I know – I know. Where have I been, right?
Monday night I told you about my weekend.
Tuesday night I went to a friend’s house for dinner. Then we went to a “Circle” meeting. I haven’t been to one of these meetings since …. Uh? Last April I think. Between work related travel, summer break, and my fall school session, I haven’t been able to be part of the group. Since I’ve decided to take the second semester of this fiction writing class, I won’t see them again until next Fall. The meeting went later than I expected – and when I returned home about 9:30 – it was straight to bed for me.
Wednesday night … I came home, cooked dinner, and pretended I was going to write. Actually, the one bad thing about this carpool thing is going grocery shopping. Usually I stop at the store on my way home from work. It is next to unheard of that I ever do errands on weekends. I just H.A.T.E with a passion leaving my house to go spend money. By Wednesday, because I hadn’t been to the store since New Year’s Eve, I was out of milk, and no longer had any fresh veggies, meat, etc. So … before I could cook dinner, I had to drop my carpool mates off at my house so they could get their vehicles and then BACKTRACK to the grocery store. By the time I got home it was 6:30, by the time I sat down to dinner (chicken breast in a provincial sauce, sautéed zucchini, oven roasted potato wedges) it was 7:30. By the time I got the kitchen cleaned up 8:00 or so. Then I spent WAY too much time on the computer. There may or may not have been wine involved. It was after 11:30 when I went to bed.
Which means, I woke up around 3:30 am with a slight headache. Deciding I didn’t want to fight both lack-of-sleep tiredness AND a headache, I went back to bed after taking an aspirin and slept through my workout time.
Thursday, last night I went to the book club formerly known as “The Self-Absorbed Democratic Mommies”. I haven’t been to one of these gatherings since … yep, maybe last April or May. The book under discussion was, “The Memory Keeper’s Daughter”.
I went for 3 reasons. I’d actually read the book while I was out on the road this summer; my friend Susan was going to be there; and the last time I showed up they were all so excited to see me. I’ve been involved in this group for the last 5 or 6 years. My attendance in the last two years has fallen off dramatically. Originally I started going because 3 of my other friends attended. Then they stopped going because we were the only “non-mommy” people in the group. Also the only people that weren’t “stay-at-home”. It’s hard to hang out with the “early-30 Soccer-Mom crowd” when you’re the “Late-30’s Never Been Married”, crowd.
Although my friends stopped going, I still went. I liked the books we chose. Or maybe I should say, “the books we chose were challenging”. The other reading group I belonged too limited their reading to “southern literature”. Every book had to either; take place in the south, or be written by a southern author. Which was fine and taught me a lot about the region I’d moved to, but there were some people who never wanted to read anything, “sad, or difficult, or upsetting”. Which pretty much left “light-fluff”. Not very filling.
Anyway – I am happy to report there has been a BIG change in the “Self-Absorbed Democratic Mommies”. The kids are older, less time is spent endlessly talking about “little Suzie who won’t take naps” or the “Bill who doesn’t help around the house and doesn’t understand why their wives want some time away from the “precious darlings”. There’s still a fair amount of crunchy-green politics to hear at each meeting, but it’s become much more ‘tempered’. Overall though, they’ve grown and their worlds have expanded. It was GREAT to be there and hear these very smart women dissect the story – looking for themes and parallels to our lives. I’m sad to know I probably won’t be able to join them this spring either.
Finally – my friend SUSAN. I just have to tell you. She is my hero and my inspiration. When we first met, this 5’4” woman was wearing a bigger size EVERYTHING than me. She is 4 inches shorter than me. She weighed a very unhealthy weight. Two years ago, she saw her equally large mother die in hear early 70s. I guess it was Susan’s wake up call. Not last summer, but the summer of ’06, she went to New York for 7 months to work as a researcher for a professor of history at UNY. She stayed in the professors “extra” flat in the East side. Every day she walked the streets of NY. To the library, Central Park, and all the museums. All that walking gave her a boost.
Of course, I was busy traveling that summer too. We’d had little contact. One day, at the end of summer, I was in Whole Foods and caught sight of this woman. If I tilted my head “just right” it looked a “little” like Susan. The reason I say “a little” is because this woman was at least 100 lbs lighter than my friend. I kept staring at her, and finally said, “Susan? Is that you?” It was!
Then this spring we went to a funeral together. When she showed up, I almost didn’t recognize her. She said not only had she continued the walking when she came home to NC, but she’d joined the Y and was changing her diet. She was down to a size 10/12 depending on the cut, but was determined to get into an 8.
Last night – this SKINNY woman walked up my sidewalk. This skinny, size-8 wearing woman, who said, “Yeah, I know I said an 8, but I still think I can lose some more in my lower body. I’m going for a 6.” I bet she’s lost at least one of her. Maybe one and a half. If she can do it, I can do it. Now – she’s as beautiful on the outside as she’s always been on the inside. I have the most inspirational and amazing friends.
Ps: I also have company coming for dinner tomorrow night and the writing critique group coming Sunday afternoon. BUT …
I’M NOT A SOCIAL BUTTERFLY!
I was home last SUNDAY night
I was home MONDAY night
I was home WEDNESDAY night
I’m home tonight, FRIDAY night
I’ll be home this SUNDAY night too.
That is NOT the schedule of a “social” person.