Every once in a while you have a conversation that is that is so stereotypically female, it makes you wonder if things have truly changed that much. It also feels like you’ve unwittingly set women back a half century.
I had one of these conversations last night at a baseball practice, and the sad part? It was so natural, I didn’t notice the irony until today.
It started with someone discussing her phobia of germy sponges.
Other Mother: You don’t have to be afraid of them, when they get dirty you can just nuke ’em?
Me: I run mine in the dishwasher.
Spongephobe Mom: I’d NEVER use a sponge.Spongephobe Mom (to us moms, who sat with our mouths agape at the idea of not using a sponge): I don’t need a sponge. I just let my dishes soak in some hot water with JOY. The above sentence, which really occured is the very reason the rest of my tête-à-tête with the team moms will include 1950s translation.
Other Mother (visibly shaken): What do you use… a paper towel?
50s translation: Don’t tell me you use paper towels? They can rip and tear! Why, they’d never hold up to vigorous dish-washing.
Spongephobe Mom: Nope.
50s translation: I’m confident in the cleaning power of Joy.
Me to the Other Mother (accusingly — like an evangelist being told about evolution): I bet she’s scraping that crud off with your nails.
50s translation: That explains why her nails look so unkempt. (For that phrase to have the truest 50s effect, one would have to utter it in a loud whisper to other disapproving woman during a game of mahjong.)
Spongephobe Mom: Nope.
50s translation: Stop staring at my nails, gossip maven.
Me: But what if you sauté?
50s translation: How does it hold up to grease from deep frying?
Spongephobe Mom: No problem.
50s translation: It cuts right through the oily residue that frying can leave behind.
Me and Other Mother (in unison): NO?!!!
50s translation: Gasp?!!!
I nonchalantly inspected her hands for cracking and chaffing.
50s translation: “I bet your manicurist isn’t pleased with the way you do your dishes.” (Snicker snicker, then I would look to other girls for nods and implied high fives.)
Spongephobe Mom: I only soak the dishes, not my hands, dumbass. (okay, in the actual conversation the dumbass was merely implied.)
50s translation: Joy leaves my hands supple and soft, and it’s emollients condition as it cleans. Then she would look at my hands sitting in a bowl of what I thought was simply water and say, “You’re soaking in it.”
So that happened. I can’t take it back, in fact I wish I could just not have realized how trite the whole thing sounded a day after it happened. Let’s be honest, you’ve read my blog … I so rarely have cliche conversations, I’m due one every so often, no?