Monday, July 17, 2006


Yesterday's post = 100.

Today, we're at 101.

Speaking of 101, this week's temperatures in D.C. are suppose to exceed the 100 degree mark. Seems like a good time to get out of town and head to L.A., but my best friend, Mary Ellen, who's getting married this weekend in L.A., says it's hot, hot, hot there, too.

My mother has been in Salt Lake this past weekend for another funeral and she says she's melting into the pavement, which is also melting.

The other 101 0f significance is that vaunted stretch of highway that tranverses California north and south. Known simply as 101, it's the road that will take you from the northernmost border of Washington State all the way to Los Angeles. (In California, 101 is also often called El Camino Real, or the King's Highway. It follows the original route traveled by the Spanish explorer Juan Gaspar de Portola in the mid-1700s.) Along the way, you drive through some of the most beautiful landscape around and through some of the most storied cities in our nation.

I miss 101. And while I know I can't run from my challenges or problems, I certainly know I was happier and more productive when I lived in California. I'm not suggesting that California is the only place in the world worth living, but it's a far sight better than D.C. with its frenetic, me-first, arrogance and pace.

And speaking of frenetic, yesterday a group of us went to the farmer's market in Takoma Park to partake of the bounteous harvest. Going to farmer's markets around here is like living in Soviet-era Russia. People run around and push you aside for a juicy plum or a succulent peach like they haven't seen a piece of fruit in ages and ages. The behavior is appalling and chaotic. On top of that, throw in the stroller moms with their SUV strollers and it's the most perplexing and aggravating experience going.

And why are strollers so damn big these days anyway?


Miss Understood said...

Grappling for space in a market, in 100 degree heat, doesn't sound like much fun. Rather you than me!

Perhaps the mothers with their strollers deserve a place in Room 101?

Adriana Velez said...

Allow me to explain the stroller moms:

1. Any mother with a child under 3 (sometimes even 4) in a pedestrian area has to take a stroller with her unless she wants to either carry the child or spend eight hours doing something that should take one. Just because a kid can walk doesn't mean they can stay on task and keep up.

2. Some of the larger strollers are are for running with. If a parent likes to work out by running but is the primary caretaker of the child this is the often the best solution. Most people don't have room/budget for a running stroller and a smaller stroller.

3. Some of the larger strollers are Bugaboos. True they're gigantic but they're great for napping (esp. for larger children), hold a lot of stuff, and are, frankly, gorgeous. If I had money to burn and enough storage space I'd have one.

4. Parents (let's throw the dads in here, too) of small children are often sleep-deprived and therefore spaced out while navigating their strollers in public.

5. Parents with strollers are usually focused on dealing with a demanding creature the size of a fire hydrant. Sometimes giving a damn about the fully-grown adults around them IS too much at the moment.

6. I know what you're thinking -- Oh, I don't mean YOU. But I've nipped the heels of other pedestrians while booking to singing time and arguing with my husband on the cell over how to maximize space in our one-bedroom apartment.

We don't mean to be obnoxious. We even mean to be considerate. But think of it this way: stroller mom with kid takes up too much space? Not as much space as two adults walking together.

OK, I'll get off the soapbox now.

Janet M. Kincaid said...

Adriana, you're right, as always, on all counts. You're also right in that I think you're the exception to the rule rather than the rule.

I guess part of it for me, too, is just an amazement at how many places I see kids these days. It's so unlike when we were growing up and kids 'graduated' to certain activities and venues as a result of getting older and earning the privilege.

Of course, every time I write something about stuff like this, I'm then forced to sit back and think, what would I do if I had kids. I end up realizing that I'd probably be one of those moms with an SUV stroller fighting the hoary masses for sidewalk space and a succulent peach, too.

Bored Dominatrix said...

We don't mean to be obnoxious. We even mean to be considerate. But think of it this way: stroller mom with kid takes up too much space? Not as much space as two adults walking together.

Two adults walking together A) have much more manouverability than a stroller mom with kid and B) take up less room than a stroller mom with kid in stroller and two more ambulatory kids in tow.

OK, so parents are often sleep-deprived. OK, mothers need certain accommodations. I'm all for spending money on good schools and decent maternity leave. I'm not in favoar of sheer rudeness from strangers on the street, just because they chose to reproduce in the last three or four years.