I don’t socialise with adults much these days – at least not without marauding hordes of screaming kids in the background. But recently I got invited to a bona-fide party-for-grownups (I had taken to referring to it as an ‘adult party’ but realised that this was giving the wrong impression). There was adult food, adult music, adult alcohol (which means alcohol that can be consumed freely without the added burden of being responsible for anyone other than yourself while doing it) – there was even interpretive dancing (but that’s a story for another post).
And then there was an interesting exchange of words with a single gentleman, a species which rarely crosses my path these days. The following conversation (an approximate transcript thereof) took place whilst a raffle, held at the party to raise money for the homeless, was being drawn from a hat:
Single Gentleman: Did you buy a raffle ticket?
Me: No. I live around the corner and all I brought with me was my keys. I thought about throwing them in the hat but I didn’t think it was *that* kind of party.
Single Gentleman: Actually I put my keys in the hat so it looks like we’re going home together. [Pause]. But I should add that I live with my parents.
Me: That must really work for you as a chatup line.
Single Gentleman: It’s not too bad because they can make breakfast for us in the morning.
Me: Well I live with my husband and three children so we’ll have to get up in the morning and make *them* breakfast.
Single Gentleman: We’ll just have to go to a motel, then.
I think the conversation finished shortly thereafter with me saying something along the lines of “Did you meet my husband? He’s a big big man” or “I think I hear my mother calling me”.
Now to the single gentleman’s credit, I have to say this increasingly uncomfortable exchange was, in its way, a welcome change to the usual change of topic which follows my admission that I am a stay-at-home mother. Or worse still than the change of topic, is the uneasy silence which I then feel compelled to fill with inane babble about the ages, names and recent bowel movements of my three children, thus confirming everyone’s prejudices about women who actually *choose* to be Happy Homemakers.
Frankly, I’ve had marketing jobs I’ve been more willing to admit to in response to the dreaded “And what do you do?” question that gets bandied about in adult social situations (usually by people with glamorous or well-paid occupations).
And yet it’s the most challenging, most noble, most important job I’ve ever had and ever will have. It just doesn’t have the sex appeal that other professions have – unless, of course, you’re talking to my friend, the single gentleman.