I met two of my dearest friends for dinner last week at our favorite Mexican restaurant, La Parilla. Well, they were two of my dearest friends until they mentioned loudly and often to our waiter that we were celebrating. The word “celebration” apparently translates into Spanish to mean: have the celebrant place a large sombrero on her head, making her look ridiculous, while the entire restaurant sings loudly and off key. Then take a picture so she can have a souvenir of shame. But my friends shared the cheese dip with me, so I quickly forgave them. We caught up over chicken fajitas about the day to day stuff and I clinked my bottle of Corona light with their sweating margarita goblets and toasted to another year of friendship. Was it eleven years? Thirteen? No, it had been twelve years since we met in the cul-de-sac in front of our homes. Where does the time go? The discussion turned from our old neighborhood to who was on the Oprah show. I became a conscientious objector to Oprah’s show this week featuring Octomom and Rielle Hunter-gag! Then the discussion headed to where it always goes, to my dating life, or lack thereof. To quote my mom, it is what it is.
Any dates? Drive by glances in a grocery store? Anything? I smiled sadly and shook my head no at the glimmer of hope they always held out for my love life. I explained (again) that working full time in a school full of women and children limited my options during the daylight hours and carting the boys to football practice in Married Land just left me sitting by myself in the stands for hours on end. I have become so adept at scanning men’s left hands for wedding rings, I have achieved a new personal record of 4.9 seconds to determine there are no single men in a vicinity of about 100 yards. “What about the weekends?” they asked. Ah, the weekends. Friday night I am basically a big puddle of jello that I pour into a bath and to bed by nine. On the Saturdays I don’t have my kids with me, the list of groceries, house cleaning, yard work and taking care of the dog leaves me about 43 minutes for frivolity every other weekend. I am not complaining, it is just the stage of life I am in right now. I get restless to change this up now and again, but my life is easier when I just accept where I am and make the best of it.
It won’t be long before my boys are grown and out the door into their own life adventures. I see this with my friends‘ children, and it really does happen in a blink. And frankly, I had mistakenly thought that as my boys got older, they would need me less, but the opposite is true. The trouble that a teenager can get into can’t be taken care of with a roll of paper towels and a time out. I will still be (by the skin of my teeth) in my forties when both the boys graduate from high school, so there is time. It is weird to think of the words single and fifty together. My dating pool will be a bit older (and hopefully wiser) and probably look more like senior aquarobics rather than hanging by the Hard Rock’s Rehab pool bash, but it is what it is.
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