Saturday, November 18, 2006
Bertucci's at 1:00
I have a date tomorrow. It's with two of my closest friends, Carolyn and Jenny, and has been a roughly-monthly event for, what, two years now? Give or take. Before that it was monthly-if-not-weekly dinners, and so on and so forth. We've all been infected with motherhood and normal life chaos, but we've made a point of carving out a couple hours a month to go, without children, and complain about our husbands delve into the deeper philosophies of life, always at the same place because just getting out of the house is challenge enough without having to hunt down a new restaurant every time.

I tell you what, I would fear for my sanity if I didn't have these lunch dates. Just that small reminder that other people can be married to wonderful men and yet be exasperated by the sheer stupidity of testosterone sometimes, that other people's children are just as annoying as my own, and that my in-laws really are crazy (because, like almost anything else, you live it long enough and it starts to look painfully normal)... it's priceless.

And it's probably hilarious/boring-as-hell to listen to us from the next table over, because we're all in the mental health field, so there's a certain way of speaking and listening that we can't seem to escape. We're a soothing bunch. Especially when we're smart enough to just skip lunch and go straight to the chocolate mousse.

Apparently this sort of arrangement is just mind-boggling to Perfect J. At work the other day, we were talking about socializing and I mentioned that this standing lunch date is why I won't be attending another coworker's baby shower... which I do feel a teeny tiny bit guilty for, but I made up for it with a pretty darn cool gift, I think. Perfect J was just so awed by the idea of having a social life independent of my kids' sports schedules. Her son plays professional hockey, with the, what is it? AHL? not quite cool enough to be on ESPN but cool enough that Willem was able to find his stats online and remark, in a tone of reasoned professionalism, "He's not very good." It sounds like the extent of her social interactions have been limited to other hockey-moms and coworkers. Which makes my heart ache just a smidge... though her tantrum toward Curmudgeonly J about a piece of paperwork minutiae that was nitpicky and perfectionistic even by Perfect J standards goes a long way toward wiping away that pity.

In other gender-related news, Jennifer, a geographically distant friend of mine, is extraordinarily pregnant, due in a little over a week. The other night, she wanted brownies. She asked her husband to make them. He said no.

Then Wendy, a mutual friend who is even more geographically distant, called to speak to him about this clear lapse in judgment. He still said no.

I tried to get Willem to call, but in a misplaced display of testosteronish loyalty, he declared that he couldn't [insert street slang here]. Something about, couldn't diss a brother, or couldn't hang a salami, or whatever. It was pithy and far too ghetto for my very white husband to pull off. Whatever.

So then I called. And wore him down. Brownies were finished 28-32 minutes later. Boys are so easy.

And in a fun addendum, when I was sharing this story with Jenny today, she got so righteously fired up on behalf of Jennifer (both in sympathy for her initial brownielessness and her insufficiently sympathetic husband, and in shock at Willem's refusal to step up) that she announced, "I'm going to go punch my husband in the face now, just for belonging to that half of the species."

Do you see why I look forward to these lunches?