It's a real kick when a soccer mom learns that a whistle isn't ending play

June 13, 2000|By SUSAN REIMER

I AM THE OBJECT of a man's desire.

I know, I couldn't believe it myself. But writer Matthew DeBord has broken the silence of a thousand men and confessed his secret longing for me.

Well, my type: the soccer mom.

In an essay for Salon.com, an online magazine, DeBord declares that the cadaverous models of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue do nothing for him. Instead, it is the serene, capable women featured in the Lands' End bathing suit catalog (with its promise of modesty, support and tummy control) that, well, move him.

"To hell with coltish babefests ...," he writes. "It withers in the face of this robust confidence, these sturdy thighs, those downy arms."

DeBord is an editor for FEED, a Web magazine of thought and opinion, and his essay goes beyond blunt to blue.

But if you can get past the raunchy references, it might lighten your mood to know that there are men out there with Snack Wells and baby carrots in their pockets and plans to lure you into a clinch in the back of your SUV.

He thinks our can-do attitude - the one that is the salvation of the PTA - will be the well-spring of erotic merry-making. He thinks we have an inner life. And he thinks our common sense "conveys sufficiency of a superior, and way-sexy, grade."

I thought my days as an icon of beauty and object of lust were long over. I never imagined that the little pouch left over from a couple of pregnancies was signaling my fertility and inflaming this man's virility. And I've been sucking it in for 15 years. What was I thinking?

"I adore her and am forced to envy her husband, one lucky dude by my measure," DeBord continues in this tribute, and I wonder if I should tape a copy to the bathroom mirror.

Would it energize my marriage if my husband knew that I had a cyber-idolater? Would he see me with new eyes, or distrust me every time I log onto priceline.com with my grocery list?

DeBord is a man who writes of my "elegant maturity." Who describes me as "a woman bashful enough to wear a sarong, gentle enough to mop the drool from a baby's chin." (Thank heavens he has never seen me wrestling on a pair of pantyhose.)

This guy should be in charge of morale at my children's middle school. Most of us soccer moms were not objects of desire when we were young enough to be objects of desire. And most of us are now enduring the eye-rolling derision of our children and the newspaper-muffled "Uh-huhs" of our husbands.

The notion that we are a powerful voting block is an ego boost, but it isn't flattering. Who wants to be a demographic or a target audience when there is someone out there who is scheming to possess you? George Bush? Al Gore? The "Do Not Disturb" sign is out for you two.

To find a man who senses our reluctant celibacy, who finds our cynicism exciting, for whom our bodies represent promise, not decline - this is good fortune for which we dared not hope.

Most of us had resigned ourselves to letting Sela Ward live our fantasies. Now the windshield of the van is a multiplex screen on which brand new daydreams unfold. No longer are we planning our spending spree after winning the lottery or thinking of all the things we have already eaten that day.

Now we can conjure the scenario in which we meet Matthew DeBord. On the sidelines of a soccer field? In the grocery checkout line? In the pediatrician's office? At the Nordstrom shoe sale?

DeBord admits he has never actually bedded a soccer mom, although I fail to understand why not. And, speaking for myself, I am not in the market for a tryst behind the tinted windows of my van. (I'd have to vacuum it out first.)

But it is nice to think that there are men out there who look at soccer moms like me and don't think "phone tree," but "phone sex."

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