Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Other Side of the Picket Fence

A few weeks ago, my husband had me go through the stacks of Holiday cards from friends and family that have accumulated over the last several years. I was given the task of picking out what I wanted to save and to recycle the rest.

I took a brief trip down memory lane; marveling at the changes our lives have taken over the years. It's hard to believe that two decades ago, my singleton friends and I were fantasizing about the "2.5 kids-white-picket-fence-dream".

Life as a "Singleton"

I can remember pangs of longing when I would see a picture-perfect couple pushing a stroller on a family walk. I wondered what it would be like. I also considered the possibility of being a life-long singleton. I suffered through countless blind-dates from well-meaning friends.

I also smile when I recall Friday nights out with the girls looking for Mr. Right. (More like Mr. Right Now.) We'd gather at a friend's apartment and help each other with last-minute touch-ups to hair and make-up before heading out to the "clubs" (night clubs / bars).

Looking back on old photos, the 80's decade was not kind to us with regard to fashion. I can not help but cringe a bit.

The up-side to the single life was that most of my friends were single. We lived life more spontaneously. Much of our social-calendar was written with spur-of-the-moment planning.

What Happened to my Friends?

This week I was given two tickets to a charity event that my business donated a fair amount of work and materials to. My husband was already committed to taking the boys to swim-practice.
He's not a fan of fancy social fundraisers where we are among strangers. I needed to find a "date".

That's when it hit me. Where are my friends? Who could I call on short notice to come with me?
Most of my friends are tied-down with family commitments and are not able to slip away on a moment's notice. For a brief moment I felt sorry for myself while I racked my brain for who to call.

I suddenly remembered a single friend who might enjoy this event and gave her a call. As luck would have it, I found my date for the evening.

The gala was much more elaborate than I expected. Food and drink were top-notch and plentiful. (I was responsible and only consumed one glass of wine). There was free valet parking, a fashion show, live auction and "after-party" with a buffet, DJ and open-bar.

I felt like Cinderella at the Ball.

Act 3 - Life as Family Matures

As I was dropping my friend back home, we discussed organizing another evening out with mutual friends.

I realized that as the boys become more independent, I will soon have more free evenings. I also am starting to crave an occasional "Girls Night Out". Now that I have "Mr. Right" and the 2.5 (actually 3) kids at home, what I crave most is estrogen-filled conversation; a little commiseration once in a while.

While I would never want to go back to the "free-and-easy" lifestyle of my singles-days, I realized I am entering a new phase in my life. It's time to keep up with old friends and perhaps make some new ones.


Getrealmommy said...

I often look back to my time without kids, being able to hit happy hour whenever I wanted, not having to check in or make arrangments. I do miss those times, it was easier to make and keep friends then. Now I find my best friends are my family of boys. Someday I do hope to have more of a social life, but I guess I messed that up with baby number 3...

seashore subjects said...

Having 3 sisters has always provided me with friends to commiserate with, but I do love my girlfriends. And having a teen at home has allowed Hubby and I to even get out and visit with them occasionally! It is nice to have some off-time, even it is only about once a month.