Sunday was The Day. The Day I was headed out for my first meetup.
I’ll admit, I was nervous. And although I had received a few emails and comments from a couple of women involving the words “beer and wine” and “bitches that rock” and “fuck shit damn hell” – I kind of half suspected they were maybe pretending to be normal. And that even if they were in fact “normal” – they were only a small part of a larger group that I was already imagining to be a collection of Stepford Pod people. Or something.
(Which is strange, because I’ve never actually met a collection of Stepford Pod People – and yet I always assume that’s what women will be like when I meet them. It must be like my Boogie Man. Or something.)
I volunteered to bring Apple Crisp, thinking “how hard can it be? It’s apple and crisp.” I figured bringing a dessert was a sure fire way to ingratiate myself with a bunch of women at a “women’s gathering”.
I should have known better after all the “how do you fuck up Guacamole???” comments (smug bastards, all of you!).
Apples. And crisp. We have… apples. And, um, something more resembling bread pudding than crisp. So, I went to the Mom’s Meetup Potluck armed with this:
Fear of Failure, I’d like you to meet All Your Insecurities About Womanhood. Also joining us tonight will be your Desperate Loneliness and your Pathetic Need To Be Liked. Oh, and an unexpected arrival, Holy Fuck Your Husband Just Learned On The Way Over That He Lost His Debit Card. Sit. Mingle. Bond over a warm plate of Apple Craptastic.
Thank God there was also Ham.
And wine. And beer. And a smoking party outside. And a house full of the most open, inviting, articulate, funny, warm people you could ever expect to meet in one place.
The entire atmosphere of the evening was that of a family get together, with 50 million kids running around and easy laughter and that sense of comfort and peace that only comes from being around people who knew you when you had baby fat.
Except that non of these people had known each other for more than a month or so. And yet you’d never known it by the way they cooed over one another’s babies and spoke to one another’s husbands with ease and joked with one another about everything from pregnancy and missed naps to traffic and an embarrassing inability to hold their liquor. And easily welcomed the New People as if they’d been waiting all along for us to show up.
It. was. fabulous.
I was utterly amazed at how normal they all were. The husbands, the wives, the kids. They were all so much like me and the people I had grown up with back home. And yet, I never found myself stopping to think “wow, these people are normal” while we were there, because it felt like the most natural thing in the world.
In fact, they were all so not intimidating and scary and Stepford pod people-esque, that I’m kind of starting to wonder if maybe I’ve got a complete unrealistic idea of what “most women” are like.
Maybe I’m not so different from normal women. Maybe people aren’t so scary and strange and stereotypical in one form or another.
Maybe, just maybe, we’re going to be just fine here. And we’ll meet people and have friends and build a new life for ourselves that, while not exactly the same as it was 1400 miles away in a town my husband and I literally grew up in, will end up fitting us quite well after all.
And maybe next time, I’ll bring a dish I’ve actually successfully made at least once beforehand.
Although, even the Apple Craptastic didn’t do so bad.