Friday, April 18, 2008

Another day with the Stepford Wives

A major part of my job is to go out into the community and talk to parents/teachers/moneybags about college preparedness, how to maximize resources on campus, STEM careers, and what-not.

Well, because of where I live, this often means the painful process of talking to "Stepford Wives". You know the ones, you saw the movie (not the remake, that was just plain dumb). These I-stay-at-home-and-redecorate-while-my-nanny-raises-the-kids types.

Today, I accompanied a local high school principal to a benefit lunch given by the head Stepford Wife herself to talk to her friends (all of whom have at least one child in middle school, heading to high school next year). Thank God I was there, because they would have eaten the poor man alive.

These women are extremely nice and interested in their kids, don't get me wrong. But, its always a little disconcerting to be in a room with 10s of women who each look like a different page from the Anne Klein catalogue. Add in the fake-baked skin and the blinding jewelry and its just a little intimidating. Plus, the look they have on their face when they talk to me, or listen to me talk is - awww, this poor woman - she has to work for a living. How sad.

No joke!

I wonder if living here for a long time will turn me into one of them.

At one point, the principal was explaining that because the cost of living in "Stepford" is so inflated, many of his brightest teachers have to live in Seattle and often leave the school to teach somewhere closer to home. Especially once they have children. I could tell by the look on their faces that they could not even comprehend such circumstances. One lady even raised her hand and asked, "But, isn't there something the district could do to help them? I can't imagine having to dictate where I work based on where I could afford to live!"

As her fellow Stepford Wives nodded their heads in agreement, and murmured sounds of disbelief, the principal slipped me a handwritten note that said, "These lunches - never again!"


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