In an effort to be more of a hip mom (whatever that is), a couple weeks ago I agreed to go to a girl's night out with a couple moms from Mom Group #2 who were chomping at the bit for an evening of girl talk and booze. Little did I know that when you meet up for dinner and cocktails with other moms, it's not considered "girls night out." Instead, it's known as "moms night out," or MNO, which sounds horribly un-hip and therefore completely negates the whole point of the night...but pressing forward.
Leading up to the MNO, the moms were
all excited and a chatter about the impending event. Texts and emails
flew back and forth between our library storytimes: "Where should we
make reservations?" "What are you going to wear?" "What if it rains,
then what will you wear as a backup?" "How late do you think we should
stay out?" "What drinks do you plan to order at dinner?" If I didn't
know better I would have guessed they were caged Amish women on the
precipice of tasting their first few hours of freedom during Rumspringa.
all this heightened excitement, I felt rather blah. Blah because I knew
I looked like crap and standing in front of my closet trying to figure
out what to wear depresses me since I have to bypass 95% of what is
currently hanging and take my pick from one of the last five hangers
tucked at the end. Also blah because in all actuality I missed J and
didn't look forward to leaving him for a night of drinks and dinner with
other people. Maybe that sounds pathetic, but I don't care. He's my
person and I like enjoying everything with him. In all honesty I would
have preferred that he (and all the other husbands) come along, since I
just don't see him that often and I get no real joy out of pretending
I'm "free" for a night of sorority-esque fun. But my true feelings were
beside the point, because watch out, world -- This was Mom's Night Out;
no men allowed! The other moms seemed stoked to leave their husbands and
babies behind for an evening, where they would have to worry about
nothing more than the cocktail sitting in front of them. (Apparently I'm
the only one that can achieve this even with a baby at my side. Bad mom.)
night before MNO, one of the moms (let's call her Belinda) casually
invited herself over to my house so we could go to the restaurant
together (because God forbid one of us shows up early and has to wait
for the others to show up. I guess that would just be too awkward.)
"I'll just have my husband drop me off at your house, if that's okay,"
Belinda's email read. In a perfect world I would have said "no," thereby
cementing my position as a bonafide curmudgeon. But in reality, what
was I supposed to say? "Um, no...my house is a pigsty and I wasn't
expecting any guests till Thanksgiving, so just stick to the plan and
meet me at the restaurant because I abhor cleaning, especially cleaning
last-minute"? Yeah, I'm sure that would go over really well. By the next
morning all the mothers in the tri-county area would hear about that
one time I told a mom she wasn't allowed to come over to my house.
I responded robotically. And for the next 12 hours or so I cleaned the
hell out of my house to host Belinda for a ladies night out I didn't
have my heart set on attending. After a full day of cleaning (I think
I've reached Cinderella status now with my stupid mop), I squeezed into
one of my killer "going out" outfits that didn't look particularly
killer anymore on my post-baby body and waited, switching on Watch What Happens: Live! to kill some time.
Belinda arrived part of the way through the episode, interrupting a
fascinating argument between Joanna Krupa and Adriana De Moura about
that one time Adriana punched Joanna in the face on national television.
I tried to get Belinda to watch it with me, but she preferred to coo
and play with Ava, so I reluctantly switched the TV off and followed
J arrived shortly after, and once Belinda and I compared our shoe choices and I gave her the official house tour -- I didn't clean for nothing, God damn it -- I handed Ava to J, and we were off.
feel like I'm 23 again!" Belinda shrilled as we backed out of the
driveway in my car and Too Short came on the radio. She paused,
intrigued by my choice of radio station. "You listen to rap?" she asked
I know I'm about the WASP-iest person I know, but yes, I occasionally listen to rap.
awesome!" she said, and proceeded to do a seated dance in the passenger
seat like Leslie Mann in the drunk driving scene of The 40-Year-Old Virgin.
Maybe I was just tired or in a funk, but the last thing I felt like
doing was busting a move with my seatbelt on. Nonetheless I laughed and
let her fly her freak flag. After all, nothing about her struck me as
someone who would enjoy rap, but then again, the same could probably be
said about me.
An hour later we were just
finishing dinner up with another mom, Mimi, that had joined us at the
restaurant. Belinda and Mimi were on their way to getting tanked off a
glass or two of red wine, but I was a good with my one gin martini since
I had to drive home that night. Both moms had spent the large part of
the hour gushing about how happy they were to be out at a real
restaurant having real drinks, though both winced at the booze in my
cocktail when I forced them to take a sip of it, so I assumed they were
using the term "real drinks" loosely.
According to our
original plan, we were supposed to just have dinner/drinks and then head
home after, which I would have been more than happy to do. Instead, two
hours later I found myself sitting in the VIP area of a terribly tacky
nightclub, watching Belinda and Mimi drunkenly writhe across from one
another on the dance floor while I staved off the cheesiest come-ons
from a couple of Bacardi reps that could have doubled as Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson from Wedding Crashers.
did we get here? Simple. The restaurant we started off our evening at had
nothing chocolate on the dessert menu. Isn't this the way all good
I'm not picky about my processed
sugars, but Belienda was. Naturally, she only wanted the one thing that
wasn't on the menu: a chocolate dessert. So we paid our tab and strolled
down the nearly empty street (this was a Thursday night in the suburbs,
after all) to another restaurant that we knew would have something to
satisfy her picky palate. After we were seated, the waitress asked what
we we'd like and Mimi blurted out "a bottle of champagne." Um, what?
