I don’t like wine spritzers

I don’t like wine spritzers

I’m a forty-something single mom living a life like no other forty-something woman I know, or have ever heard from, or seen in a movie. Not that the latter has given me very many realistic examples to choose from–please see Tyler Perry’s “Single Mom’s Club” for a plethora of one dimensional options. I’ve never quite fit in even when the Breakfast Club was the movie to emulate, though I came closest to a cross between Michael Anthony Hall and a more awkward Molly Ringwald.
I could share with you a laundry list of disparate hobbies (or more accurately the ways in which I periodically spend my free time) from directing an improv group, to clumsily exercising to hip hop, playing the djembe (not well), to selling junk (er, antiques) , watching nature and food documentaries, or devouring a Netflix series like it’s Baltimore street crack, writing this blog, or recording a vlog in my car with my dear friend Blair, reading books about feminists and racists systems of power or performing plays. Nothing too outlandish there. Though I have left out the sock puppet musical I’m co-writing and some of the things I might include were this an anonymous blog. But all in all these are generally activities that would most likely be found in various arrangements of other 40 something women.
Mostly you are aware of my bizarre (though not terribly unfamiliar) dating life. Not everyone had an actual amateur taxidermist, or cat trainer in their dating history, but we’ve all had our dating woes and frankly I can’t really access this part of my narrative in the same way now because I’ve met someone who matches my crazy heart with his own crazy heart and more or less finds me intriguing rather than a train wreck. Or at least he’s not terribly easily spooked.
There’s nothing particularly supernormal about any one aspect of my life. Though I’d like to imagine I’m in a unique position on the spectrum as a young widow with three teen/preteen daughters. But still, I’m not nearly the only one. So nothing individually is enough to make me an outlier.
Certainly from a surface assessment I’m about as common as cough due to cold; white, middle-class, employed, college graduate, cisgender, heterosexual…which makes me wonder even more why I always feel like the person filmed in slow motion during a teen movie. Not the girl who takes off her glasses and let’s down her ponytail and the cute, rich jock finally sees as dateable (which, side note, ew gross) But her friend that she stopped hanging out with after junior high because a rumor started to circulate that she’d eaten bugs on a class trip to the science museum. The girl who moved to school in the third grade, who once unconsciously leaned over to kiss her best girl friend goodbye, the same girl who thought her red knee socks and shorts were cool and made her look like Wonder Woman. The girl who blew up gasoline soaked army men with the neighborhood boys not so much because she wanted to (though confidentially it was pretty cool) but because she hoped that performing this perilous act would make them like her. Or when that same girl grew up and attended her first South Roanoke Doctors’ party and drank so many wine spritzers in order to ease her nerves in a place where she felt like a complete fraud, that she attempted to drive a bulldozer down the street. The woman who was picked last for the supper club who underestimated how much food feeds 12 people, so that the hostess had to thaw out meatloaf from her freezer. Oh- they talked about that woman later. The same woman who feels like she’s faking it most of the time, unless she’s writing her sock puppet musical or snorting because any one of her daughter’s said something hysterical.
Maybe we all feel out of place, with our crazy lists of things we love, both the things we will admit freely and the things we keep hidden or to ourselves. Maybe we all feel like frauds in our friend groups or like our own one person show that only homeless vets come to sleep through. We all fumble uncomfortably through the movie that is our life, feeling mis-cast in the role of “yourself”. We are all unique snowflakes, melting on the windshield of a world that would rather see us from a distance, as homogeneous globs of white.
Truthfully, None of us really fits in anyway. In the quiet of the night, the doctor’s wife watches Wife Swap instead of making enough paella for the dinner party, the once bespectacled teen grows older and leaves the jock for a 44 year old housewife, the jock longs to learn the djembe and drink white spritzers.
So, if you’re like me, and I know you’re not, it’s ok.


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