Somehow I got very lucky and landed on the fringes of a local group of mommies last year. The three-dozen-plus-or-minus women in this group? Awesome. Some work full-time, some stay home full-time, most fall somewhere in between. Some have babies, some have teenagers. Each brings a different background and perspective and talents and ideas, but the common thread of motherhood and our desire to meet its challenges with good humor and positivity (and whenever possible a smile) unites us. That, and our profound need to escape motherhood just one evening a month.
That one evening a month was this Tuesday, a book-club-slash-baby-shower-slash-garden-party evening at the home of one of the women.
I had announced it to The Husband as “girl’s night out” at least two weeks ago, then gave numerous reminders as the evening approached. Then sent numerous “don’t forget” texts throughout the day Tuesday.
Then showered, shaved the legs, made up the face. Put on a long black maxi dress sans brassiere, wedge heels, and a little black hat The Husband likes. Fluffed the hair, applied lip gloss.
The Husband was at the other end of the house with The Child when I emerged, ready to leave. I loudly announced I was on my way out the door. He didn’t even peep around the corner at me.
So I went to him. Naturally.
Sashayed into the office just to tell him I was heading out, would be home later. He looked me up and down and asked “where are you going, again?“
“Book club,” I answered with air quotes.
“Ah. Okay,” said he.
Me, again with the way outdated and annoying air quotes: “Book club.“
Hmmmmmppppppfffh. Mission to Spark His Interest, Make Him Wonder: not accomplished. Even so, strutted to the car with my head held high. Just in case he peeped around the corner. Pretty sure he didn’t.
At least when I got to my destination I was surrounded by women who get this, even if The Husband does not. Ah, yes: The Sisterhood.
There was much laughter and girl chatter and for a handful of us, lingering long enough to be sure that our children would already be in bed when we got home. Two days later and I am still laughing at their stories, enjoying that this is not the only Other Such household. Not.Even.Close.
At one point the husband of the hostess came home, took a chair among the remaining women, assured us we needn’t leave on his account. He shared a few laughs with us.
And then someone said “ablation.” And some others said “what?” And another said “oh, are your periods really heavy?“
And that husband made his exit so quickly that there was nothing left but the fine wisps of super-fast-cartoon-character-like motion behind him. Zoooooommmmmmm, gone, goodnight.
Oh hahahaha how funny this was, to think that a man who has weathered childbirth would be made uncomfortable by Talk of Lady Cycles.
I was still amused by it a day later. So as The Husband stood at my car door in a grocery store parking lot, having stopped to talk with me for a minute before we went our separate ways again, I told him about it. And when I got to the word “period”? Total face change, the expression that accompanies a groan, just without the groan because I think he was holding his breath. Intrigued by his horror, I shared my newly-acquired definition of ablation. Suddenly he couldn’t get out of there fast enough, the 20 feet to his truck having grown to two miles, separated by a river of Womanly Things across which he might not make it alive.
I suppose my surprise is mostly because after the dozen appointments at the end of last year with stirrups and detailed descriptions of the miscarriage process and Q&A sessions on the D&C procedure and transvaginal ultrasounds – well, after all that I guess I assumed a little ol’ Lady Cycle was nothing.
I was wrong. It is a powerful repellent. I must remember to use it responsibly.
For example, the next time I’m clearly looking for a little bit of attention, feeling all I’m Leaving So I Need You To Want Me To Stay? If the whole air-quote-book-club thing doesn’t work I’m going to fire off an Ablation Warning Shot.
After which he has three seconds (maybe four if I’m feeling charitable) to get at least a little fake jealous that I’ll be spending time with someone not him before I pepper him with Lady Cycle Facts.
Miss me or I’ll give you reason to be glad I’m gone.
The latest in a string of evidence suggesting I am revisiting the junior high years. More from the evidence locker, tomorrow.