Thursday, 6 December 2012

Mommy track can make you feel like a loser

Watching the news last night, I was stunned to see one of my former female colleagues holding a press conference. She is now the CEO of a major consortium, apparently.

A Master of the Universe in silk stockings.

The last time I saw this woman, the police were at her door after my buddies and I launched fireworks off her balcony in the late 1970s in retribution for her having stolen my boyfriend.

I was pissed. I really liked that boyfriend.

Of course, she dumped him soon after – he was only attractive to her because he was my boyfriend -- and she probably moved on to another girl’s boyfriend, or so I like to believe. I hope I’m not the only girl who has been chronically left with a face like a slapped Nancy.

She was the first of many women who have stolen my boyfriends and husbands, all women characterized by uniforms consisting of black pencil skirts and white lace push-ups under cream silk blouses.
This woman is now a Harvard MBA and a CEO. A millionaire, I’m sure. Single, probably.

Seeing her on the telly reminded me of how badly I’ve been mistreated by women over the years.  
I had another pal from the 1970s, a woman for whom I provided shelter for a few years. Jayne, I don’t mind saying her name out loud, Jayne was an attendant at my wedding, a bestie. Jayne was also the woman who caught the bouquet, then threw it back in my face. I got her one of her first jobs, in politics, which she parlayed within a nanosecond into a position with a cabinet minister, then into a job at a major bank.

Today, she an international bank vice-president living in London.
A college degree from a community college gets you pretty far in the banking world, apparently.
She’s too posh for Facebook. I found her in the Globe and Mail business section. She looks the same. waifish, almost kind, like Julie Andrews. Same haircut. Different brain chemistry.

Last time I saw her was in Toronto in the subway. She, in her $1,300 suit, regarded me icily.
“Oh,” I said, baby drool still drying on my lapel from breakfast. “I hear you got a promotion.”

“Yes,” she said. “I am very good at what I do.”
She never asked after me, just turned on her Manolos and walked off, bum in the air.
It's like the French say. She farts higher than her asshole.
In the early years, I had some success myself. But I left the good life, voluntarily, to marry then expel children from my womb. I never regretted my choice, until the Master of the Universe I had married provided me a new career path, as a single mum of three.

I do believe I still have a couple of silk suits mothing in the closet along with my various pairs of black cotton pants and aging blouses. But I will never have a corner office unless I convert a bedroom.

I admit, upon seeing these women from my past, to a slight twinge of jealousy.

They successfully opted out of the mommy track and took their push ups and lace on the road. They emulated Mary Tyler Moore and Murphy Brown – except in the last season.

I became Laura Petrie.
I must admit that I am envious. I’m not saying I’d do things differently, I love my family, but a part of me wishes sometimes that I’d crossed the tracks and taken the A train.
The feeling passes especially after I spend a day with my grown kids and my little granddaughter. I like to watch them reach for the stars, to dream big dreams and I’m always there to pick them up when they trip and fall.  I don’t miss the fancy suits, I’m happy here in the yoga pants living a quiet life absent of swell parties and interior designers.
Although I  do admit I still have a fondness for a nice Scotch, deftly poured by a handsome bartender at the Chateau Laurier.
Truth is, those of us who find ourselves at the end of the mommy track can sometimes, just sometimes, feel like losers.
These women let off a mighty wind.

Sometimes it gets up your skirt.

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