I might keep this one short, because I’m exhausted. Very foggy today. And not because I got semi-drunk last night. (OK, that might be part of it.) You see, last night was moms’ night out.
My sister was visiting my parents with her two kids, so I invited her along to my mommy group’s night out. We got a ride so we could indulge in a few glasses of wine without worrying about driving, and as my dad dropped us off I told him we’d call him later to come pick us up. It felt just like high school.
Entering the bar, we got carded. I am now at the point in my life where that is considered a major compliment.
The bar was noisy and crowded, full of people who work starting the weekend a little early with a Thursday night happy hour. I felt a little out of place until the second glass of wine. Then it all started feeling a little familiar. I had been here before. A long time ago.
Conversation between the other moms and I revolved around our kids. Somehow it seemed hard to talk about anything else – until the guys came along.
A group of women at a bar will no doubt eventually attract men. One of the moms made up a story that we were out for a bachelorette (nevermind that we all had wedding rings on) to fool an unsuspecting guy. Another dude attracted our attention because he was a giant – turns out he was six foot ten – and he used our stares as a reason to come over and strike up a conversation. A dorky guy (the kind you can tell is really very nice, so it’s a shame he’s so unfortunate-looking) garnered our sympathy as he told us how he was there for a singles’ event that was held downstairs. A very attractive bald guy took our picture, which was posted to our mommy group Facebook page.
I found it difficult, though, to engage any of these men in conversation. I felt old, unattractive and frumpy. The outfit that I thought was so cool for my daytime tasks – corduroy jeggings and a flowy sweater – was hot and uncomfortable in the crowded bar. It had been so long since I had been in that kind of environment, and although I used to be a fairly successful flirter, I was definitely off my game – not that I wanted to flirt, however harmlessly, anyway.
It just seemed hard to figure out how to “be” in this environment in our new roles as moms. I didn’t want to talk to guys. But I wanted to talk with the other women about something else besides our kids.
The most awkward moments occurred when the guys would ask, “So what do you do?” How to answer that? We sheepishly avoided the answer, or mumbled, “I’m a stay at home mom.” To be fair, the guys took it pretty well, and didn’t immediately flee. Maybe they were actually intrigued. A hip Asian dude, upon hearing we were moms and deciding that he was down with that, pulled out his phone to show us a picture of his own mother. “She’s a total MILF!” he told us.
Eventually it was time to leave. We called for our ride, and as I put on my coat I wondered if I had wanted to flirt, did I still “have it”? I wasn’t sure if I either looked or felt the part; and I was oddly scared of rejection. Coming back to a bar was like looking back on my pre-baby, pre-husband life. I didn’t miss it, but I did miss being young.
As my sister and I walked outside to catch our ride, one of the guys we had talked to shouted to us in a congratulatory manner, “Moms!” He held up his cigarette in solidarity. We laughed and got in the car.