Yesterday I was supposed to go to a jewelry party hosted by a girl that I used to run with before she got pregnant. I was looking forward to it, although I don't have a huge desire to buy a bunch of mail order jewelry. What I was looking forward to was meeting a bunch of girls for a bit of time without the husband and kids. I had my outfit planned, had even volunteered to make a batch of cupcakes to share.
But then our washing machine flooded. Like "3 inches of standing water in our laundry room" flooded. Matt and I are both so over everything in our house deciding to die, so I just said, "Hell with it, let's just call someone to fix it or go buy another one." Matt briefly thought about it and then reminded me that it is Sam's birthday this month, so we shouldn't be spending any money that we don't have to. Grumble. So he retreated to the laundry room to try to fix it (he did, and everything is peachy now). And then Alice, who I had considered (under duress) taking with me, has a tooth coming in and was Capitol C Cranky. Since Matt was working on the washer and my mother in law had taken Gabby to a church picnic, I had no other choice but to stay home with Al. I called to let the hostess know why I wouldn't be attending and to apologize. She ended up talking me into buying some jewelry anyway. Great. So now I'm on the hook to buy jewelry but without getting to go to the party. Awesome.
This is a great representative of my life with friends. I have great intentions, but absolutely no follow through. Something always ends up coming up--a sick kid, a home emergency--and I end up forsaking my plans to deal with it. And then when it comes time to reschedule, I find myself so tired or over committed in another area of my life, that I decide to use my free time to just relax with my husband and kids. Or with the Kardashian sisters and a glass of wine. There are so many Friday nights where I think, "I should call X or Y and we'll go out for dinner." But then I walk in the door and set my bags down, and all of a sudden I can't conceive of ever stepping foot out of my house ever again. I put on the yoga pants and find solace in making some bread. On a Friday night. Awesome. The excitement is palpable.
I have a friend--let's call her S. She moved to my high school when I was in 11th grade, and we were fast friends. We graduated together and then went to the same college. However, we had different friends in college and lived in different places, so we actually didn't see each other that much. However, I always knew she was "there." When Sam was born, she brought me a big basket of baby stuff and helped to line up some of her friends who needed cash and wanted to babysit. She and her now husband (who, interestingly enough, was my 7th grade prom date) were the only non-family guests at my incredibly small, intimate wedding. She moved to NY right about the time that I moved to SF, and we talked over Google Chat at least every week about our new lives as country girls in the city. When I moved back here, she returned within a year with her baby daughter. It was her stash of newborn diapers that I used when Alice was born. We used to run together, but now she is pregnant, but we still see each other nearly every week at the Farmer's Market where she helps her mom distribute food vouchers for seniors. Every time we see each other, we have a great time talking--we have shared viewpoints on many family/social/parenting issues, and we are both working moms who try to balance that role with being cool.
I want to invite her and her family over for dinner one night. I even have the menu picked out. But I never seem to have the time, and I wonder if she does. And I always think--I have so little time, so little precious time to do stuff with my kids--what if she is the same way and would much rather spend the evening lounging with her family than eating Moroccan couscous with me? Plus, our house is small, and with all of the kid stuff around, not that conducive to entertaining. I don't know. How did I turn into such a hermit?
I have daydreams about emailing a bunch of girls one Friday with the subject line "Girl's Night Out--WOOHOO!!!" But I don't. When I lived in CA, it was so easy to hop on the BART and ride to Berkeley to my favorite bar and meet up with friends. Here, we would have to drive an hour to get to a chain restaurant. Is it even worth it? When I probably need to be spending that time making sure my kids don't turn into sociopaths? And making sure that I get enough sleep so that I don't drive off the side of the mountain one day?
This is a dour post for a Sunday morning, I know. So, to lighten the mood, I'll give you a little snippet of life with Sam, my son. This morning, I went out to the car to retrieve our diaper bag. A turtle was on the porch. I picked him up and inspected him and then went back in the house. When Sam got up, I told him about the turtle, figuring he would be still on the porch. Because he's a turtle. And they are slow. And it is a big porch. Sam and I went outside, and the turtle was gone. I am looking for him and saying things like, "It has to be around here somewhere!" and Sam goes, "Well, Mom, it takes a turtle three hours to crawl a mile, and if it was an hour ago, he's probably 1/3 of a mile away by now. So he's probably not around anymore. Sorry, Mom." Then he walks back into the house. Ok then.