Here’s another book sneaky peeky. Enjoy.
If you want to see ugly go to an elementary school spring style show. Relax, I’m not talking about the 7-year-old girls “modeling” adorable Easter dresses. I’m talking about the moms. You have two tiers of ugly at a school style show. Tier two – the moms who sell their soul so they, along with their child(ren), will be selected to “model.” Tier one is the Style Show committee. This team of moms led by the Princess of Darkness – Charity (Seriously, that’s her name.) Turner have taken fundraising to the fiery depths of hell.
To get you up to speed here’s a little background on the Edgewater Elementary Spring Style Show. It was started six years ago in the never-ending quest to find new ways to raise money for the school. The PTA was already selling cookie dough, gift wrap, magazines and spirit wear. We had a “Parent Social” and Auction where alleged grown ups went to drink too much and get in a bidding war on their child’s class “basket.” There was also the Fall Festival and Carnival which worked much like the token shake down at Chuck E Cheese. A group of enterprising moms thought a Spring Style Show would combine the best of the kid friendly Fall Carnival with the adult appeal of the Parent Social. The first couple of years it was a quaint affair in the school cafeteria with kids modeling their own clothes and the principal acting as emcee and saying things like, “Ashley loves this dress because it twirls really, really well.” Now the Style Show is held at a country club, the fashions are pre-selected from super fancy boutiques and most importantly mommies now model.
It was year three of the Style Show when it when it was “upgraded” to include mothers strutting their stuff and that’s when the event went from a low-key get together in the cafeteria to our town’s equivalent of Fashion Week. We have Charity Turner to thank for all this. Charity is on year four of chairing the Style Show. Her qualifications for this “honor” are in 2009 her closet was highlighted in the local lifestyle magazine’s “I Heart My Closet” feature. There was Charity in all her white blonde glory standing on a zebra patterned carpet in her leopard wallpapered closet with a blinged out Home Depot chandelier casting glints of light on her overly orange spray tanned arm that look like a sweet potato had mated with a Cheeto, clutching her “favorite item in the closet” a vintage Channel purse from her days as a “fashion buyer.”
What Charity neglected to mention in the interview was to get the closet (which was a former bedroom) that according to her is the “envy of the neighborhood” her two daughters, who are 6 years apart in age now have to share a room. Behind her in the photo are racks of clothes and what Charity calls her “denim” bar. The bar is floor to ceiling cubbies where she stores her “78 different pairs of jeans.” Some women upon reading this were all “Oh My Gawd, I just loooove her closet!” My take on it was more of an inside glimpse of well-organized hoarder. I mean, really, what woman needs 78 pairs of jeans. I’d bet my left cankle she probably wears, at best, less than ten percent of what’s in there. Oh, and the whole fashion buyer thing – total crap unless you call working the Estee Lauder counter at Macy’s before you got married as “fashion buying.” None of this really even matters. What matters is she’s an evil troll.
Upon taking over chair of the Style Show Charity told everyone that she was going to make it more “professional.” By that she meant she would be taking her orders directly from the devil. Charity insisted that every child and mother who wanted to model in the Style Show must turn in two pictures. One was to be a head shot and the other full length body shot with their height, weight and sizes listed on the back. (Last year, I sent in two pictures of my dog. I was told by Jacardi Monroe that my “attempts at humor were not appreciated.”) After these pictures were turned in Charity and her committee would select a group that would come for call backs. This is where you would demonstrate your walk. Mother’s were instructed to wear at least 3 inch heels to “create a runway experience.” All the moms were also informed that the mother/child modeling was not a package deal. The mom may get selected while the child may not or vice versa. You also had to sign a form that stated you “would not contest, in any way the selection of who was picked to model and that the committee would reserve the right to revoke anyone’s model status at anytime.” After call backs the list of mothers and children selected to model was posted on the front door on the school. You should see these moms running to the front door like they were back in high school rushing to see who made cheerleader. If you believe that 30 to almost 50-year-old women have matured past performing the hat trick of hopping up and down, flailing their arms and shrieking like love-sick teenagers then think again. It sounded like they were being doused with acid and my mother’s 1962 bottle of Jean Nate.
As you can guess, I was never one to entertain thoughts of any kind of modeling experience – ever. (My one exception would be working the runway for a Target XL track pant fashion show. Count me in on that.) Thankfully, my children would rather get shot in the head than provide someone with a head shot. That meant I could sit back and make fun of the all moms that spent months currying favor with the “selection committee.” Charity would spend all year going up to moms and touching an article of clothing they have on and making statements like; “Oh, I just love this cashmere tunic. Keep it up and you could be in the running to be a S.S.M.”
S.S.M stood for Style Show Mom. For a small portion of moms at the elementary school achieving S.S.M. status was akin being crowned Mrs. Hot America. Charity could also be found delivering fashion rebukes. Two years ago she saw me in my track pants at the grocery store and told me I was a “fashion no.” I smiled and said, “Thank you.”
“Thanks for what?” she said in an irritated and confused voice.
“Thanks just for thinking of me. Do you do it a lot?”
“Do what a lot?”
“Think of me. I’m betting you do. Is it just me or do you think we have a connection?”
That freaked her out so much she took her cart and ran off to the frozen food aisle.
