I think I have my new experience for this month - I went out, for drinks, with a group of women.
Honesty is something I pride myself on and after careful scanning of my memories, I can safely say that I've never had a 'girls night out'. Technically, there were no 'girls' or 'night' because instead of girls, we were all mothers in our thirties and instead of night, it was at 3pm and we were all home in time to put the kids to bed. But, you get the idea right? It was intended to be time away from our lives as mothers.
So, its 'new' to me because apart from my time in an all girls Catholic high school, I've never had a group of female friends. While at school, I had an almost-tiger mom that didn't allow for any sorts of girls night out (or in). After high school, it was engineering school and there weren't all that many girls around there. I've never had that camaraderie that Carrie Bradshaw bragged about in Sex And The City.
Today wasn't a meeting of that type of close knit friends either - there was one friend there and the others were her friends and my acquaintances (i.e. people I've seen around Aaron's school grounds). I got to know them a bit better today and actually had a lot of laughs with them.
I felt quite insecure and flip/flopped on going for the the past few days because I haven't been to a bar in five years, have nothing to wear, didn't know the other people, no longer know how to order drinks, can't parallel park. Silly isn't it? I thought so too and thats why I had to go. There was no need for me to have hesitated because everybody else was in the same boat and we had our first big laugh about the time we picked for our little outing - 3pm is the time we usually meet at school pick up to let the kids play. Not time to go hang out in a bar! The second big laugh was when the young, greasy haired waiter came to take our orders and we were debating whether it was alright to have alcohol since a few of us were still breastfeeding. The result was five women, hanging out at a bar at 3pm, drinking mocktails. Some of us did eventually get around to a little bit of alcohol.
On the surface, we may have felt that we were this awkward because we had grown 'old'. Upon reflection, I don't think thats the case because there are plenty of single 30 somethings out there who are still having a blast. We have just been out of that scene for a while. Strange questions like "I wonder where people go dancing?" and "Where would we go if we met up at 9pm?" popped up in conversation.
I see today as a group of women who were trying to meet up as non-mothers. It was about rediscovering time that can be fun and carefree without needing to spend a single second thinking of child's needs. In a way, we failed because we did end up talking about children and the home but that is inevitable with a mix of mothers that don't all know each other. We did succeed in assuring ourselves that its it not so scary to leave the safety of our children and families. There is talk of another such outing and perhaps, we will be better prepared and a little more relaxed about it.