and he looks up only to tell them, "PB&J". Then goes right back to his gaming.
They sit next to us and don't engage in conversation with their son at all. Not about school,
Not about sports, Not about TV...nothing. His parents go on about their adult conversations; their son's head still buried in his game . Their order comes. It's here when their son becomes alive as he realizes that the peanut butter is chunky and not smooth. And then all hell breaks loose. He whines and complains, and his parents immediately order something else. The kid never said thank you. Hemoped and ate a few bites of the grilled cheese and went back to his computer.
Mark is watching this in horror. I'm listening to it in disbelief.
After they left, Mark and I looked at each other and then down at our son who was eating his 5th pickle while smiling, and then back at each other and almost simultaneously said, "That can never be us".
So, Future Mercer - hear me now...there are certain things that I, as your mother, have to teach you in life. Disappointment & Table manners are high on my list. And these are the rules we'll be living by:
1. You will not be playing on whatever f*cking technology is current while we're dining. I don't care if we're at McDonalds...You engage in pointless conversation while shoving food into your mouth and then you ask to be excused. That's how this family rolls. You'll thank me for teaching you small talk when you're on a date in 16 years.
2. If you order it, you're eating it. Or you're going home and having a can of soup. It's called disappointment. Life's full of it. If Chunky peanut butter instead of smooth is the biggest of your problems, you better be thanking great Spaghetti Monster in the Sky for such a blessed life.
3. You have to engage with the greater world. We're going to make you order your own food and say thank you. Engaging with humanity connects us as people. Playing on your Ipad doesn't.
4. By all means, please call us on it if you're seeing signs of our mid-life crisis. Your father sporting a toupee or your mother self-tanning are good indicators that things would be heading South.
5. We love you. We want you to grow up to be a funny, respectful and loving man. We don't plan on raising a d-bag. We will always be your parents and it's our job to put you back on track when you veer off.
So, we're not yuppies and I still like my Starbucks. But ya know, that Honda Odyssey looks like a pretty sweet ride.....