Joe Giudice

Can’t stop saying “Joe Giudice.” Especially when my brain freezes and I can’t think of the actual word I need. “Hey, Kev, can you make sure you go to Buy Buy Baby and pick up that…damnit, pick up that Joe Giudice, you know what I mean.” And sometimes he knows exactly what I mean. Or he’ll counter with, “Don’t you want that Joe Gorga sheeah babyproofing thang though?”

It’s already June. My Thanksgiving baby will be experiencing his first summer. Him in his lil wifebeaters and sleeveless rompers, with the bulging fleshy arm rolls and thigh rolls and wrist rolls = too much to handle for my eyes! People who haven’t seen him in a few weeks have commented that his face has changed and matured. No longer looking as baby-like. Waaaah.

I wonder if motherhood will play out like law school on the social front. During the first few weeks of law school, a lot of us hung out all the time because of the shared experience of starting law school with the much-hyped first year ahead of us. Open to hanging with everyone. Most of us all eager and wanting to make friends. It feels like high school all over again, with the lockers and the gossip. Soon, this phased out and cliques naturally formed based on what kind of person you were.

With new moms, it’s so easy for me to strike up a conversation with a stranger, swapping birthing stories or sharing how deeply in love we are with our babies. Or sometimes, we talk baby products, something I really didn’t like to do during my pregnancy because it both bored and overwhelmed me at the same time. I was excited to bring my bouncing, nekked baby into the world but I wasn’t excited to research baby products and receive TONS of emails about all that’s out there. But now, it’s a necessary conversation to information-gather for your little one and a natural way to talk with other moms.

After the initial conversations, as we form our different mothering styles and philosophies, I have a feeling we will soon hang with the mamas that we mesh well with, vibe more with, beyond, “Oh YOU’RE a mom, I’M a mom!” I can already see the different types: the coddling mamas, La Leche League mamas, the extra-busy mamas, the more relaxed mamas, the granola mamas, the self-deprecating mamas and more. It makes me think about what my style is or will evolve into, not that there’s a singular label for what kind of mama someone is. I always say it’s much harder to go beyond acquaintanceship in my 30s and also in NYC, so different from the friends I grew up with. So we shall see how friendships in the mama arena play out as we raise our kids together. (Also caught “Bridesmaids” last night, yes, late-night on a Tuesday with a couple other mamas. Watching Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph on the big screen calls for a shout out to my best friends, those who are mamas and those who are not.)

I want to work on giving people more benefit of the doubt so that my boy will learn that trait (that I inherently lack). “So I tried it…” a la John Stossel. (Although when I doubt the benefit, I’m usually SO right!). Usually I say “hello” to my neighbors even if many don’t. There is one man who practically pushes me aside and walks away when I greet him. My natural reaction would be to doubt any benefit and vow never to say “hello” to him again ’cause mama ain’t no sucker. But I paused and thought, “Wait, he ALWAYS does that! MAYBE he’s hard of hearing or maybe even nearly blind since he’s older. He doesn’t quite see me clearly.” The other day, he practically chest-bumped me while exiting the elevator to get to his place in a hurry. Another lady, a Rosie O’Donnell type, remained in the elevator. She rolled her eyes and groaned after he left.

“I figured he can’t see well or hear well?” I said, to possibly explain his behavior to her. This is how benefit of the doubt works, right?

“No, I’ve been his neighbor for four years now. He’s just an asshole.”

Hmmm…this is going to be hard.

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