Tuesday, May 02, 2006


Girls night out

Back in the day, I was never keen on the concept of 'girls night out'. Truth be told, I wasn't much keen on the concept of having girls as friends right up until I was going through infertility hell and made connections with women who have become the amazing sorts of friends with whom you can see yourself sailing into your retirement tea and rose garden years.

I wasn't exactly a tomboy growing up, but I was always 'one of the guys'. I used to hate social gatherings where the girls hived off in one direction and the guys did something else, because I was always way more comfortable with the guys. It became a point of pride, my inclusion as one of them, but then it became a problem, because I would let my ex-husband get away with all sorts of disrespect in the name of not being one of those women who just didn't understand her man and his needs. Makes my blood boil to think about it now, in hindsight.

So I arrived on the steps of the sisterhood late in life. Although my oldest and dearest friends are mostly male, it seems easier now to make acquantance and friendships with women now. And while women can be capricious and catty and duplicitous, so can I. It's a good fit!

I say all this by way of preamble to one reason why the concept of 'girls night out' is relatively new to me. The other is that I don't tend to leave the house much in the evenings anymore. I can count on one hand the number of times since Christmas that I've left the house after putting the boys to bed. I think Tristan was probably close to six months old before I went *anywhere* without him, even leaving him to his father's care. We've never had a babysitter other than my mother (and once, I remember hazily, a family friend, I think) and even then we employ her benevolence only once every couple of months.

But really, I should get out more. Because this past Friday night, Andrea and I got together for a simple coffee (okay, so it was Starbucks and they don't make a simple coffee - it was a vanilla latte and a vanilla mocha, I think) and a couple of hours chat, and it was terrific. We're doing a Lunch and Learn presentation on blogging for an office downtown in a couple of weeks, and we had gotten together ostensibly to outline our game plan, but mostly it was a bloggy gossip session interspersed with some maternal anecdotes.

Who would have thought that a couple of hours of coffee and chat could be so refreshing? Granted, Andrea is one of those people who seems to always leave you in a better mood than the one in which she found you, so if you're looking for a coffee buddy, I highly recommend her.

But I think back to the other times I've gone out with my girlfriends, and how no matter how much I wanted to see them, I am always initially reluctant to ask Beloved to take on the bedtime routine himself so I can get out for a bit. It's not that I don't want to go out, it's that I'm hesitant to ask him to take on the extra duties. And it's silly, because I would rarely begrudge him the same opportunity - but he's just not that social a creature and rarely ventures out either. What a couple of hermits we are, at least after 8 pm.

But as the boys get older and less needy, I think we'll be resuming some of our old social patterns - and working in a girl's night out more often. Playdates and combined family dinners are great, but I forgot how nice it is to chat with someone without a preschooler dangling from my leg.

Anybody free for coffee next week? *wink*