The Backseat

Last year there was some wavering, some “oh you never know”, and maybe you’ll meet someone “who”, but I think it’s gone. The having more children bug is officially out of my system. Mostly, in a kind of almost for sure way.

The question came up in a sideways manner at a weekend get together when one woman of four couples in the group asked if I saw myself having babies. I can only assume she’d found the question to be some kind of inclusionary ice breaker. The question approached the train, taking longer than normal boarding time as they all stared at me trying to figure out if I was having a stroke or something.

Figuring I’d never see these people again I told her (them) that yes, I love babies, and that gray hair aside I wouldn’t mind taking a few home to raise just until old enough to transport my ashes to the ocean and spread them illegally.

I didn’t say that last part. It would have moved us from speaking about life to speaking about death in only seconds. They didn’t know me personally or how many kids I did or didn’t have. I’ve finally learned that most of what I say needs to come with an rsvp, but I’ve yet to carry around personalized invitations for conversation to conversation customization.

I got up from the table to talk to the guy bbq’ing hotdogs. I asked him to make mine medium rare and he laughed like I was joking or something. I looked back at the couples and began plotting my escape. If he made the hotdog wrong I could claim a case of explosive diarrhea but no, I couldn’t be uncouth. I’d come there for the birthday guy, whose wife I’d once worked with and had invited me to come when she caught me actually shopping in a grocery store. I said yes, cause after a hug and exchange of pleasantries I wasn’t prepared for creating the fake backstory for a no.

I went back and sat with the couples, silently wondering why she’d invited me and why I said yes. I didn’t recall her saying I could bring a plus one but maybe it was inferred. I wasn’t sure which conversation to play double-dutch jump rope with so pretended to be immersed in what all of them were saying as I watched facial expressions and body language trying to determine which couples were still fucking themselves silly several times a week, and which hated each other and would be divorcing within the next five years. I wish I could say it was game, but if guesses were bullseyes I’d never need darts.

I made it through lunch and successfully hid the hot dog beneath the potato salad before claiming to be stuffed while making a joke in my head about being stuffed by a hot dog. There I was at the trashcan laughing myself to tears about being a horn dog about hotdogs. I heard the birthday song and made a bee for the cake table. It was the most exciting part of the ‘party’. If she dunked his head in the cake I was going to leave.

No such luck. I stood in line to get a piece as the girl behind me asked how many tattoos I had. My first thought was to tell her I had ten times as many tattoos as nipple rings but stopped just seconds from saying it out loud as the kid hired to serve cake asked if I wanted vanilla or chocolate. I laughed again as I asked for vanilla while thinking about sex.

I headed over to the birthday dude to personally wish him a lovely day, give him his gift, thank them for the invitation, and explain that I needed to leave to pick up my six kids from a camping trip. It got so quiet you could have heard a hot dog drop. I smiled and told everyone goodbye as I walked out. I knew I’d never see them again, not even the girl that invited me. Somehow I got through an entire hour with all of them.

Arriving home I questioned my place in society as a whole before sitting down to work. I couldn’t concentrate because I was feeling ornery, and a mix of other things a glass of wine could easily dismiss. Then I remembered I had wine in the backseat because the girl said they didn’t drink when I’d offered it as a whatever you call it when you take shit to people’s houses when they invite you for stuff.

I thought it might be fun to sit in the backseat and drink wine cause I’d never done it before. So that’s what I did while reading a book I’d made excuses not to finish for a few months. It was kinda cool, and before walking back inside I’d dubbed myself a badass and felt nothing but happy for getting to a place where being alone didn’t equal sadness. Then again. Wine.

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