She was dressed in a loose linen shirt tied at her waist above a pair of Madewell jean shorts and a pair of shoes she had purchased from Nordstrom that she was planning on returning after the party. Her phone plugged into the Bluetooth in her car, she called Caroline to discuss how they’d spend their Saturday.
“I don’t even know when I’m going to be done with this,” she explained.
“Who’s kid is this anyway?” Caroline asked, mainly hoping she’d get back to the city sooner than later to have some outdoor drinks to cure her hangover.
“Ugh, so it’s my cousin’s daughter,” she responded. “And I, like, have to go because I skipped her baby shower to go to Cabo and haven’t even met her yet. I totally love my cousin, but who even names their baby ‘Bryn’?”
They both laughed as she pulled into the house’s circle drive and she looked for a valet that wasn’t there. Pulling back out of the driveway, she parked her car on the side of the road.
“I’m going to try to get in and out of this thing,” she went on. “Like, the baby won’t remember if I was even there and the last thing I want to do this weekend is just sit at my cousin’s house talking about how I don’t have a job right now.”
She put on her sunglasses and checked her phone one last time before going into the party – nothing.
As she approached the door, she saw her Aunt Peggy standing in the entrance with a white wine spritzer. Removing her sunglasses from her face, she knew she had to act happy for at least an hour before she could justify leaving to head back into the city.
“Aunt Peggy!” she shrieked. “How are you?”
Smelling of wine and perfume, Aunt Peggy hugged her with one arm while being careful not to spill her drink.
“You look fabulous, darling,” Aunt Peggy responded. “Let’s get you outside to see Courtney and Bryn before they become overwhelmed with guests.”
She rolled her eyes figuring that “Bryn” would probably nap through most of the party anyway. As she emerged into the backyard, she saw several new and expecting mothers standing around trying to make sure nothing dangerous was in arm’s range of their kids, while also completely ignoring them at the same time. While most the kids were situated on the lawn putting their mouths on balloons, the remaining few were either crying or trying to rip table clothes off the empty tables.
Out of nowhere, she heard a, “Hey girl!” Turning her head, she was greeted by an exhausted looking Courtney.
“Hiiiiiiii!” she said, faking a smile while putting her phone in her back pocket.
“Girl, you look great!” Courtney said while looking her up and down. “I’m a long ways from looking like that anymore.”
She looked at Courtney who was clearly having some trouble shedding her baby weight, even after a year, and considered telling her how good she looked before deciding against it. Wondering where Bryn was, she debated asking but wasn’t completely sure she wanted to see her yet.
“You just missed Bryn!” Courtney said with fake pouty lips. “She had to go down for a nappy.”
“Awwwwwww,” she responded with a fake inflection of sadness in her voice. “I was so looking forward to seeing her! I guess I’ll just have to wait.”
Courntey led her over to the group of moms who had been invited to the party, most of which had either some type of stain on their shirt or bags under their eyes. Deep down, she wasn’t sure which question she was more afraid of – “Where are you working now?” or “How long until you have a little one yourself?” Neither question immediately came as they took a backseat to discussions surrounding the best daycares and pre-schools in the area.
Despite the party being completely caucasian and most of the mothers going to liberal art schools on the east coast, the new mothers expressed a deep-seated need for their child to grow up in a diverse environment starting at the pre-school level. “I don’t want my daughter to grow up shielded from the world,” one mother expressed while sipping her Amstel Light.
When the conversation finally turned, she was asked, “So where’s the boy?” Knowing that they meant Todd, she responded, “Oh, you know, he’s always somewhere.”
“No, but seriously,” she continued, “He’s actually at The Kentucky Derby this weekend! He must be having quite the time because I haven’t heard from him since about 10 o’clock last night.”
“Boys will be boys,” one mother responded before departing the conversation after seeing her infant son trying to bite a dog’s tail near the playground.
“Yep, they will,” she reluctantly responded.
They continued the conversation while she sipped her sparkling lemonade and counted the minutes until she could finally make her exit. She approached Courtney, who was having a conversation with two older people near a cooler filled with San Pellegrino.
“So sorry to interrupt,” she said to Courtney, “But I have to get back to the city for an appointment that I’m totally already late for. It was so good seeing you, though!” As they hugged, she scanned the rest of the yard ensuring she could slip out without saying goodbye to anyone else.
As she headed for the door, she pulled her phone out of her pocket and checked, again, for anything from Todd. When she saw that her notifications solely consisted of texts from Caroline wondering when she’d be done with the party. But as she exited the house and walked to her car, she decided to call Todd to ensure everything was alright. Expecting to hear rings, she heard something else.
“Hello, you’ve reached Todd’s phone. Please leave a message and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.” .
Image via Shutterstock