Last night a friend came over for dinner. He’s a former expat living back in the states and travels back and forth a bit. It was very nice to see him. It’s been years since we last saw him, long before Max’s arrival.
We sat down for dinner of meatloaf and oven potatoes and brownies for dessert. It was so completely “housewife”, I made a joke about it.
The joke fell kind of flat because as funny I thought it was, its not quite funny to anyone else because well, I’m housewiving. I take care of my kid, I clean up, I support my working husband and I, shutter at the thought, cook. I cook meatloaf and roasted chicken. I make sides dishes. And the entrees aren’t tortillas with lunch meat and the sides aren’t cocktails.
So conversation moves on and we talk about Max and about Calvin’s job. Then about Max and about a mutual friend and then about Max and kids in general. I kept trying to move the conversation away from kids, particularly mine because I never wanted to be that person, that couple, that can’t talk about anything but their kid with their childless-by-choice friends. At one point, in attempting to turn the conversation from the kid, I went to cats.
I know. The horror of it all. Kids and then cats? I can’t even bring myself to think about it. I’ve lost all wit and charm and when I talk about pussy, it isn’t even the fun kind.
And really, the brownies weren’t good enough for that.
Calvin, the wonderful man he is, referred back to Malcolm Gladwell in his understanding of why we talk about Max so much and was very gracious about the whole thing. He left and went to a late night party.
Sparky and I went to bed. Tired from work and the kid and the two glasses of wine, we discussed being “that couple” and promptly fell asleep before 11 pm.That is a late night these days.
And that is when it hit me. We have been assimilated into the Parenthood Borg, meatloaf and conversation and all.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my job. There is nothing better than taking care of Max, but I have this visceral dislike for the title of what I do. In any and all documentation, I continue to use “management consultant” as my occupation.
It’s not like I don’t think it’s valuable or that I don’t value the choice I have to stay home or work. It is my choice to stay home and raise Max. I love it. More than anything, but I hate the term housewife.
Then there is my inability to talk about anything other than Max. And it’s not like I don’t think about more than Max, because I most definitely do. I guess I was just surprised at how singly focused I am with other people.
I remember when I worked for the mortgage division of a large bank. My boyfriend at the time hated going to work parties with me because he didn’t want to talk about mortgages. Then I started dating people who did work in the industry and funnily enough, we talked about work and our days, but never talked about mortgages. I guess it’s the same thing.
And that’s when I realized that until Max is older and Sparky and I have more time to ourselves, Max is it. There are far worse conversations for us to have, but perhaps not for Calvin.