After I had beckoned Reservoir Mum over to the computer to take a look at another Mentally Sexy Entry featuring a Victorian mother’s enraptured ramblings about her ridiculously Mentally Sexy husband, I was left feeling a little threatened, a little insecure. She just seemed overly impressed, almost amazed at the effort this new Dad was putting into the house and his wife and his baby.
It’s not the first time it’s happened. Lately, whenever a new entry has arrived at the inbox I’ve noticed Reservoir Mum staring at the photo and reading and re-reading the spiels, almost obsessively, and the intensity of her perusal of the material and the glazed faraway look in her eyes reminds me of when I found my first Playboy magazine, at thirteen years of age, in a bin behind the local Newsagent. I stashed it under my mattress and lost hours of my life staring at its pages and fell asleep nightly to a fantasy world where the women came to visit me and talked to me and before too long I knew them so well. The woman on the bear skin rug laughed at my jokes, the athletic woman with the white sporty headband teased me as she pulled up her thick woolen socks and the female mechanic asked me to wipe the oil off her forehead and hold her wrench. I leant so much about myself at the same time that I built an expectation about what a woman was.
My concern now is that Reservoir Mum is falling asleep with similar fantasies. Is she closing her eyes to Bill making a delicious meal? Is she obsessing over Thommo’s spontaneous gift of a night in a motel? Is she moving into slumberland thinking of Steve C’s tea parties, Map Guy’s grocery shopping, Julian’s vacuuming, Chris N’s baby-wearing or Robert’s tireless breastfeeding support?
It’s my own fault. I have introduced her to the Most Mentally Sexy Dads in Australia. Before, I was unique, I was special. My Mentally Sexy efforts were so unusual that they were featured in Newspapers and TV shows but now she knows that there are others out there and how can she help but compare my effort to theirs? The more entries I receive the more likely I am to disappear in the mix, like a drop in the ocean. Am I measuring up? Am I doing enough? Am I bring my best Mentally Sexy efforts to the game every day?
I have no choice. I must pursue Reservoir Mum as I did when we first met. I must generate that same level of excitement and passion. Today I will put on my IPOD and listen to Mentally Sexy Music, like Hot Stuff by Donna Summer, while I wash and dust and clean and sweep and organize, and teach the children things by answering all the questions I have avoided, like ‘how does water get in my tummy if I drink while I’m lying down’ and ‘why doesn’t my throat get dirty when I eat food?’ I will remove the dog poo from the lawn and then cook Chicken Tandoori from scratch…. or perhaps I will cook Chicken Tandoori from scratch and then remove the dog poo from the lawn… yes, that would be more hygienic.
I will covet my house and family like Gollum covets The Ring (without becoming almost wholly evil).
I will make sure that Reservoir Mum falls asleep thinking of me.