Posted on | January 29, 2015 | 3 Comments
I get a lot of Facebook invitations.
You know the ones I mean, the cool art gallery openings and the funky brass band playing downtown? The exhibit on the history of my town, the Superbowl party, or maybe a bar-hopping birthday party. Every single one looks awesome. Each one that pops up on my feed with a “You’re invited” blurb gives me that instant rush of coolness that comes with just being including in something well outside your comfort zone, well outside your level of un-hip-ness.
Without fail, I mark all of the events “maybe.”
It’s true that I know I’ll miss most, if not all of them. It’s true that I will never think about the event again, probably, until I see the ultra-cool photos splash across my page from all my ultra-cool acquaintences and friends who go and have the time of their lives. It’s true that I know, the moment I see the invite, that I will probably not go.
So why do I select “maybe” instead of “decline”?
When I was first going through divorce, I wanted to be one of those people. I would see the events that my friends were going to and I’d think “One day, that’s going to be ME.” I’d watch with envy as they’d post pictures with local celebrities, toasting the new year with champagne or sipping martinis with smiles at a fancy restaurant. I’d think about everything I was missing and it would make me feel all types of sad. Here were women close to my age, having fun in public… not potty training or force-feeding vegetables. These women were dressed to impress, not dressed in work clothes that might or might not have stains from who knows what on them.
I was envious.
I felt exceptionally left out.
I felt like I was missing out on all the fun in life.
This morning, I was scrolling through the list of events I’d been invited to, doing my usual check “maybe” when it occurred to me why I check “maybe.” It isn’t that I *might* grace the event with my sloppy, unkempt presence. It isn’t that I may or may not find something better to do with my time. It isn’t because I think I’m too cool or too busy or too anything to attend.
I mark “maybe” because I need the reminder. I need the pop up on my feed that says the Art Gallery opening is today. I need the reminder that I was invited to a super cool event that lots of super cool people I used to wish I were more like will be attending. I need the flashing, brightly photographed reminder that I could go and be that girl if I wanted to. I could put on a cocktail dress, hire a sitter, and dance my feet off. I could sip martinis with some great girlfriends at a hip and trendy restaurant. I could lightly grip a glass of wine and move soundlessly through an open, airy gallery. I could do any and all of that… if I wanted to.
What I’ve realized, though, as my child and I have grown and aged and matured together, is that I don’t actually want to. I want the option, yes. I want to know that I CAN go. But I no longer feel that I’m missing out on anything by not being there.
Because being right here, with this guy…
watching him grow and change and learn and become the person he’s going to be? That’s the greatest, hippest, coolest adventure I could imagine. Not that I don’t enjoy a night out with Banks. Not that I don’t love the evenings we get to spend dressed well, drinking fancy drinks, and talking to other adults. It’s just not who I am every day. I’m just… not the party girl any more. I’m not going to be the one out there on the scene, shaking hands and kissing babies. Not anymore. Not because I CAN’T be, as I used to believe. I’m not that person because I don’t WANT to be.
I’m the mom. Right here. Playing Crazy 8s and watching Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Because THAT’S an event I’ll always mark “joined.”