Home July 2012 Girls’ Night

Girls’ Night

Jenn answered the door looking radiant in a strapless, floor-length dress, her hair perfectly coiffed, makeup freshly applied.  If I didn’t know her, and if I hadn’t glimpsed the three kids in the hall behind her – hair dripping, PJs half-on, I might not have known that she didn’t always look like this.
She gave me a hug and a very complimentary smile, nodding in approval at my own dress (colorful, backless, silk) and curly coiffure.  We got into the car, waved goodbye to her kids and husband and immediately began comparing notes:
My dress was 6 years old.  Hers was of an only slightly more recent vintage, and weren’t we just amazed that we can fit into them again?!  She diffused her hair, a process which is “for the birds,” in her words because it takes an hour, and who has an hour?  I beat her there, though; I had driven a half hour with a yowling baby in the car just to get my hair styled.  At 9 a.m.  And then I had to figure out a way to keep it frizz- and baby food-free for the rest of the day.
Jenn said she managed to sneak away for a pedicure – after making and cleaning up a pancake breakfast for her kids.  At roughly the same time, I was driving back to my side of town, baby still yowling, to get my eyebrows done.  I met up with a mutual friend at the salon (she would also be at tonight’s soiree), and luckily her 3-year-old entertained Ozzy and stopped his crying, allowing my eyebrows to unfurrow long enough to be waxed.
By the time I got home, fed, washed and put the baby down to sleep, I had just enough time to shave my legs in the sink, kiss Zev and Hubby goodbye and head out to pick up Jenn.
Girls’ night!
Jenn finished putting on her strappy sandals and sank into the passenger seat with a mix of exhaustion and giddiness and laughed.  We would soon arrive at the home of a friend we knew from our kids’ school.  There, we would hang out with other moms from the school, women we see everyday.  Women who were usually wearing sweatpants.
It’s a well-acknowledged fact that women get dressed up for each other and not for men.  But given how little time we have, why exactly were we killing ourselves (and wearing out our babies) to get glammed up for women we talk to everyday in the carpool line?
The easiest and most intellectually honest answer would be, “I dunno.”  But another possibility is that each one of us craves a taste of what it was like when we were single and lithe and slipped our frequently smooth legs into little black dresses.
Before diapers and weaning and summer camps, there was just looking fabulous and drinking for free.  Declaring one evening to be “Girls’ Night! ” is a way to reintroduce into our taxing-but-gratifying lives the only bit we actually miss about being childless.
So we primped and fussed and fobbed child duties off on husbands all day in preparation for Girls’ Night!  And what did we do with all our fabulousness?  With our baby-free arms, our sloshing wine glasses, our amazingly frizz-free hair?
We talked about our kids.
Girls’ Night!

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