Every Friday afternoon I attend a playgroup with about four or five other women at my friend Kelly’s home, and while our children beat each other with an assortment of sporting equipment we gather around the table in her kitchen and drink so much tequila that by the end of the afternoon at least one person has passed out topless in the middle of trying to do a backflip off the top of the refrigerator. That person is always me.
Sometimes we like to mix it up a bit, and instead of doing shots we’ll just snort cocaine off thin slices of expensive cheese. Because that is the civilized way to do it. We would get together more often, but you know, everyone has different schedules and sometimes we need a week to bounce back from the hangover.
Last week there was a new woman there whom I had not met before, and while her older daughter showed Leta how to use a chef’s knife to carve initials into a kitchen cabinet, we talked and got to know each other. She told me all about her daughter, how she had learned to read at an early age, how she liked her elementary school, and so on. I talked about Leta’s love of books, and how sometimes I have to tell her to stop flipping through one because I’m watching the Style Network and I can’t hear over her loud thinking.
We talked for most of the afternoon, and every time Leta came in to complain about being tossed down the stairs this woman would comment on how cute she thought Leta was, on how she had never seen so much hair on a kid her age. I mean, I know, can you even believe that hair? I told her we’ve cut it four times now, and no matter what I use to pull it back or restrain it, it always works its way into a giant tangled wad that sticks out from her head in every direction. It is exactly like the mane of a lion who is riding in the passenger side of a Ferrari with his head hanging out the window.
At about six o’clock many of our husbands showed up to look upon us frowningly, to wipe the drool from our chins, to hold us by the shoulders and shake us out of our drunken fogs. Jon walked into the kitchen where I was still talking to my new friend, his hair a flaming, tangled mess around his face, and when she looked up and saw him she almost fell out of her chair, and not because of the vodka.
She asked if this was my husband, and I answered, yes, a millions yeses, this is my husband, my sober moral compass. She shook her head, breathed a long sigh and then said wow, now that she had met Jon, that nagging question she had been wanting to ask me all afternoon about whether or not I had adopted my daughter? ANSWERED.