Two weeks ago, with Beyonce on Pandora and Ian’s Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets in the toaster oven, I held the edge of the kitchen counter (I am forty, you guys) and adjusted my various jerks and thrusts into a configuration vaguely resembling the twerk.
“Jules! I think I have it. I think I’m twerking! Hurry! Come and see this!”
She shuffled in and made no effort to conceal her disgust. ”That’s not it. Oh my God, can you please stop doing that?!” To which I responded with a renewed effort, closer to the floor and with more up and down action. ”Oh Jesus! Do not do that in front of our children!” she begged.
Phinny, our four year-old daughter asked, “Mama, what is that you’re doing?”
“It’s twerking, honey. Does it look like I’m doing it right?” I asked without pausing the action. My voice jiggling out in a soothing vibrato.
“No,” she replied, WAY too quickly. (I have cautioned her time and again about answering before she’s really thought about the question. I can see the concept hasn’t sunk in yet.)
“No seriously, you’re gonna slip a disk. You should stop,” Jules warned before returning to the playroom with a freshly-filled sippy cup.
Damn! I got shut DOWN. I’ve lost my edge.
The woman I was once able to drive wild with my sensuous dance moves and teasing embrace now considers me less a seductress and more a health insurance liability.
Why is it that our partners’ view of us transforms when we become mothers? You don’t see Ice-T telling Coco to tone it down just because she’s the mother of his children, right? (Though to be fair, I doubt there’s a force that could stop the train attached to that caboose.) No! He’s proud of that girl!
So I say to myself: What does Coco know? What does she know about staying hot after almost ten years together?
On a quest to break the chains of my mothering self and get re-acquainted with the trophy wife I used to be, I have assembled a list of guidelines and rules. My goal: remind Jules that my twerking practice is not an embarrassment, but rather…a promise.
Perhaps you too will find them useful.
• I will never, EVER wear Crocs or similar prophylactic footwear. Excessively comfortable shoes are for when you are three years old or have swollen feet. (And let us not return to that chamber of horrors.)
• Do not be afraid to lift and separate. Even if more attractive underthings are itchy and expensive, remember this counterintuitive but true equation: The faster it comes off, the more it was worth the money.
• Sext more. Sexting is a low output/ high return marriage fortification technique. Sext while waiting for prescriptions, sext while waiting for that triple shot chai. If, while sexting as you wait for your drink, another mom from your daughter’s preschool class, who you’ve been wanting to talk to but haven’t really gotten to know yet, comes up like SUPER close to you and says “Hi!” into your face suddenly, do not make a startled noise that sounds like a harbor seal and drop your phone. I mean, you know, should such a scenario occur.
• Forget body woes. For example, I tried seven times to sneak into the bathroom the other day to snap a phone picture of my cute underwear to e-mail to my hotlove, and every time I tried, that small but unsightly post-baby bulge would not step out of the god-damned picture. Fuck it. Go for the boobshot, I said to myself. Boobs are the Zac Efron of your body- they never take a bad picture. (At least as far as the person receiving a instant message while in a very serious corporate meeting is concerned.)
• Finally, let other people do the heavy lifting. I will not be ashamed if I need to ditch the 20 minutes of foreplay and watch an old clip of “The L Word” to shortcut to the business at hand. I see this not a a sign of decline, but as a positive development in efficiency. Watching soft porn on the internet is part of my commitment as a married person, and I took vows, so I watch. It is a cross I bear.
So now that I have my list, and the new year is at hand, I make a resolution. I hereby promise to: Buy good smelling soap, invest in more slinky undergarments, and try try again to find a way to hide YouTube favorites in a separate account on the iPad (so that when a certain four year-old opens up to watch clips of Strawberry Shortcake she does get caught unaware and say, “Mama, why are those two girls kissing on this ‘hiPad’? “ You know, just in case such a scenario should occur.)
Now, if you’ll excuse me, it’s early in the morning and no one else is awake, so it’s the perfect time to put some Will Smith on the headphones and work on my twerk.
First I need to stretch though.