Ah, self-pity... indulgent and pointless... down-right luxurious. But more to the point - I can't possibly go off and enjoy something as completely selfish as a little pity-party. Years of marriage and children have completely worn down my resistance and I surrender to truth that I should not actually expect to have anything but scraps. I tick down the laundry list of what I've given up over the past decade: My body - in so many ways that it now has its own list. Privacy. Clean clothing. Expensive clothing. Travel. Alcohol - the kind you drink. The gym - well, the really cool one in the city. The desire to go to the gym. Bars. Clubs - the type where you dance with random guys into the wee hours, not the kind that offer a newsletter with the latest mommy-and-me schedule. Restaurants that don't have a children's menu. Stilettos. Sleeping in. The post-mortem call to a best girlfriend that begins with one of us saying "I got so wasted last night..." Cars that seat fewer than 5 people. Clean floors. Sitting down and finishing a meal without getting up between bites. The remote control. The phrase "I have nothing to do today." The approving scrutiny of any man (please, of course my husband doesn't count). Small handbags. A bare midriff. A presentable midriff. Ignorance of all things Disney (post 1980). A clean car.
Oh, sweetie - you are so chic! What a sad,
sad irony that now that I can finally
afford you, I have nowhere to go in you
and my stiletto walk is long retired.
All these things I mourn and miss while knowing that I made my choices and do appreciate the beautiful life with an amazing man and three perfect, and perfectly horrible children. I like to think there's an alternate universe where that other me - let's call her Otherme - is getting ready to go out just as this Me is getting ready for bed. Oh, I love Otherme! She has worked so hard for that that size 4 body with the booty sitting so high up on those lean legs. Look at her go - getting a cab with a single raise of her arm, wearing that fab shade of MAC red lips, and working those Louboutins. You know she won't be too tired and the dirtiest thing she'll handle is a dirty martini before she sits down to dinner at the civilized hour of 8:30 PM. Is it possible that the morning after her typical night out, she is staring longingly at the couple with the stroller, the mom with a perfectly round bump and the glazed look exhaustion? Is that a hint of envy in Otherme's eyes? Or is she just thinking that maternity clothes don't work on anybody, and "there, but for the grace of..." Oh, please Lord, let it be envy.