You have no idea what is seething underneath the surface of your average PTA mom. Now I know this might seem unbelievable, but trust me...you are sitting next to women with REAL secrets and I am not talking about lapsing at Weight Watchers or lingering too long over the Sexist Men Alive issue of People Magazine. I am talking jaw dropping secrets.
“Oh, of course, they know I was a dominatrix .” she said to her very downtown looking friends. The thin, very well-preserved, 40-something, black clad crowd looked over at us as we sat in a to-die-for townhouse in Chelsea...drinking...of course.
My husband with amused interest glanced over at me...I shrugged my shoulders—who would have known? It is not like she is the best disciplinarian with her kids. I thought she was taking poetic license since she is writer, but apparently she really was in the East Village Punk mix of the 80s and being a dominatrix was her shtick.
I first met her sitting on a beach in Fire Island. We ended up building sand castles with our kids and sharing many bottles of wine. Having kids, and drinking, dulls the senses so I could not put together all the stories she was telling me...they were mixed in with her tales of divorce and her move out of New York state completely etc.
Three years later and a few more vacations together—I never really made the connection between her short stories and her real life....well until that evening in the Chelsea for the book party for Legs McNeil.
I was not particularly shocked, just jealous.
I have met A LOT of moms who seem just like...well...moms...and then over coffee or while watching kids in the gymnastics studio, secrets spontaneously come out...like.... “I remember when I was a pole dancer...” or “I would definitely be a lesbian if women were not so sensitive.” or “once I was going with a 60 year old man and an 19 year old boy—it was amazing.”
I think it is the sheer boredom of motherhood...there are stretches of time when you are forced to do nothing but watch small children run around and to make the time go more quickly we tell stories.
It is odd, I felt I said YES to about any experience presented to me in my younger years. That affirming habit lead me on adventures around the world, but nothing close to what these moms obviously embarked on pre-marriage.
After the dominatrix incident I went to my friend, Ms. Leather-Pants,--”Just tell me now about your wild pre-mom life.” I demanded. Because really...if any of my friends seemed to be likely candidates for deviant sexual behavior it would be Ms. Leather-Pants and Mr. Ball Gag, but she just looked at me and said:
“You know, we got married SO young...that ruled out a lot of out of the ordinary conduct”
So it just goes to show—you NEVER know.