What does that mean, anyway? Post Modern? It’s a catch all phrase to encompass everything from art to eating to mothering that somehow, is beyond “modern.”
So, I present, as evidence, an actual to-do list from an actual, truly anonymous Post Modern Mom, found three blocks from my home on the sidewalk. If this was the only evidence of the Post Modern Mom found by a civilization five hundred years in the future, or by an alien population, a “reading” of this artifact might go something like this.
Artifact: some sort of hand scribed list, possibly what they used to refer to as a “To Do” list, written by a mother in the post modern period, Los Angeles. Going forward, author referred to as PMM.
Front of artifact has name of luxury establishment, Paradise Point Resort and Spa, printed at top. Location of establishment is in San Diego, yet artifact was found in Los Angeles. Did the PMM visit this establishment at some point for rest and relaxation, thus taking the pad (usually given out free in rooms) with her upon departure, or did the pad belong to someone else? And, if she did go to the spa, did she get the hot stone massage?
Back of artifact contains a To Do List, covering three days in PMM’s life, Friday, Monday and Tuesday. Notice she has omitted the weekend, when presumably she does not require a To Do List.
- Scratched out “Call Chiro,” which we can only assume is the chiropractor. Our PMM’s body hurts. As it is scratched out, we can safely assume she accomplished this task. Note: it’s the only scratched out item on her list. Replaced by: “Cleaners.” Was she getting her own clothing cleaned, or acting as PMM Sherpa by hauling home 100 laundered men’s dress shirts?
- “Call Mammogram.” Again, we can assume this is not a friend or acquaintance with the unfortunate name “Mammogram,” but a reminder to call the facility to either set up an appointment for the procedure or obtain procedure results. If this mammogram is indeed the PMM’s, we can assume she is at least in her late 30’s, and probably over 40.
- “Call Sherry to cancel.” Was this for lunch? Coffee? Was the PMM angry at Sherry? What could Sherry have done to inspire cancellation? Poor Sherry.
- “Starbucks (over).” Indeed, on the reverse side of the artifact the PMM has a curious list for Starbuck’s shopping. Someone has a yen for vanilla Starbuck’s syrup and needs a plastic bottle. Then, there’s the mysterious “$7”, maybe for the syrup?
- “Prada coat?” A touch of glamour in the PMM’s life, perhaps? What is going on with the “Prada coat?” Is she considering a designer purchase? Needs to get it cleaned? Altered? Is going to sell it?
- “Contact paper.” In direct contrast to the loveliness of the “Prada coat,” here is the “contact paper.” Looks like the PMM might spend an afternoon on the decidedly mundane task of lining her drawers.
- “Pampers—size 2&3?” These are, according to historical records, not large diapers. The PMM has a baby at home. Maybe a huge baby who’s helped to throw PMM’s back out (thus the necessity for a chiropractor). She’s also loyal to a diaper brand and doesn’t use cloth diapers, like the well known “Holistic Mom” types used. Bad PMM!
- With a baby at home, and the general feeding frenzy of anxiety over elite preschools in the LA area, we can safely assume the PMM is already doing research and preparing for interviews. The Center For Early Education, or Wagon Wheel, or Montessori Shir-Hashirim might be in the PMM’s future. Will her concern be which “feeder” preschool will get her kid into the “right” private elementary school?
Monday: Note these entries have times attached, indicating appointments rather than free floating errands.
- “9:30 Mom to Doc.” Our PMM needs a mammogram, has a baby, and has a parent who requires assistance getting to and from the doctor. PMM wears many hats, and takes care of many bodies.
- “2:00 Pilates.” Like many PMMs in the Los Angeles area, our PMM takes private Pilates with a trainer. Work that core.
- “4:00 Kimberly.” PMM likes Kimberly more than Sherry.
Tuesday: This day still has the times listed, but less commitments. Maybe PMM is tired?
- “1:30 chiropractor.” PMM hurts. Perhaps from Pilates? From hauling the baby? From stress over what to do about the Prada coat? Is this the rescheduled appointment from Friday’s crossed out item?
- “2:00 Diana.” Again, poor Sherry.
This lost artifact is just one glimpse into the life of the PMM. She’s the mother of a young child, possibly peri menopausal, child of an aging parent who needs help with appointments. She tries to exercise (Pilates), needs help with adjustment (chiropractor), and must have some use for designer clothing (Prada coat?). She will soon be hurled into the world of preschool entrance interviews at an age when her tolerance for nonsense is descending rapidly. And whoever Sherry is, she was not rescheduled to our knowledge.
Whether the PMM actually got all her tasks done, after losing the list on a Los Angeles corner, is unknown.
Jenny Heitz has worked as a staff writer for Coast Weekly in Carmel, freelanced in the South Bay, and then switched to advertising copywriting. Her daughter started 4th grade at Mirman School this year. She previously attended 3rd St. Elementary School. Jenny has been published recently in the Daily News and on Mamapedia, The Well Mom, Sane Moms, Hybrid Mom, The Culture Mom and A Child Grows In Brooklyn. She now writes about gift ideas and products on her blog, Find A Toad.
2 thoughts to “Guest blogger Jenny: Found, A Note: An Artifact From The World Of A Post Modern Mom”
Jenny, this made me laugh! Who picks up a note and then writes about it in such a funny way? This mom could live on Upper East Side.
I laughed out loud reading this. You are a creative writer who can turn a list and write a witty and "oh, so true" account of our lives as PMMs in LA. Thank you!