We’ve had a string of summery days here, with the temperature climbing this past weekend. Yesterday evening it was still nice enough to afford us time to do something we rarely do. The whole family took a walk down to Cafe du Soleil so Daddy could have a coffee, the Baby could have a cookie and the Mommy could have a beer. Beer! In the sun! Outside a cafe! What a luxury.
Jeff and Fern left early to walk to the bank, and I stayed behind, relishing the moment. I began to eavesdrop on the conversation behind me. One of the girls was talking about her experience with the Je Jeune Institute (click for video…fun!), an “immersive art experience”…part scavenger hunt, part guerilla theater, part mystery cult a la David Lynch. I had been intrigued by it last year, as it sounded like one of those delicious, irrelevant things I would have done as a single person, and have been (I must admit) missing lately as we wrap up Year Two of baby.
I was enjoying the snippets of conversation, and my own nostalgia, when their conversation turned to “community”, or rather, their lack of it. One of the girls was going to start hosting dinner parties, in an effort to keep her disintegrating friend base thriving. But she wasn’t going to bother with her friends who had gotten married because “married people don’t give a shit about community.” She also wasn’t going to invite any friends with kids because “Friends with kids always arrive late and leave early and are just so stressed out.”.
At which point I turned around and said, “So what you are really cultivating is your own hand-picked clique of hipsters, not a real, grounded, diverse community. You know, maybe your married and parental friends would still be around if your single self absorption could have expanded enough to offer these “friends” some support during big transitional phases in their life.” And then they stared at me, slack jawed and ashamed, as I flipped my sunglasses down over my sleep deprivated eye bags, flung my dirty, baby stained vintage purse over my shoulder and flounced my saggy, cut-off boyfriend jean shorts ass away up the street.
*Sigh*. Ok, not really. But I had you cheering for a second there. Actually, I just glowered as I finished off my beer, feeling more of the threads that tie me to the city get snipped, floating away like spider silk.
During this new time as a parent, I know I have let my friends down. I don’t answer the phone, I don’t return emails, I am too exhausted from making myself available to Fern to have anything left over for the other sweeties in my life. Amazingly, most of them still call, still care, still forgive me for what could easily be taken for “not giving a shit about community.”. Every time we manage a get together, I feel very lucky indeed.
As for the rest of the cool cats that wouldn’t invite us to their dinner parties…well, I guess it’s their loss. While they are drinking the latest local brews and eating their sustainably sourced fois gras from Bi-Rite, I know where I can be found….and I know which is actually more fun.
(Because you, my dear readers, are not snobby hipsters, I know that you are completely ignoring what looks like my triple chin in this video. Thanks for turning a blind eye and focusing on my kid instead. You’re the best.)
Happy Fourth of July! We were supposed to get on the road tonight for another visit to Palm Springs. We’ve had some travel plan kerfuffles, so we may just be taking in the firework lit fog from our back steps, and plan on leaving in a day or two.