Three friends came over for lunch today. They are all working women, so they took a long lunch break on a working day and took a long drive from their respective offices (home-office, in two instances) to come and meet me and the kids. These are friends I made in the workplace. Two of them I first met back in 2001 or so; the third I met even earlier than that, at another organisation. So I’ve known them a long time, but I’ve been in touch with them only sporadically. One of them I have met every so many months, or so, but the other two I was meeting after several years – certainly more than two years, because I hadn’t met them after the twins came home. So I was quite excited about meeting all of them for lunch. I even washed my hair and put on one of my more decent (new) T-shirts. Isn’t that a little pathetic? Well, such is life as a career-woman-turned-stay-at-home-mom.
Initially, lunch at a nearby restaurant had been proposed, but I suggested lunch at home because the kids would be happier, and then someone suggested potluck, so that’s what we did finally. It was great. I brought the kids home from school, got them bathed and dressed, and laid the table and just as I got the salad dressed, my friends turned up. They’d even managed to synchronise it so that they all arrived together. They were all a little short on time, so we started lunch quite soon. The kids ate with us, though Mrini grabbed the opportunity to play with her food and eat almost nothing at all without coming under serious fire from me. I was, of course, hopping around serving the kids their lunch while grabbing bites of fish and chicken from my plate in-between servings, but that’s something I’m used to by now. Desert, which I’d made (chocolate puddle pudding), was a hit, of course. The best part was that I parceled out whatever little was left of the desert, while they left behind the leftovers of the fish and chicken they’d brought.
So everything was just perfect.
Only… while the three of them chatted about bosses, appraisals, raises (or the lack of) and other work-related matters, I sat silent and felt out of place. It isn’t that long ago that that was my world too, but now it’s all so far away… and I wish it weren’t.
On the other hand, though… two of them are married and have two kids each. The third is still unmarried, though – now – she wishes she weren’t.
I suppose there are no easy answers.