The chance at being a S.S.M brought out the five-star ass kissing for the wanna be hot moms. You see, the Style Show is the gateway to being upgraded to full hot mom status and Charity Tuner was the role model for how to go from not to hot. Charity isn’t bad looking, but she’s not your typical hot mom. By that I mean she’s not a double zero. Charity, is at best, a size 8. Which in the land of hot moms might as well be a size 18. Things changed for her when she landed the chair of the Style Show. She used her new-found power to claw her way into the hot mom group and thanks to her success many wanna be hotties saw the style show as a way in.
Once you got in you couldn’t relax. There was a bit of a pecking order to the Style Show. If you were kind of hot you were selected to wear the churchy looking Easter dress or worse the maxi dress. If you were medium hot you got the jeans and sleeveless summer top look. If you were hot you got the shorts and resort wear. Super hot moms with a predisposition to starving and 21st century space-aged polymer, synthetic breasts modeled swim-wear. Yes, swim-wear, I’m talking bikinis and heels. They start off walking down the runway with a sarong wrapped seductively low on their hips then take it, turn, giving the audience a full butt shot, and walk back up the runway. The queen of the hot moms or in this case Style Show chair – Charity Turner would end the show wearing -and dear God in heaven this is why I love the suburbs so very much – a bridal gown with, and to me this is the very best part, a full length veil. I will say Charity or someone had the decency to at least make it a bridal gown for say your second, or third or fourth wedding. There was nothing princessy or virginal about it. This gown said – experienced woman with a wide variety of talents featuring advanced training in the horizontal arts. For that sight alone I gladly paid $40 for my Style Show ticket.
The kids fashions, as you can imagine, were an afterthought. In fact, since my kids weren’t involved in this cluster of evil I never gave it much thought until that fateful day when my friend Kelly confided in me. Our daughters were at ballet and we were killing time sitting in my car outside the McDonald’s enjoying a 99 cent vanilla ice cream cone when Kelly started talking about the Style Show. I perked up hoping it was going to be some juicy mom gossip like Charity had an STD or something, but it was the kind of information that made me sad. Kelly told me that Charity was calling some of the little girls that were going to model fat.
“What?!” I said while still licking my cone, how did you hear that?”
“It was all anyone could talk about at the Multiples Club.”
Now before you think one of my best friends is a swinger the Multiples Club is for parents with twins and triplets. Kelly has twin girls and the Mothers of Multiples meet a couple of times a month and compare notes on raising same age children.
I asked Kelly “What exactly did the Princess of Darkness say to the girls?”
“Well, two moms told me they had taken their daughters to the, “You Say Spoiled Like It’s a Bad Thing,” children’s boutique so they could select their outfits to model in the Style Show. While they were trying on clothes Charity shows up and goes into the dressing room area and tells two sets of 6-year-old twins they were “kind of fat and needed to lose those bellies.”
At this point in Kelly’s story to me I stopped her and say, “Please tell me one of the moms cut off Charity’s oxygen supply by strangling with some girl’s pink lace leggings.”
Kelly said, “No, according to them they took it and whispered to their daughters to not listen to the scary, orange lady.”
I, of course, told Kelly I thought it was horrible, but, my main angry was directed at the mother of the twins. In my opinion, they should have told Charity to shove it and more importantly not subjected their girls to the satanic ritual that is the fashion show.
Kelly continued and said, “Well, that’s not all she’s doing. I’ve heard she told a couple of 4th grade girls that need to go on a diet and two girls have been told unless they lose weight they can’t model.”
I look at Kelly, take another lick of my ice cream cone, try to stop thinking about how much I want another one and say, “Well, once again those girls mothers are total idiots for putting their daughters in harm’s way by letting them do the ridiculous style show. Everyone one with a brain knows Charity is evil and any mom who would willingly expose her child to that dark underworld is worse than Charity in my opinion.”
Kelly kept staring at me. This made me nervous and she wasn’t agreeing me, that made me more nervous. Something was up. I looked at her and said, “What?”
“What do you mean, what?”
“There’s something you’re not telling me. What is it?”
“I’m afraid to tell you because I know you’re probably going to do something and that’s also exactly why I want to tell you.”
“Then tell me! You’re starting to freak me out now.”
“Okay,” Kelly said and they she got a little choked up and continued, “The moms told me when Charity was telling their girls they need to lose their bellies she also said if they didn’t they would end up looking like my daughters.”
I was so consumed with angry I almost dropped my cone. I didn’t know where to strike out first. To the dip shit moms who are supposed to be friends of Kelly who told her that. Did a cruel statement like that really need to be repeated -ever? Why did these moms think Kelly would need to hear that? The only thing I could think of off the top of my head was misery loves company. As for Charity’s statement I wasn’t surprised at all. She’s raising two girls that are on the fast track to an eating disorder. I know childhood obesity is a real problem, but I still think when a five-year old announces at the kindergarten Valentine’s party that she can’t eat a heart-shaped sugar cookie with icing because “My mommy never wants me to be fat and ugly,” is a little disconcerting. Also, not being surprised doesn’t mean not be extremely hurt for my friend. Kelly has beautiful strong, healthy girls. Are they rail thin? No, but they’re not fat and even if they were what kind of mother goes around calling little girls fat? I gave Kelly a big hug and said, “Charity will have to pay for this you know.”
Kelly, hugged me back and said with a sniffle, “I was so hoping you would say that.”
“Don’t worry sweetie,” I said while popping the last of the ice cream cone in my mouth, “The Princess of Darkness will soon be eating those words.”
Part 2 of the Reverse Stubing coming soon.
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