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I Swear Occifer…*burp*… I Am Not A Man!

*Warning, this is a long one.  Grab a drink and snuggle in.”

Last night I did something that I really needed to do.  Something so simple to most but highly important for me to do.  I crossed a bridge that is very hard for me to cross.  I dipped my toe in the nice warm salty waters and it felt great!  I tasted a small taste of freedom that only comes with letting go. At this point you may be thinking I must have made some giant life decision or (look away Dad) did something “extra special” with my husband but, sadly, no.  What I did was something that comes so easily to most and most would find ridiculous to have me go on and on about the importance of.  I went out with a couple ladies last night and had a couple glasses of wine.  Whoo hooo!  Start up the parade! I’m wearing a ball gown and waving from the top as I throw candy and Mardi Gras beads at everyone who shows me their stuff!

Ummm… OK… Fun yes!… Highly important and mildly life changing?… Are you sure???  Mardi Gras beads??? Really?

YES! REALLY!

I’ll admit it. I’m one of these hermit types that finds my little world so satisfactory that I find little need to leave it.  I go places with my husband and daughter. I go play tennis with my tennis ladies.  I’m mildly social on Football Sunday when I invite all of my husbands boys over and cook for them. (Cuz they all need a woman… and some of them are just too skinny and living off Taco Bell)  What I’m saying is that I’m not anti-social, I’m just quiet in my private time.  And I cling to that.  I’m not uncomfortable in social settings. Matter of fact I almost tend to become the center of attention.  Not because I try, but because I’m loud and nuts and that draws, while not always the best attention, attention just the same.  But I will admit to having a bad habit of bowing out of social functions because its just too feels like too much work sometimes.   I have no clue why I do this or feel this way.  When I’m out and being social I never hide my true self even when I know I’m going to offend the delicate sensibilities of someone.  I always do.  Can’t help it.  I been told I think more like a man, I cuss like a sailor on shore leave, and I really do appreciate bathroom humor.  I’m used to the blank stares I get from some when I tell a joke or snort wine out my nose because I found something inappropriately funny that I probably shouldn’t have.  But that’s just me and I don’t hide it.  I’m still invited to functions so I don’t feel like I’ve ever gone too far.  (((Although I think it’s always the women’s husbands that want me to come. Not because I’m some “all that” hottie, because you know I really am the shiz-net, but because I’m a woman that can just hang with the boys and they appreciate that. And I can tell them when they are being stupid pricks and need to buy their wives roses. Ladies you should maybe appreciate my input into your lives more…. Just sayin’… Do you really believe that fancy meal he cooked you while you sat in a bath prepared by him and drank that lovely bottle of wine while the kids are off at a baby sitters that he arranged was his idea??? HA! Keep dreaming!)))

Anyways, so where was I? Ah yes, my lacking of a social life.  Which has also gotten more lacking since having a baby.  That one needs no explanation since the majority of my readers all have kids.  You know how it goes. The phone rings:

“A bar-be-que? Great! What time? Ohhhh… Hmmmm… That’s right in the middle of nap time… Honey? What do you think? Ya, I agree… Thanks so much for the invite… but we are going to have to pass this time.  Duty calls and naps make the world go round.”

But the other aspect of my past lacking of social outings is my aversion to all things girly.  That whole dressing up, getting cute, only to attempt to impress another woman with the quality of your shoe choice. Chatting.  Catting.  Bitching. Wishing. All of those things that make going out with the ladies for me a struggle.  I’ve never felt like I could fit in there.  That and the fact that my bathroom humor is usually only welcomed in mixed company and I tend to find myself silent and sitting in the corner willing myself to strengthen that mental filter between my brain and my mouth.  I find it difficult when someone is bitching about how awful their husband is to do the girl “support network” thing. I end up playing devils advocate and calling the poor weeping woman out about how maybe if she would just let the poor fool play his video games one night each week without nagging him then maybe he would be more understanding and willing to hop to and do the dishes when she asked him.  Then I tell a dirty joke and go home early doing a little different kind of walk of shame in to my house.  I’m telling you, I can’t help it!  I seriously must have been a man in a past life.

That’s why last night was so important and kind of a break through moment for me.  In the last few tennis seasons (yes I mark time by the Spring, Summer, Fall tennis seasons and Winter is marked with Christmas tree lights-o-plenty) I have made a few friends within my ladies tennis team.  These women, while very different then me, find my twisted humor rather funny. Or at least they laugh with me and not at me.  And they don’t give me the blank stare of death when my filter in my brains burps out something iffy.  We all have tennis in common, and kids, and well… in many cases that’s just it.  But for some reason we get along.  Last night we took our seasonal tennis friendship off the court and to the bar where we had wine and these little snacky things that I think were supposed to be food. We drank, and laughed, and told stories, got to know each other better.  And I walked away with a sense that I was truly welcomed.  As we parted at the door and said that we HAD to do this again, we truly meant it.  I truly meant it. I want to spend more time around these ladies without men as the buffers for me.  It was a wonderful night that I came home and told my husband would sustain me and keep me smiling for a long time.

I had no idea how much I’ve changed as a parent. How much that little extra pulling out of the social world did to me.  How much as a mom I found that I needed to be able to relate to other moms.  On line, in the blogosphere, it is really easy to say “hay, I can relate to that story.  Let me tell you what happened to me.” But you never really get that good ole’ sense of true understanding as you get when you’re sitting at a table of other women, moms, not talking about your children necessarily, but talking about… life.  We are women in the same daily grind. We are women with priorities other than each other. We are women who never want to forget ourselves.  We are women reminding each other that we are selfless and it’s ok to be selfish.  It was eye opening and moving.  The wind in my sails for the next few weeks. I can’t wait till the next gust!

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