Eavesdropping Will Get Me Everywhere

by Amy Guth

The Mommies sat in the same coffeeshop they always met in, only now the suits and ambitions had been traded for conversation not about themselves but about the babies; sentences beginning with “I” were long-ago traded for sentences beginning with "we" and "she" and "he" and even the simplest hairstyles were forgotten in favor of ponytails and harried undereyes. The Daddies sat at another table, not these Daddies, but some other childrens' Daddies, who never once thought about their careers shifting or downshifting when Daddyhood arrived. No suits were traded, no focus shifted away to selflessness, no vocabulary changed to cooing and babytalk, and above all else, they were surprised to see how quickly the Mommies surrendered. The Daddies assumed the Mommies wanted this strange behavior, wanted an out from deadlines and ambition, and acquiesced to the swollen bellies, the tiny infants and the cooing. The Babies, on the other hand, were amazed, for even they heard with their tiny ears, the subtext and knew that it was never a questions of who would change and they wondered why Mommies complained and continued to change while Daddies did neither. The Babies would know these things and deem them odd, but only until the cooing coaxed words to come and then, as their brains learned to make words and express themselves, they were suddenly and completely stunned into forgetting all the things they meant to say.


Amy Guth, author of In the Air and On the Sidewalks, has written about blaxploitation, Judaism, feminism, media literacy, bandwagonism, art, cult films, racism, hate crime and social irritants for all sorts of places like The Believer, Monkeybicycle, blah blah blah. She's toodling around at the moment promoting her novel Three Fallen Women and having a very nice time, thanks. She blogs Bigmouth Indeed Strikes Again. Come say hi.