My mother babysat Saturday night so I could go out for a much needed ladies night. My husband was off camping (he’s promised I can “take the next two weekends off,” which means he might actually wash a flippin' bottle or two).
I had bought a cute green shirt that tied around the waist and was excited to wear it until my mother told me she thought it was great I was still getting some wear out of my maternity clothes. So I changed into another top and was disappointed to see that awful back roll I inherited from pregnancy was right there for everyone to see. I want to write a book about those insidious post-partum rolls. Basically it would be a picture book of all the rolls you get in weird places you never had before, like right over your rib cage and along the small of your back. The text would be simple: “Stupid roll! Stupid roll!” It wouldn’t be a very long book or maybe very interesting.
The ladies night was organized by a friend of a friend of a friend so I only knew one of the ladies. There ended up being 12 of us at a trendy restaurant where beers started at $9. We sat at a rectangular table; I ended up smack in the middle. To my left were five moms.
I wanted to like the mommies, especially now that I could contribute my cute, little anecdotes and insights, but I have always found mommy talk horrible and boring. When my husband and I went to parties pre-baby I always stayed with him and the men. They drank and smoked and swore! They didn’t spend hours talking about their child’s fecal accomplishments. They also didn’t seem quite so angry.
The mom next to me was very angry. She didn’t really like her husband (“he fucking yelled at me for not breastfeeding”) or daughter (“I‘m not fucking doing circle time!”). The mom across from her hadn’t had sex since she and her hubby made the baby 12 months ago. The mom next to her was so in love with motherhood that she had three kids and wanted a few more. Being such a great mommy had turned her insides into candy, rainbows and sunshine, so much so that her wide smile held up her face like bat wings. Finally, the mother at the end of the table wouldn’t take her daughter to any public places, like malls, because she knew someone was lurking in the shadows, waiting to snatch her.
And these were just the introductions.
I walked away from ladies night having drawn a few conclusions:
1) Conversation with mothers gets intimate fast. I think, after having squeezed another human being from your body, you cut to the chase a little more quickly.
2) Having a child brings your crazy a little closer to the surface. I might not believe that someone is waiting to kidnap my child while I try on bras at the mall, but I do often worry that my mother looks at me like the Rebecca De Mornay character in “The Hand that Rocks the Cradle” looked at the asthmatic mother.
3) Duh, the men at the parties were more fun because they were drunk and not watching the children. At the next party, my husband can stay inside with the mommies while I get loaded in the driveway because when I got home from ladies night and my son was crying, my husband was safely tucked in a sleeping bag in the middle of some wooded glen three hours away, gently sleeping off his buzz while I rocked my son back to sleep.