Just Can’t Get Enough: Titillating Stories of Deprived Mommies

Did you hear the one about the housewife and the pool boy? Or maybe the one about the gorgeous mom who fell in love with her daughter’s son? Or the work-at-home neighbors who left their husbands and moved in together? Oh wait, I know, how about the super-hot wife who has an affair with the teenage gardener?

I jest. Mostly. But I’ll admit to hearing stories, even while we were still house hunting, about illicit encounters between local mothers and neighbors or soccer coaches or that manager of that restaurant that closes mid-afternoon. What I didn’t hear as much about were the men. I guess that’s nothing new, or just not as exciting to talk about. You’d think with classics about ladies like Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina and Mrs. Robinson that it wouldn’t be all that shocking to hear about women making questionable judgment calls.

So, why is it news? And while I use the term lightly, when a mainstream site decides to pay attention, I just have to take a look. And when Montclair is mentioned (isn’t it always?), I don’t just skim. But I also don’t believe everything I read, and apparently I’m not alone, Dana over at Baristanet agrees.

From “Moms Gone Wild” on the CNN site:

Of course it’s not just a New York thing. When having dinner at a pub in Montclair, New Jersey, my girlfriend, a local, started pointing out patrons she knew who were at the bar cheating on their spouses. They were all parents and none of them seemed to be looking over their shoulders. Later she introduced me to a couple with kids who decided to make their marriage an open one after the wife’s affair with a neighbor was exposed.

Perhaps it’s not so hard to see how some of this happens. To save money on sitters, it’s often just one parent who goes out. After a few rounds at the bar, mom might start to actually feel a little on the single side. And her susceptibility to do something nutty might correlate to the challenging — even desperate — day she had.

So understanding of her to give desperate mommies an out. Would she be as forgiving if the genders were reversed? The author, Shanon Cook, is responding to two-week old post on The Awl, which sounds like a hazy recollection of Sex and the City painted with a 50 Shades of Grey brush. Titillating!

I don’t know. The whole MILF label being a compliment, the glee with which people rejoice in mothers falling off the edge, the raised eyebrows when the mother of an infant chooses (or plans to choose) to return to work right away doesn’t feel comfortable to me. Admittedly, I’m an optimist when it comes to expecting people to live and let live. But more and more, I think I’m just oblivious to the need to believe those around us lead scandalous lives.

And yes, I doubt that we all aspire to be admired like Stacy’s Mom, as described in the Fountains of Wayne song, even if we do live in New Jersey.

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11 COMMENTS

  1. I blame Fifty Shades of Grey! All the bored, suburban housewives got all riled up after reading it in their book clubs. 😉

  2. Kristen please enough! He was not a teenager and not that hot—-OK he was hot. But thank you for your kind words about me!

    Funny post.

  3. JG: The Ice Storm is set in the early 70’s – a much looser time for the settled-down set. And I have just one thing to say: Molecules.

    We’re all eating each other’s molecules.

  4. Holly, I thought I should put some sort of veil over it to disguise the situation. And I wasn’t being funny! You know I’m always entirely too earnest. And I like to mix it up with Depeche Mode and Fountains of Wayne references.

  5. Okay, technically 70’s. But 1967 (including the summer of love in 68, see Walk on the Moon with Diane Lane and Viggo) to mid-70’s had some weirdly open sex. Note: it never turns out well. If you want to be married, then be married. If you don’t, then don’t. The in between stuff doesn’t work out so well. Party down if you want to!

  6. I hear you, JG. My issue with it (comment thread on Bnet notwithstanding) is that I have a healthy suspicion that the furor is mostly fictional (perhaps loosely based on some goofiness during a girls’ night out), but it reinforces a certain image that people seem to WANT to believe.

    And then I see Art Mann and his adventures on HDNet and I wonder which planet I live on. (And I’m no prude! Kinda.)

  7. This is why I find the story funny, not funny ha ha but most funny as in odd and or interesting subject.

    Is this happening? Of course it is. I grew up around my aunt who is a sex therapist and she always encouraged us to ask her anything we had a question about. As adults we have learned that if we could dream it up someone was already doing it.

    You could bring up something as wacky as a diaper fetish ( one of the grossest I could imagine) and she could explain to you the fetish and the reason some of her clients dig this type odd Pamper play.

    This town is fun of kooks so women going out and whooping it up is probably the least of what is going on out there (sorry Kwald if your head is exploding).

  8. Not at all, Holly. My point was that finding it all so “scandalous” is silly. Especially when it’s nothing new. (Not that I’m condoning diaper play.) I just don’t think it’s as widespread as the authors would like us to believe. And someone in a bar, pointing out all the people they know who are cheating (or having open relationships), tells me that the pointer needs to pay more attention to her own life. As in, getting one.

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