I went out to a show on Friday night with one of my best friends from high school. This was a big deal, because I never go out with girlfriends; not because I don’t want to, but because I just can’t be away from Lucy very much, and Allen and I use those times for dates and connection with each other. This time though, he said he’d stay home with Lucy and I could go have a little fun.
Austinites know that Austin is a town with lots to offer in the Fun Department. I was looking forward to getting dressed up and trying a restaurant I hadn’t been to, seeing a great band, and also to spending time with my girlfriend, who happens to be very funny and beautiful. She is out and about much more than I am, so I thought maybe some of her “cool” would rub off on me.
I used to be cool. I went to every new restaurant and bar, I went to lots of shows and heard new bands. I hung out with movers and shakers and had cocktails and late dinners and lingering talks with Very Interesting People. But that was then. In my now, the only moving and shaking I do is between the kitchen and the laundry room and the lingering talks tend to be me repeating myself over and over to my kids.
So I got dressed up and Allen let me drive the fancy car and leave the mom-mobile at home. I headed to my girlfriend’s house and parked my car in her garage and we motored over to a tapas bar called Barlota.
The atmosphere was lively and trendy, and the menu was fun. The wine list was good, and we ordered our drinks and cracked each other up for a couple of hours. We joked about it being like high school plus crow’s feet. I think that was my favorite part of the night, honestly. I love live music, but I love talking to friends over wine much more. Still, we had a band to see, so we got a car down to Moody Theater, and headed into the fray.
We knew some other folks who happened to be at the same show, so we hung out with them for the duration of the event (which was awesome- Spoon!), and then afterward we went to the W for a nightcap.
My girlfriend had offered to let me spend the night in case we “got liquored up”, as she put it, but I went pretty easy because I knew I wanted to go home, and so at the W I told her I wanted to head back for my car. We Ubered back to her place and she dropped me off and went back to rejoin the party. I headed home, washed my face and put on my jammies, and was in bed by 1 a.m.
Holy Mother of God. My kid knows when I ‘m up late. She woke up at 5:30 in the morning and could not be convinced to go back to sleep. Allen had fallen asleep in her bed and she was in my bed, so at 7:15 I scooped her up and deposited her with her father and slept for two more hours. It didn’t matter. This lady cannot function on a scant six hours broken by a two-hour early a.m. negotiating session.
My husband saved me with breakfast tacos and an early afternoon nap, but I don’t recall being that tired since I was nursing every hour around the clock. And it’s so much easier with a person who weighs 7 pounds and can’t run or try to ride the dog than it is with a tornadic 5 year-old.
I’m supposed to go to ANOTHER show next week with another girlfriend I adore. But I’m pretty worried about it. This time, the show is on a Tuesday. That’s a school night, and I will be on early morning school duty by myself.
And secretly, as much fun as I had that night, there was a point when I was watching the stage, and drunk people making out or yelling into each other’s ears, the lights flashing and the sound deafening and I just wished I was on my couch with my cat.
And the things I used to think were cool have lost their luster. I loved partying and wining and dining, but I love my family more. I like saying goodnight to my kids and my husband. I like it when my living room is filled with friends laughing or when a girlfriend is having a glass of wine and telling me stories while I make supper. I like having the energy to get up early and chase a silly goose, or get errands run and feel like I’ve made progress on my long list of to-do’s. Those things are their own kind of cool. And no matter how much I like getting dressed up, the real me isn’t a pair of heels anymore. The real me is corduroys and kind of ugly socks. And I’m cool with that.