I am slightly obsessed with the new hit scripted Bravo show Odd Mom Out, and so are many of my friends. We regularly chat about the comings, goings and musings of the show’s star and creator, Jill Kargman a.k.a. Jill Weber (also very briefly known as Jill Von Weber). Jill plays a fictionalized version of herself trying to navigate the cliques and elite social ecosystem run and protected by the Jimmy Choo wearing/Chanel bag carrying Upper East Side moms, which often leaves her feeling like the odd mom out.
I rarely if ever use this term, but I will here. The show is laugh-out-loud funny. Like I am literally laughing out loud through much of each half-hour episode. And the reason for so many of my literal LOLs is that the show is so relatable. Although I live in suburban Philadelphia (relatively far from Kargman’s Upper East Side), I too have felt like an odd mom out – a lot. Several of my friends have reported similar feelings. I’ve taken note of our real life odd mom out moments and figured out how you know when you are, in fact, the odd mom out.
1. You don’t have the same bag as every other mother at your child’s school.
Did you ever feel like you never got the memo about what bag you should be sporting every day? Apparently I didn’t get it. This became apparent to me at a picnic at my children’s pre-school, when a non-odd mom out told me to put my bag down next to hers at one of the tables. She described the bag to me – great. Only problem was that there were eight seats saved at the table, each with the exact same designer bag. I was left paralyzed by the intoxicating scent of matching fine leather. I took my purple cross body nylon bag to another table. What else could I have done?
2. You’ve stood up and left a group dinner before dessert.
Have you ever been stuck in one of those super annoying and oh-so-painful big group dinners with way too many couples whom you barely know? Yes, you may be kind of tight with one of the moms in the group, but your husband has nothing in common with the other dads. You spend most of the night trying to make eye contact with your husband, who was coerced into sitting at the guys’ end of the table amongst strangers eating mediocre food in an overpriced restaurant with pretentious ambiance. This happened to my husband and me, and I was beyond proud of my odd dad out hubby when he stood up before we had even ordered dessert, announced that we had to go, put money down on the table for our share of the meal and we were out of there. Badass odd dad out!
3. You summer where you winter.
Ever been asked where you summer? An odd mom out friend of mine was asked that exact same question (which by the way was asked of Jill Weber in episode 1) at her child’s back to school night. My odd mom out friend answered proudly that she summers where she winters: in her own house, her one and only house.
4. You dread the non-drop off birthday parties.
You’ve been there. You walk your child into the birthday party, exchanging pleasantries with the party host and other lingering moms, waiting for that magical moment when the host mom tells you that it’s a drop off party and that you should just come back in an hour and a half to pick up your child. Yes, you say to yourself when those words are spoken. Now you can run an errand, go to Starbucks or take a walk. If, on the other hand, the party is non-drop off, you will get sucked into a 45-minute conversation about the benefits of liquid eyeliner versus the pencil kind. True story told by an odd mom out friend of mine.
5. You’ve served non-politically correct food at your child’s birthday party.
You know those birthday parties where everything served is 100% grass fed, organic, gluten-free, dairy-free, casein free (what the hell is casein by the way)? I’ve been to a lot of those birthday parties with my kids, but the thing is that I’ve never hosted one. Maybe I’m old school, but is a good old-fashioned chicken nugget really going to do that much harm? Apparently – according to one child at my daughter’s birthday party – it would. This little girl actually got in a fight with my husband about the place where said chicken nuggets had come from. I was proud of my husband, who held his own as best he could, but still the child went home hungry.
6. Your children have friends whose names you don’t know.
Ever been at a family-friendly event, like your daughter’s lacrosse game, where all the mothers seem to be chatting about the ins and outs of the 2nd grade classroom dynamics and the cliques of girls and so and so and who said that and this other girl who rules the lunch table? I’ve been there, and the thing was, I had no idea who some of these girls were. I was content with regularly hearing from my own daughter about her real friends, whom she always seemed to enjoy hanging out with. Was I the bad mom or just the odd mom out? I pretended I knew these names and even dropped a few myself. I wonder if anyone noticed the made-up ones? I kind of slurred my words, so hopefully not.
7. Packing for camp is not a competitive sport in your house.
Ever wonder why packing up your kids for summer camp has become more time-consuming than writing a thesis for your PhD? I did. I started to ask around, and it seems that many non-odd moms out take this packing very seriously. Their packing up of their kids’ t-shirts, shorts, socks and underwear – which will all undoubtedly end up lost somewhere in the camp lake – involves multiple packs of zip lock bags, cellophane, customized ribbons and more. I thought I was giving it the old college try by balling the socks together. I guess not.