Several months ago, Robin (who I met through that first APW meetup ever) and I talked about The Things No One Ever Warned You You’d Give Up When You Got Married (if you didn’t watch out). And at the top of the list was slumber parties. While it seems to be very popular for women to say that they’re not the kind of girl who’s friends with other girls, let me be clear, I’m a girls girl. I’m a blunt talking, no-nonsense, say it to your face kind of girl, but the bulk of my close friends have always been other ladies. I like prolonged gab sessions, and cocktails, and dressing up. I like staying up past our bedtimes and whispering and giggling about sex, boys, secret dreams, secret fears (exactly like APW, if I think about it). And what I didn’t realize is that getting married, or more precisely, moving in with my partner, would shift the balance of that more than I wanted it to.
So a few months ago Robin and I decided that the time was right to introduce Married Lady Slumber Parties. Now, when one husband or the other goes out of town, we plan a slumber party. We stay up late, we drink cocktails, we splash in the pool, we talk so much that our heads spin, and then the next morning all feels right with the world. Problems we’d been pondering feel ironed out.
But of late I’ve realized slumber parties were not all that I’d been missing. I’d also been missing girls’ nights on the town, tottering around in hot-but-not-sensible-shoes, dancing, playing dress up, no-follow-through-flirting. So this weekend David went out of town, and Maggie and Kelly invited me out dancing. First we spent two hours playing dress up and doing our hair (it’s funny how that never changes). Then the ladies took some of the best pictures of me ever taken, slightly drunk, in the bathroom, reading Esquire while they did their makeup.
Then we went out. And danced and danced and danced and danced. Actual conversation:
Guy A: I’d like to introduce you to my friend.
Guy B: Hi, I’m Jim.
Drunken Meg: Hi, I’m very married.
Guy B: Ahhh.
Meg: I just thought I should put that out there.
Guy B: Understood.
Kelly: Did you just introduce yourself as very married?
(Jim was cute by the way, or I might not have bothered getting out of harm’s way.)
And at the end of the night, bundling my tipsy self into a cab, I felt exactly like myself. Feisty, independent, self-sufficient, free. Maybe it was all the walking around town in heavy fog, in uncomfortable shoes. Maybe it was the flirting-that-wasn’t. Maybe it was just the hours of dancing (my favorite activity). Maybe it was the girl time. Maybe it was just a little time reminding myself that wife-hood, adulthood, and even parenthood is what we make it. I’m not sure what it was, but I know I need more of it: more dancing, cocktails, dress-up, and peals of girl laughter. It’s part of what makes me a excellent wife (and very married).