Belinda, of course, asked for the chocolate-iest dessert they had for
the three of us to share.
Of course when the bottle
was popped at the table, I had to have a glass or two of champagne, or
"bubbly," as Belinda and Mimi repeatedly referred to it as, making me
feel like I was in some bad suburban parody of a Notorious B.I.G. video.
During the course of our champagne and chocolate (the latter of which I
mostly ate), Belinda cornered Mimi about whether or not she listened to
rap, as though it was some rite of passage into the "cool" mom's club.
Or something. I, for one, had pegged soft-spoken, doe-eyed Mimi as a
classical music listener, but it turned out she was actually a huge
George Michael fan. This didn't seem to impress Belinda, who began
ticking off names of all rappers she loved, including 50 Cent.
I don't know why but sitting at a table listening to scrapbook-making,
Subaru-driving housewives discuss 50 Cent like he's some tenuous
lifeline to another time back when they were cool was utterly hilarious
to me. Not knocking it at all, (I've found myself bringing up pop
culture references lately that are so outdated they're just sad) but
hearing other people do it out loud over a bottle of last-minute
champagne just seemed...well, desperate. And made me felt older than I
already felt before leaving my house that night.
what came next? You guessed it. Belinda and Mimi were adamant about
visiting a bar around the corner that had some Internet jukebox they
kept talking about. Belinda, especially, was on a mission now to play "just one" 50 Cent song on said jukebox. When we got to the bar, Belinda and Mimi
made a beeline to the jukebox against the far wall while I lingered near
the bar, debating whether or not I should order something since we
looked like idiots walking into a nearly empty establishment just to
play a 50 Cent song. But I reminded myself I still needed to drive, so a
drink was out for me.
"Are you guys going to order
anything?" I asked, but they were too busy choosing 50 Cent's "Candy
Shop" to hear me. When the synths came on for their song they shrieked
in unison and proceeded to dance as seductively as two new moms could in a
nearly empty bar with no drinks in hand. "Ooookay," was all I could
think since the last time I did this was probably at 23. A booth full of
young 20-something guys glanced over at our spectacle and looked highly
uninterested, no matter how provocatively Belinda and Mimi danced. I
felt like I was a mother out with her two teenagers and felt even older
than I had just minutes earlier. The way this night was going I was
going to feel of retirement age by the time I reached my car.
the 50 Cent song was over (thank GOD) and Belinda was brutally rebuffed
by the bouncer who picked out the next 40 songs on the jukebox, we left
the bar and started to walk back to my car. But wait. We had to pass a
nightclub on our way to the parking lot and naturally the two in my
party really wanted to stop there "just for a little bit." Oh, joy.
this point it was getting late, and I'd already told J I'd be home by
then, but we dipped into the nightclub to see what it was all about. The
moment we walked in the strobe lights and loud music dazzled Mimi and the 21-year-old version of herself
officially surfaced. She grabbed both our arms and shrieked in a pitch I
didn't know she was capable of. "This is real nightclub!!!!!" she
screamed over the blasting music, her eyes wide with delight. Yes, it
was a real clurb. This woman really needed to get out more.
was where a gaggle of Bacardi reps surrounded us, offering us drinks
and VIP seating and all that stuff that comes with being PR whores. It
was no surprise that Belinda and Mimi were not going to drink anything
with Bacardi in it; instead, they wanted bubbly. Shocking. This was
somewhat embarrassing to me since these 40-something-year-old frat boys
were shilling the Boco, but to my surprise, the Bacardi guys ordered us
bubbly anyway. Once the girls got their champagne fixes, their flirty
sides completely fell away and they commenced to totally ignoring the
guys. After Belinda and Mimi ran off to the dance floor, their tummies
full of champagne, I then had to listen to the guys incessantly ask me over bass-thumping music
"if my friends were lesbians" since they didn't seem interested at all.
I finally yelled over the loud music, "they're just married with kids." By the looks on their
faces, you'd think I'd just told them that Belinda and Mimi were
After putting up with these guys continuing to call Belinda and Mimi gay, while simultaneously hitting on me, I was so fed up. I had a super
hot husband who was laying in bed waiting for me to come home, not to
mention the rest of that Watch What Happens: Live! episode that
was left half-watched on my DVR. And here I was drinking bad champagne
in a sweaty nightclub with a group of over-the-hill Bacardi losers that
wreaked of alcohol and desperation. I was officially too old for this. I just wanted to go home.
thanked the men and stood up, grabbing our purses off the seat near me.
They protested that I stay since I was "so hot" and all, but the whole situation was thisclose
to turning into some sad scene from a Judd Apatow movie. You know, the
kind of revelatory scene near the end of his films where the main character has a
life-changing epiphany about their new place in the world as an adult. Well, I
already knew my place in the adult world and it was not here at this
venue pretending I was still childless and single. So I grabbed Mimi and
Belinda and left.
Hopefully I will never, ever return
to that nightclub, or that type of night, again. Girl's Night Out
failed to make me feel young and free -- all it did was make me feel old