Every once in awhile I’ll have a moment where I look around and it feels as though I’ve just woken up from an unnaturally long sleep. Like I’m Rip van Winkle and I’m not sure where I am or how I got here.
I had one of those moments tonight at our friend’s 40th birthday party.
You see, Paul and I have one set of friends who he met through his old company who are all older. They’re all married and all have girls between the ages of 4-8. We are the “young pups” of the group and constantly get the, “This is what your life will be like once you have kids” routine from them, but they’re a great group of people and we always have so much fun hanging out with them despite the age difference.
The restaurant we went to was in the suburbs but would still be considered “fine dining.” The girls are old enough and well-behaved enough that that isn’t an issue with going to the nicer places. Everything actually went well, the food was good, conversation was great, plenty of wine for all and the girls were quiet in their seats while we ate and then started building a fort along the backside of the table (so as to be out of the way of the aisles). I was just sitting there amongst all this chaos of children and being with these people, moms and dads…when suddenly I looked over to a table on the opposite side of the seating area from us. They looked to be in their late twenties. Clearly dressed for a night out after dinner. Clubbing? Or just a lounge/bar?
That was one of those wake up moments. I’m sitting here at the “grown-ups” table (although I kid you not we were seated on the “kids” side of the table along with all five girls), my friends are discussing school supplies and summer camps and Legoland…and I’m just like…huh? What am I doing here? And I see that other table and I wonder, wouldn’t I make more sene over there?
Except, I don’t either. They were clearly just beginning their night. Honestly, by the end of dinner I wanted to come home and pass out. Even going to get frozen yogurt before calling it a night didn’t sound that fun (but it was W’s birthday so I sucked it up and put on my happy face). But there is no way I could have finished dinner and then headed for a bar or club to drink and stand on my feet, possibly dance and be rubbed up on by strangers. As appealing as it all sounds, deep down I knew that that’s not where I wanted this night to go either.
It’s just….I don’t know…it’s strange. It feels like I’m caught between two places. Where I was and where I want to be (but am not).
Part of me wishes it was just that simple to be that other girl again. The one that partied all night, did crazy things, did stupid things….but I know I’m not. Now I’m the person who thinks explaining CDO’s to people is proper dinner conversation and I get tired by 9pm.
I wish we could just fit in. Have our adorable little ones, be the young parents, and get on with our lives. Instead, now, we’re faced with all these constant questions, when are you guys thinking babies? If only it was that easy…
So we don’t fit into that world. Maybe we should try the path of youth, drinking, partying, carefree, unobligated life. Except that sounds….so empty. It’s not what I want.
Are these really it? My options?