This is kind of a rant. And it’s really judgmental. So stop reading now if you disapprove of ranting, judgmental people (I know I do).
We were at a little trendy restaurant in our little trendy neighborhood, and a family came in. The guy was wearing a cap and orange shorts and a plaid shirt with a neckerchief and pale blue loafers. He had a stylish beard. The woman looked displeased in her looping, soft dress with patches of fabric that only barely covered her breasts, no back, and enormous sunglasses.
All of that was fine, of course. They were stylin’. But so was their tiny, toddling son.
He was dressed in tiny corduroy pants and a tiny plaid shirt with tiny suspenders and a tiny neckerchief and a tiny conductor’s cap. He was sweaty and unhappy. We were eating outside and it was humid. He was squirming in his hipster-chic outfit, pulling at the suspenders as though he wanted to escape.
And I felt a wave of judgmentalness sweep over me.
The kid looked like a toy. Like a doll. A purse that matched their outfits. How many more miniature sets of Anthropologie clothes did his pouting parents keep at home for him? I hoped he would laugh about it later and roll his eyes. I mean, they weren’t hurting him.
Everyone in this area is having babies. Or has just had them. There are twins everywhere you look. On the elevator, a nanny asked me if I was the mother of twin boys. She thought she recognized me. I have already met three black women who work as nannies in the building, and a Latina who is walking someone’s dog in the building. I have become friendly with Fidel, the handyman, whose daughter is in college at Georgetown and who got his place in Park Slope before the white people moved in. “So many white people,” he says, shaking his head. “But good food.”
I have met one white woman who lives in the building. She was pushing twin boys in a huge, reclining stroller.
New York City is very racially segregated, says the New York Times. It’s surprising just how racially segregated it is, considering how much diversity exists in this city. That’s what the Times’ says.
Sometimes I get the sense that everywhere you go, there are new sets of unspoken rules. It’s not just a sense. It’s real. What you’re supposed to wear, who you’re supposed to be with, how loud you’re allowed to talk. How you’re supposed to dress your baby.
It makes me want to have a baby and let it crawl around naked all the time. It makes me want to talk a little louder. It makes me think about the color of my skin.
Because being Jewish isn’t that interesting or different in this city.
Unlike when I went to Wyoming once, and met a cowboy who had never met a Jew before (I had never met a cowboy before either). He had never heard the word “rabbi.” He would not have fit in with the hipsters or the yuppies or the bobos or the Wall- Streeters or the green movement people.
(Although he could’ve rocked some elements of the hipster outfit. source)
It’s kind of funny that I almost do. That I can at least blend in.
But really, a neckerchief? On a baby? Really?
(and I do like the way glasses like these look. I admit it. source)
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Unroast: Today I love the way I look in a tight tanktop with no bra.