Hemingway used to say he had a bullshit detector.
You know what I have? A bitch-mom detector.
No, I’m serious. Within 30 seconds I can tell if I’m next to one.
All she has to do is start talking.
Boom. MAYDAY MAYDAY!! RUN! NOW!
It happened recently at that harvest festival. Georgia, practicing her social butterfly act [and sadly lacking the bitch-mom detector I have so carefully honed] makes a beeline to the offspring of a woman who…well…let’s just say we probably wouldn’t evolve into BFFs.
So Georgie cruises up to this toddler and I notice she’s in one of those $700. hovering Euro spacecraft things. Whatever. That’s not a deal-breaker. I know some amazingly rad rich people. At least I think I do.
At any rate, ya can’t judge looks and money.
There are way better things to judge. We’ll get to that.
Admittedly, however, my Detector started quietly beeping when I observed that this woman was at a harvest festival at a FARM, in the DIRT, looking more put together than I do on my “fancy” days. Full make-up, perfect body, immaculate jeans with a perfectly ironed top, some token “country” item like unused, $400 leather boots… sipping a glass of chardonnay.
Her baby was equally immaculate.
Whatevs. I have an open mind. Open like a fucking parachute.
So she comes bounding up to me all peppy and shit, looking like something out of a BabyCenter ad, and I’m standing there with my ripped jeans and love handles, questionable attitude and bad hair. Of course, I’m wearing flip flops, because duh. So my feet are black. I’m wearing no make-up.
A win, as usual.
My toddler is equally filthy. Her hair is insane and in her eyes (as always), speckled with various items found on the ground. She’s covered in dust and not wearing shoes. Having just consumed about 75 cherry tomatoes, she has actually managed to create mud on her cheeks and nose. When the mother says “hi” to me, I observe my offspring trying to feed her kid the rock she’s been carrying with her for the last 20 minutes.
I am sure this interaction is going to be a success.
As I’m fielding Georgia away from choking the toddler on a rock, the talking portion begins:
Her: “Oh, how old is your baby?”
Me: “just turned 2.”
Her: “Oh, wow. She’s so SMALL. I guess I forget how big my baby is!! She’s only 18 months and already wearing 3T clothing!”
And with my forced grin I realized that we were now entering what I like to call “The Female Version of ‘Who’s got the bigger penis?’”
It’s like a game show for mothers, only usually there’s only one contestant who wants to play.
I try to pull Georgia away, mumbling “yeah,” and something about finding my other kids.
She says “Oh! You have other kids here? Me too. I have an older one, but she and her friend are totally bored with all this art stuff. They go to a school where all they do is art, so they’re like ‘yeah, whatever, we do this every day.’”
And as she’s talking, I realize she’s doing bitch-speak: certain words are coming out of her mouth, but what she’s actually saying is something completely different. She’s saying “My kid goes to art school;” what she MEANS is “I’m rich and I need you to know it.”
I felt like saying “Yeah, wow. My kids think this is the best thing in the world, because they go to a public school with other poor people where they do worksheets and take standardized tests.”
But I didn’t, because that would require further involvement. I smiled and picked Georgia up, trying to book it the hell outta there before my bitch detector became audible. I said “have a good time, see you later.”
Mac saw the interaction and commented “You didn’t look like you were loving that.”
And I spent the rest of the day translating bitch-speak in my head.
Because I’m a weirdo.
But you guys have to feel me on this one…you know, those moments when mothers get all competitive, engaging in these weird, complex pissing matches, but ALL IN CODE. We do it, but we do it in bitch-speak. And this chick walks up to you all nonchalant, acting as if she’s sweet like honey, when really she’s interested in eating your young and using you as the pathetic backdrop to her own excellence.
It’s BITCH-SPEAK, and it’s REAL.
To illustrate, I made a chart. Please enjoy:
Bitch-Speak Translation Chart
And the best part is, we get so good at it, the bitch-speak translation, that we don’t even hear the actual words…our detector goes off and we’re OUTTA THERE.
As fast as we came.
And then, we call our friends, and translate together.
But don’t get me wrong. We’re all bitches too. We just don’t say it in code.
We say it outright, as it is. And then, we laugh like hell.
Cause we know who’s got the bigger penis.
AND WE LOVE IT.
[OMGI'mdyinglaughing. And you have to tell me about your translations. I can't be the only one who does this.]