The first Mom’s Night Out I ever attended was a potluck when Zoey was just a few months old. Let me pause while you take that in. POT. LUCK. As in everyone is supposed to bake something. As in here’s-some-extra-work-for-you-to-do-before-you-go-out. As in you’re-a-mom-so-you-must-bake. I brought these fancy cookies with jam and chocolate in them. From Kroger. I didn’t bother to hide the box. And, seeing as how it was potluck, I assumed it was casual. I showed up in cords and one of my ‘nice’ long sleeved t-shirts. Apparently, this was a fashion faux pas as the other moms entered the house (carrying their home made baked goods) in swishy skirts showing off tanned and shaved legs, sandals with pedicured toes, and tiny tank tops displaying lactating boobs and flat stomachs. Except for one woman.
One woman came in a sequenced dress, 6 inch heels, and an updo. I had to stifle a laugh while the other moms had to stifle their apparent jealousy. Ms. Sex-on-a-Stick even talked to me. She said, and I quote, “It looks like your loosing some of that pregnancy weight!” Um . . . a) I had never met her before and b) um, well, I HAVE NEVER BEEN PREGNANT. I responded, “We adopted so I never had any weight to lose. It’s great!” Ms. Sex, sequence glittering in the overhead track lighting, looked at me like I was an idiot and said, “No, I mean, it looks like you’ve lost weight from having the baby.” I tried to smile. I probably failed. “Yes, I know what you mean. But I’ve never been pregnant . We adopted.” Believe it or not, this conversation went on. And on. Until I said, “Yeah, I lost all my pregnancy weight”, stuffed my mouth with another Kroger cookie, feigned interest in a nearby wall painting, and walked away.
Dinner was torture. I sat, staring at Caesar salad and watery lasagna, while other moms talked about the “blissful” and “fulfilling” experience of motherhood. Granted, I was deep in the well of post-adoption depression at this point, but I would have been willing to dig deeper just to get away from these women. I sat contemplating how soon I could leave. I really wanted to fake an illness but, as I barely had the will to go on living amongst such perk and June Cleaver-ness, I sat. And sat. And then snuck out as dessert recipes were being exchanged. Then I sat some more. In my car. While I cried. I think the tears were from feeling so other. So not part of those women. Not part of how they dressed. What they baked. How they talked. And, painfully, not part of the blissfulness and fulfillment that was their experience of motherhood. I was so sad and so tired and so overwhelmed that I couldn’t see that their momness didn’t have to be mine. Now I do. And I have not been to a potluck since.
(Stay tuned for Mom’s Night Out Part II — that in which we Whip it, Whip It Good)