Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Strollers and Writing Envy

When I had my whippersnapper five years ago, I discovered that having the right kind of stroller is essential to your image as a hip and clever mommy. You should, ideally, spring for the $1000 Bugaboo stroller, but in case you're on a budget, you can opt for the $450 BOB or the less expensive but still respectably elitist Maclaren ($230).

I had none of those*.

* In full disclosure, I now have a BOB. BUT! Wait! Before you go in disgust! I bought a returned BOB from REI and it was only a 2009 model and not the exceedingly more lovely and
updated 2011 model, and it was a third of the price. So I feel like I cheated the stroller system and anyway the front kick panel is scuffed up, so I only have a scuffed 2009 passe BOB. Okay? Please stay.

But back then, I wished I did have one of those strollers. I seethed with green-eyed envy when I went power-walking with other mommies around a lake where everyone (except me) had one of those strollers and/or a purebred dog. I felt insecure because I didn't have one of those clearly superior strollers. I felt like my modest Baby Jogger stroller, which I broke after a just few weeks of owning, was the embarrassing dinner guest who gets drunk and farts and then falls asleep face-first in his food at a dinner party full of strollers.

I felt like a lesser mom because of it.

Let's not dwell on how outrageously bourgeois it is to want an expensive stroller that moves like a cloud puff. Let's not delve into how my stroller envy clearly showed my deep-rooted insecurities about not being the best. I mean, whatevers.

Instead, let's agree that sometimes, wanting what others have is normal. You know, like wanting that agent or that book deal that you just watched your good friend get. And sometimes, your book isn't going to be as wonderful or marketable as your friend's book. Sometimes you'll get nothing but rejections--nasty ones, too--while your friend gets a 7-book contract the day after sending a single badly-written query out, one that started with a rhetorical question and misspelled the agent's name. And even also sometimes, your sad little one-book deal that led to a book that sold three copies, all of which were purchased by your elderly aunt, and which now even the remainder piles don't want-- that isn't going to be the million-copy-selling book that your friend wrote, which led to instant billionaire status for her.


Sometimes, you're just not going to have the Bugaboo stroller.

And that's okay.

Because the next time, you'll get one.

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