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Friday, January 26, 2007

Hausfrau's night out

It's been a rough week, mom-fans. Nothing specific. Nothing major. Just the daily struggles of yer average stay-at-home mother with really young young'uns. I had a bit of a hissy fit a few nights ago because the babies Did. Not. Nap. all day and I was beyond "touched out" when my beloved came home. Just imagine--I was unshowered, uncombed, the house was a disaster, I had a toddler shrieking at my feet and an infant in the frame backpack kicking my kidneys and jamming his tiny widdle fingers deep into my ears and I had just spilled raw chicken juice all over the damn kitchen. How was my day, indeed. And he wondered why I didn't greet him like I live in Stepford or on freakin' Wisteria Lane. Sigh.

Anyhoo, after the plaster settled from the ensuing Very Loud Discussion and Pity Party, I think he got clued in to the fact that I really, REALLY needed a little break. So last night we went Out. Yes, actual Out, where you call Grandma to watch the little guys and you put on clean clothes and order something that doesn't come with a twirly straw or a side of smiley fries. Out.

Granted, he was going to meet a group of guys he hung out with in college...and I knew none of them...but, um, out of the house and the promise of beer? I'm there, dude.

First hurdle: Becoming Presentable. As many of you who know, love, or *are* housewives will appreciate, my wardrobe these days consists mainly of yoga pants (yes I DO actually do yoga, damn it! Just, um, not quite as often as I'd like...) and my hubby's cast-off T-shirts. I own three pairs of jeans that I can actually get into; none of which actually share the same shape as my postpartum body. (Thankfully, one of them is too *big*, so at least I can feel skinny...although weirdly proportioned.) So, um, what to wear? Eureka! I have that new yummy sweater that I got so I could show my face outside of the house for the holidays...and some slacks. Damn. The slacks need to be ironed. But first, dinner...cleaning...shower...putting Infant to bed...

Second hurdle: Light-Speed Grooming. It will probably not surprise you to hear that my daily grooming routine consists of putting my hair into a ponytail. If I'm blessed and the children nap, I get to do fun stuff like shower, shave, wash my hair, and brush my teeth. There's really not time for much beyond that. So I'm WAY behind on the maintenance, folks. I took a deep breath, got myself into Efficient mode and decided to hit as many of the big items as I could, and let the rest go. For example, lip gloss but no eyeshadow. Besides, Gawd knows I didn't want to LOOK like a pathetic housebound person who got overly excited about actually getting to leave the house and hang out with grownups. I didn't have time to tweeze the twin forests that pass for my eyebrows, but I did decide to splurge on the "pampering" experience of upper-lip bleaching. Which totally freaked out my three-year-old. Seriously. He looked at me all suspiciously and kept asking, "Why you have mustache, Mommy?" I tried to joke about it, but he wasn't buying that I painted white shit on my face for a lark. He marched into the bathroom, soaked a hand towel in the sink, and came out and handed it to me. "Wipe it off," he ordered. Yes, sir.

I got Infant nursed, conked out, and snuggly-tucked away. Score. I still had time. I started to set up the ironing board when Dear Husband raised an eyebrow and reminded me that we were going to a Smoky Bar and I should wear jeans. Oh. Okay. Except that of the three pairs of jeans, the only one that was remotely clean-ish was the smallest, tightest, shortest (can flares be floods?) pair. Greeeeaaaaat. But I put them on, and a slightly less yummy sweater, and was surprised to notice that I looked okay! Not at all like someone who had just jammed herself into the least stained piece of Wal-Mart crap she still owns. And actually, kinda skinny. Not MILF, maybe, but definitely "not bad for a mother of four".

Oh, okay, get technical. I only actually carried two kids. But I'm raising four. And the two that I did carry were both C-section deliveries, so that's gotta count for something, right?

Naturally, the second that Grandma pulled into the driveway, Infant woke up and started wigging out. We handed him over with the full expectation that she'd have him rocked to sleep within minutes. I underestimate my son. When we returned, a mere two hours later, he was still screaming at full volume and she couldn't get to the door quickly enough. So of course, I feel like the world's most selfish, heartless mother. I'll beat myself up over that for the next few days, at least.

But in the meantime, I'm sure you're just dying to know about the actual Out. It wasn't half bad. It was a little low-key for me because I was the only wife who came, which surely either made me or my Dearest look pathetic/desperate. Plus there was that unspoken tension where you can just tell that the guys are thinking, Dare we make off-color jokes? Can I say the word "tits" without condemning my buddy here to an earful the whole way home? Eventually, though, they just ignored me. Which was just fine, because I couldn't possibly reminisce about stuff that they all did together 16 years before I even met my husband, nor did I know or care enough to be able to hold my own in a conversation about sports. Oh, I did participate a little when it came to music and our experiences with dot-coms (I think the one guy's eyes nearly dropped out with surprise--oh yes, there is more to her than just quiet arm-candy nursing her beer in the corner!) but for the most part I must say that I enjoyed just passively taking it all in. It made me extremely nostalgic for my male friends (and hanging out with them in bars) from my single days. Not in any flirtatious sense, but just the dynamic of loud, competitive camaraderie that has nothing at all to do with asking "does this outfit make me look fat" about 18 hundred times.

Oh, and I got nice and drunk. On three freakin' beers. Let me tell you, I have become a serious lightweight with the drinking. Which I guess is a bonus because it makes me a rather cheap date.

So there. I got a little moment of not-Mommy-ness. I'm ready to put my yoga pants back on and eat ice cream in front of Blue's Clues. Bring it on.

4 comments:

  1. Heather -

    An excellent narrative!

    I found myself reading this going, "Oh... so THAT'S why my wife [and mother of an 11-month-old] wears that kind of stuff... and is sometimes a bit cranky when I get home from work... and considers a shower that lasts longer than 3 minutes a treat..."

    You've given me some additional insight to that which I am slowly accumulating... so thanks! And keep up the great writing.

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  2. Hee hee! Yup, Kurt. We mothers are not exaggerating (okay, MUCH). We're totally in the trenches here.

    The good news is that it *doesn't* last forever. But that first year or so is totally Survival time.

    *sigh*

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  3. Ha. I hope your dot-com stories were snarkier than their dot-com stories.

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  4. Alas, it was just my usual. "It was such a shame. We had good technology, and some really great people working very hard on it, but no clue how to place it in the market."

    Well, that and tales of foosball tournaments. I gotta admit, I miss the foosball. :p

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