This past weekend I found myself smoking a cigarette that had, only seconds previously, been smoked by someone else's left nostril.
And I don't smoke.
But maybe I should back-up a few days.
Generally, I am a homebody. I love being home with my family. I love cooking, wine and conversation. And I love reading books and watching indy movies. I watch a lot of old Batman episodes with my kids. That's pretty much it. If I can do all of these things at the same time, I really have no need to leave my house or do anything else.
I'm not a party animal. I don't hang out at bars. It's rare I go to a concert. I love date night with my hubby or going out with my friends but we enjoy meandering dinners or brunches out, not wild nights of boozing. (Unless it's someone's birthday)
Becoming a mother has changed me. Mostly into someone so boring and sleep-deprived I want to be home even more than I usually do. I'm totally okay with this.
But this weekend something unusual happened. My sister offered to take the kids for a sleepover and my husband and I went out for sushi with another couple, Curt and Kris. At these sushi nights it's all very dignified. We generally eat a ton of sushi, have some laughs and go home to relieve the babysitter.
But there was no babysitter that night.
There was nothing but a long empty space in front of us that we could fill with the illusion of being young and free again. After the last of the sake was slurped down, we went to a local lounge where:
I accidentally spilled my entire drink into Curt's loafer.
My husband convinced 3 women visiting from Tennessee that he was a circus performer. (He gets shot of of the cannon, apparently.)
We ran into a third couple with whom we're friends and poured ourselves over to The Wonder Bar where at Kris' urging, I staggered up on the stage with the band only to bust out some really bad dance moves. I pray there is no videotape of this occurrence because let's just say it wasn't pretty.
My husband and I went home about 4 hours past our usual bedtime satisfied that, if necessary, we could still party with the best of 'em. We crashed into the house giggling, unworried about trying to look passably sober for a babysitter or waking the kids.
But that wasn't all.
The next night (along with my sister and bro-in-law) were offered tickets to the Rutgers-Penn State game and invited to tailgate. Rumor had it that the tailgate would include a tent, wings, unlimited margaritas and A TEN FOOT SUB! TEN! So after a day of being parents again, what with going to our son's soccer game, having some of his friends over and baking cookies for all we packed the kids off to Grandma's house. They were thrilled to be having ANOTHER SLEEPOVER and off we went to the Rutger's game.
It was pouring rain and we were with some of the craziest yet most fun loving fans I'd ever seen. At one point I was pouring Tequila into people's mouths, making sure not to neglect my own. There was dancing and chili and twinkle lights and a man in a Penn State spandex suit. The cigarette situation occurred. At the time, it seemed like a good idea. Someone would yell "POLAR BEAR!" and the guys in our group would rip their shirts off and shotgun a beer.
When it was time to actually go into the game, two young drunk guys (age 25, TOPS!) were in two of our seats. One of them was so insanely intoxicated it must have taken ten years off my age and he started hitting on me. We will call him Drunk Youngin'.
"PLEASE TELL ME NEITHER OF THESE GUYS IS YOUR BOYFRIEND!" he said as my brother-in-law began encouraging them to get out of our other two seats. My husband was seated on the other side of me.
"I CAN TELL YOU WITH ALL HONESTY, NEITHER ONE OF THEM IS!" I yelled over the din as I tried to wrench my hand away.
"GET OUT!" my brother-in-law yelled at Drunk Youngin'. But Drunk Youngin' didn't budge.
My hand was still being clenched by Drunk Youngin and I was trying to pull it away before my hub saw what was going on.
"YOU DIDN'T PAY FOR THESE SEATS!" my bro-in-law continues as he gestures for Drunk Youngins to vacate our seats.
Well, to be fair, neither did we, but this was the principle of the thing. I tried in vain to yank my hand out of this drunk kid's sweaty mitt.
"HOWEVER!" I yelled "THAT GUY IS MY--"
Before I could say "husband" the man I am married to slowly got up. The gentle giant drew himself up to his full 6 ft. 5 feet and glared at Drunk Youngin' His eyes traveled slowly downward to Drunk Youngin's hand wrapped around my own. I was actually scared for the well-being of Drunk Youngin'. You know the phrase, "Drop it like it's hot?" Luckily Drunk Youngin' had the sense to do just that.
Here was my brother-in-law glaring at him and my husband icily staring him down from 2 feet above his head.
"You.need.to.leave." my hubby said quietly.
"Get outta here." my bro-in-law added menacingly.
My sister looked impressed.
As the Drunk Youngins gingerly but quickly scampered out of our row my sister and I looked at each other. Our husbands had just thrown two ruffians out. We are just so used to these tender dads tucking in kids and cheerfully coaching sports teams that it was a change to see them acting so...so...MACHO. I thought we might swoon.
Granted Sunday morning was painful and it was an absolute pleasure to spend the day snuggling with my kids, reading books, playing the Wii and hanging out at the park with them. But to have some adventures, get a little out of control and feel like something of a party peep felt surprisingly liberating.
There's a lot of responsibility that comes with being a parent. We don't want out kids to ever see us indulging in too much booze, dancing badly on a stage or pseudo-threatening a silly drunk. Especially not smoking the once a year cigarette or cigar. And I don't want to make a practice of this either.
But once in a while letting loose a bit makes you appreciate the comforts of home, boring though they may be, all the more.
Alright, I'm out. Many of you may be finding my mothering skills lacking at this point, but, je ne regrette rein!
That means I regret nothing. See, I also speak French. Maybe I'm not so boring after all.