I rarely go to parties. No time. Or maybe I’ve been to my share. I do attend children’s parties because it’s part of the deal. Here, you mostly hang around and talk to other parents about, well, basically how they are coping now that life has changed so drastically.
“I’m so glad I travelled around the world as a gymnast. Did I ever tell you how close I got to going to the Olympics?”
“Had I not risen to the top of my firm it’s possible I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed. Ever feel that way?”
“I try to go with the flow. Kids are my dream. All I ever wanted. And I finally have a Volvo. I’m living the dream. Don’t you just love motherhood?”
“No.” This mother I avoid.
It goes on and on. Mostly mindless chatter as I make my way over to the cake. Or what is left of it.
The kids are killing themselves and breaking bones in the bouncy house or dunking each other in the pool, not that any parents watch. I’m not sure at what age parent’s stop watching their kids at parties. Six maybe? Sometimes it’s a drop off, and if the distance justifies, you just wait it out. So the waiting parents mingle in the kitchen and get drunk.
I don’t drink so it makes for fun observations. People say things they were never otherwise say.
Darth, a father of two, and I were talking on the porch as he was throwing back Red Bulls.
“I started to really dislike being married about an hour into the honeymoon. I got this gut feeling it was a mistake. The perfect beachfront suite wasn’t close enough to the water for her, the ocean was too cold, and there were too many children. Who complains on their own damn honeymoon?”
He shakes his head.
“But man, she was so hot with that smooth gait, faraway smile, perfect figure. She looked like a slightly older Amanda Seyfried. And quirky like Parker Posey. But a b**ch nonetheless. A funny one though. Now she’s just a b**ch.”
“Christ. I had no idea. You guys seem so happy.”
“Yep, it's all a big act. Major pain in my can. Has been for years. After the kids, it got worse. She’s positively demonic.”
“I actually like her. She’s funny. Different.”
“Maybe to you. At home, it’s Dr. Jekyll and Mrs. Hyde. I wish I could strangle her to death sometimes but the kids need a mother. Right?”
“Right. Maybe she’s just tired. Her whole life changed.”
“Get over it. Plus she still works.”
“Bitter probably too, then.”
Imitating his wife, “If we could afford a personal chef, live-in help and driver it would be different. I’d be happy. Who says stuff like that?”
“Every mother. I actually like her.”
“We're just mincing words. I like her too. Doesn’t mean I can’t call her names."
“True. But that makes you kind of bit of a cad yourself.”
“I’m only that way cause' she’s that way.”
He took a swig of Red Bull. I should point out Darth is handsome, successful, rocks some interesting tattoos, and reminds me a bit of Jason Stratham but with hair.
“You always seem so cool and carefree at these things. How do you do that? I know you have a boatload of your own brats and problems. Why are you always smiling and acting like you don’t give a dang?”
“Cause I don’t. I mean I don’t care. Who cares? We’re all going to die anyway.”
He raised an eyebrow then looked at my exposed leg. I was wearing a flirty strapless dress due to the 99-degree heat.
“You wanna go fool around?”
“We could go in the back, with all this racket, bouncy house, magicians, rabbits, balloons, drunk parents, no one will know.”
“We will. I don’t cheat.”
“Yeah, I used to say that.”
He smirked. For being such a smart guy, he was kind of dumb.
I had the kind of husband I wish would cheat so he would leave me alone. He just wasn’t built that way. He thinks I’m some kind of sex goddess, it doesn’t even make sense. We both acknowledge this.
“I don’t know why I am so attracted to you, I can’t help myself. I look at other women, force myself to and just want you. Even when your wear your ratty old nightshirt and facemask. It’s a sickness. I need hypnotherapy. I’m sick of it. I want to want other women. You put a weird spell on me. You’re a witch.”
I sigh. I never have an answer. I try my best to look like unattractive.
“So what do you say? There's a toolshed out back.”
He ran a finger from my ankle up to my thigh. I’m not going to say it wasn’t titillating. But I was in no shape to have quick toolshed strange sex. I had not waxed in ages, probably smelled and hadn’t brushed my teeth. I found myself disgusting.
He took my chin and turned my face toward his. Those eyes, light blue like a wolf.
“Meet me in the back."
Then there we were, flattened against the shed, his big hands up my skirt.
“Hurry, I hear people,” I said.
He held me up by my butt and went at it carrying me the whole time, doing the milkshake jostle.
“What’s your name again?”
I was committing adultery. This was insane. Finally we finished, exhausted, huffing and puffing. We fell into a heap of wood chips then started to laugh.
“You’re so ridiculous! God. Let’s go!”
He pulled up his jeans, I straighten my dress, fluffed my hair and we went back inside.
“Hey. Where you two been?”
“Oh, we were looking at the toolshed. Darth just had the garage rebuilt for his freaking man cave and now wants a toolshed.”
“Nice and sturdy. Roomy. Clean. Worked great.”
“Let me get you the info. It was cheap. I think we got it at Ikea.”
We wandered back inside and as predicted nothing had changed. People were still sitting around talking about nothing. We checked on our kids, still bouncing around, still in one piece.