Raphael, Boob Man
Breakfast Battles

Automatic Psychological Referral

I recently read over at Chez Miscarriage about her fear of play groups. She stumbled into a play group/status coven that was horrifying EXCEPT for the chuckles it gave her many devotees on the Internet.
Anyhow, Grrl wrote that she was scared of the whole play group thing. That she wouldn’t fit in. Well, I can actually help you out there, Grrl. The trick is, like when dating, not to stick with the crazy people. Keep moving; just keep moving, until you find the group for you.
I have such a group, a collection of women that I’ve been getting together with for about seven years now. It started as the “women’s group” at church, but we’ve all since left that parish and scattered to different churches.
So now we meet at the park, or McDonald’s or someone’s home. We don’t DO anything, other than get together. But the flavor of this group, oh the flavor suits me.
We’re laid back, as a bunch. No one has intense feelings about what anyone else should be doing with their kids. On the contrary, we are fiercely protective of each other’s right to mother as each one sees fit. We’re smart-mouthed and some of us are lazy (ok, that’s me). And we have a great time. Those women – I love them.
Once a woman who did NOT fit our particular group came to a few of our meetings. Ok, it was my fault. I invited her. She was a Mary Kay consultant person, and I…well, I don’t know how it happened exactly. She kept TALKING about SKIN CARE and the fabulous new COLORS in the SPRING LINE, and I think I just blurted out, “Hey, you have a kid, right? Wanna come to my women’s group?”
I just wanted her to stop talking about skin.
Anyhow, being an evil Mary Kay person*, she heard that and immediately started tallying sales in her head. She had no idea who she was dealing with. An itinerant hip wader salesperson has more odds of success with our women’s group than a makeup salesperson. We care about many things, we do, we do.
We do not care about the colors in the new spring line.
Anyhow, she came, toting her adorable little girl. Almost two, as I remember. When she pulled her daughter…oh, let’s call her Princess, shall we?...out of the car seat and started carrying her across the parking lot, Princess started squirming to get down.
“Oh, no, Princess,” chirped Mary Kay consultant of the dark, “you can’t get down here! Remember – you don’t walk on the black part; you only walk on the white part? Right? No walking on the BLACK part, only on the WHITE part.”
By the time she’d arrived at the playground we were all watching them, wondering what the heck she was talking about. She flashed us that salesperson grin.
“I keep trying to teach her to stay on the sidewalk, and NOT go on the black top. Wow, is that a tough concept to get across.”
Oh. Ok. We sort of shrugged and murmured our hellos. It’s not that she was doing anything WRONG, it was just a bit more direction intensive parenting style than most of us used. But whatever. Fine. We can certainly get behind the idea of not having your kid squished like a bug in the street.
We moms sat down to chat while the kids ran wild on the playground. Princess took one look at the equipment, then elected to instead sit quietly at her mother’s feet. She fiddled with the hem of her (spotless) dress and just…sat. Her mother took that opportunity to pull out the antibacterial wipes and have a go at her hands. Well, you know how VERY many germs one can pick up by…looking at other children. We all politely ignored the hand washing thing, and went on chatting. The subject turned to the difference between boy children and girl children.
“When I was a little girl,” I said, “I wanted to take every animal I saw home and feed it. But my boys? If any living thing strays into our yard, they want to hunt it!” We laughed. It’s what we do. But Ms. Mary Kay furrowed her powdered brow.
“You know,” she said, “torturing small animals is an automatic psychological referral.”
Dead silence. We observed her, everyone wondering what to say next. There was no sound, save that of our psychologically unsound children playing.
Eventually the conversation started over, and we stumbled on. It didn’t take her many meetings to decide that our group was not the one for her.
And she was right. Oh so right.

*I KNOW, I know that Mary Kay consultant does NOT = evil! If you sell Mary Kay and are NOT Evil, please do not feel judged. This woman was one of those rabid sales people who works cosmetics into every conversation.
"I'm so sad, my dog died."
"Oh DEAR! What you need is this new eye cream, to get rid of your undereye bags from crying! Would your DOG have wanted you to have undereye bags?"
THAT kind of person. So don't be offended please.

Comments

Sheryl

Texas is choc' full of Mary Kay women. I kid you not when I say that my THERAPIST once mentioned I might need moisturizer to improve my self esteem. Felt good about plunking down $160 for that profound advice.

JohnH

Interesting - the phrase "automatic psychological referral" (include the double quotes) on Google turns up not ONE hit? Well, until they index your site. She must of been full of... it.

Rich

"...not to stick with the crazy people..." aaahhh, you should have seen what I just wrote and deleted. Thanks for finally changing the subject!

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