The only people
Smartmom knows who are having sex are her divorced and widowed friends.
Between Match.com, Nerve, and some of the other dating Web sites, there’s
no shortage of the unattached and unencumbered eager for a little hanky-panky.
Perhaps Smartmom’s shades are rose-colored, but it seems the newly
single are doing it in hot tubs and cars, on couches and coffee tables.
Divorce may be tough on the kids, but joint custody is probably the best
invention since the vibrator.
Not so for old married couples like Smartmom and Hepcat (17 years and
counting — but who’s counting?). And it’s not because they
don’t still feel the way they always have about each other. At least
In her book, Hepcat will always be her handsome California farm boy with
the square chin and good-smelling ears. She still loves his big lanky
frame and the way he lifts her up when they embrace just like he did when
he literally swept her off her feet in front of Fanelli’s on Prince
Street on the night they met.
But life with children is just not conducive to fooling around, let alone
spending entire weekends in bed eating organic dried figs or sipping Brooklyn
Lager out of Smartmom’s Aersole stilettos. There’s just no time
for that kind of amour anymore.
First off, Hepcat and Smartmom are busy with their careers, their kids,
shifts at the Food Coop, and trying to motivate themselves to attend a
Weight Watchers meeting at the Montauk Club. And when they’re not
working, there are the time-consuming chores: nightly pasta preparation,
sniffing Teen Spirit for drugs, and trying to get OSFO in bed before “The
O.C.” on Thursday nights.
Home may be where the heart is, but it doesn’t do much for the organs
further down the body.
These days, Smartmom often falls asleep (in OSFO’s room) reading
“A Series of Unfortunate Events.” And Hepcat likes to zone out
in front of his computer reading Boing Boing and answering e-mail.
Then there’s the noise factor — the proximity of children is
a veritable cold shower. Besides, it can be traumatic for kids to hear
their parents making love.
Smartmom once heard her parents having sex and it took five years of Primal
Scream therapy before she came to grips with it.
And finally, there’s Brownstone Brooklyn’s version of “Not
tonight, honey,” also known as the “Family Bed.” Attachment
parenting and “co-sleeping” is much more prevalent than you’d
Smartmom and Hepcat are certainly not like their friends, the Big Bedders,
who actually bought a king-sized bed so there would be plenty of room
for their two children.
Then again, when OSFO was younger, it took months for Smartmom to convince
her that she needed to sleep in her own bed. For years, OSFO was their
little Berlin Wall blocking sexual reunification again and again. True,
Smartmom and Hepcat were the ones who let her fall asleep in their bed
night after night, too lazy to move her into her own room just five feet
But the times they are a changin’. Smartmom is thrilled to report
that OSFO, at 8, is regularly sleeping in her own cozy pink bedroom. As
for Teen Spirit, Johnny Cash and Of Montreal are usually playing so loud
on his iBook — and he’s so busy IM-ing his friends — he
could probably care less about the goings on between his ancient parents.
So this Valentine’s Day, Smartmom knows that the time is right for
a romp with Hepcat.
But how to make it happen? After all, is romance even attainable in a
bedroom cluttered with all those framed sonograms of OSFO and Teen Spirit,
sweatpants hanging off every chair and sheets that see more action in
the dryer than on the bed?
Smartmom brought it up with her married girlfriends, but found it was
a touchy subject. For a bunch of hyper-verbal women, marital sex is one
topic that is rarely broached. They can talk endlessly about first love,
college promiscuity, and quickies in the coat room at Area back in the
mid-1980s. But marital sex?
“Children are the death of romance,” volunteered Mrs. Kravitz,
a good friend who lives a few blocks away. “It’s not that we’re
uninterested. It’s not that we’re bored. My husband and I don’t
get to be alone enough together to be bored.”
Another Slope mom, Tall and Lanky, told Smartmom, “We can’t
just jump into it. We have to have time to connect in order to have sex.”
Yes, it’s true. Sex, like so many other aspects of life in Park Slope,
needs to be scheduled well in advance. When her husband is interested,
Mrs. Kravitz reports, he makes the bed, puts the dirty clothes away, and
piles the kid’s toys in the hallway.
For Tall and Lanky, the mornings sometimes work, “But it’s risky
because you never know when the kids might pop in.” Says Mrs. Kravitz,
“On birthdays and anniversaries, we just ship the kids off to grandma’s
and get a room at a hotel in Manhattan.”
Eureka! Thanks to Mrs. Kravitz, Smartmom took matters into her own hands
and booked a room at the Brooklyn Marriott for some Valentine’s fun
and frolic. Sure, Manhattan sounded nice, but if it’s in Brooklyn
she can probably get Dumb Editor to foot the bill (Dumb Editor note:
I’m dumb, but not that dumb.)
With days to go, Smartmom is quite excited. She’s already purchased
a tasteful organic cotton negligee from Diana Kane for the occasion —
but she’s thinking of bringing along the kinky black fishnet tights
she found on one of her secret runs to the Pink Pussycat on Fifth Avenue.
(Can’t find it? It’s right across the street from the middle
Here’s the plan: On Tuesday night, Smartmom and Hepcat will meet
at the cocktail lounge at the Marriott, where they’ll pretend to
“meet cute.” Soon, she’ll be dangling the magnetic card
to the hotel room and the rest (if all goes according to plan) will be
That is, if their cellphones don’t ring and they’re not called
back to Third Street. Think of what fun they’ll have when they get
to pretend that they’re paramours, not parents: a chance to be together
for a few hours, just the way it used to be.
©2006 Community Newspaper Group