September 28, 2011

FYI: Your parents are cool(ish)

Because I am a loving parent (and also probably extremely overprotective), I haven't really had many nights out since Lulu was born. I live in fear of wearing out the few babysitters that are willing to watch our child for us. And I think I have PTSD from being separated from my baby for the first days, and weeks, of her life. So J.D. and I are the annoying people who take our kid everywhere with us, and haven't really had a proper date night since Lulu was born. We even took her with us to our anniversary dinner back in May.

But when J.D. told me that X, my favorite band of all time, was playing in Maryland on Monday night, and that there were tickets left, and that it might be fun to go, I carefully weighed the pros and cons of leaving my baby called my MIL and asked if we could dump Lulu's ass with her for the evening. How could I not take this opportunity? I listened to Wild Gift pretty exclusively from about 2003-2006; it was the only CD in my car for a while. I think at one point, it got stuck in my CD player, and that was fine by me, since it saved me the hassle of having to find it in the detritus on the passenger-side seat. Plus, everybody in the band is in their 60s. Who knows how many shows they have left?

So Monday night, we went. I put on real clothes (as opposed to yoga pants). I did (run a brush through) my hair. I put on MAKEUP (lipgloss counts), and EARRINGS and even perfume! We left the baby and a heap of her stuff with my in-laws. And J.D. and I drove to Annapolis, and we heard X play.

And! We talked about so many things on the ride there! Things that were not child-related. We talked about politics and home values and music and gossiped about people we know and it was SO QUIET. And yes, there were a few times when I looked back and saw the empty carseat and freaked out for half a second, thinking we had left the baby in the parking lot or on the roof of the car or something, but I soon calmed myself because THERE WAS NO CRYING and it was just so peaceful I couldn't help but relax.

This show was the strangest punk show that I have ever been to. Instead of being crammed in a basement or a sweaty room in a bar, we were seated at a table surrounded by a bunch of other tables in a pretty upscale restaurant. A waiter came by to take our drink orders and left carrying a tray of empty martini glasses. There was a list of specialty beers and available tapa-type appetizers and a bunch of people in business casual work clothes and I was the youngest person there by about 15 years, which is what happens when you like bands that rose to popularity before you born. We watched a documentary and then the band played through their most famous album, and then they played for another 45 minutes or so. Altogether, we were there for about two hours, and in those two hours, I listened and sang and talked and drank (iced tea) and generally had an AWESOME time.

A picture of the band, and also the pole that blocked half of my view of the stage. But it was a very upscale pole.

I had so much fun. I had forgotten what it was like to be able to give my whole attention to something without wiping up drool with one hand and calculating how long before I needed to breastfeed again in the back of my mind. Between sets, I went outside and bummed a smoke off of a young crust-punk and got into a very heated discussion with him about the definition of anarchy (lack of state, not lack of laws) and why Haiti is so f-ed up (corrupt government and deforestation). I quoted Thomas Jefferson and brought up the whole lawyer thing to make a point. And then I realized that zipper on my $14 Forever 21 jeans had been down the whole time and that I was possibly not as cool as I thought.

I slunk back into the venue and drank more iced tea and listened to Exene wail and watched Billy Zoom play the guitar, cool as a cucumber, and was happy when the band played my favorite one of their songs.

After the show, J.D. and I sat in a deserted park in the center of town and talked for a while. And then he stood up, and said we should probably get back. My first thought was, why? And then I remembered: the baby. For a minute, I felt like a bad mom, because I kind of...forgot. I had a picture of Lulu in my head, her blue eyes welling, missing me...when I'd been chugging iced tea and singing at the top of my lungs. How could I have wanted to be away from her? What if she needed me?

But then I got over it, and decided that going out and enjoying myself was the best thing I could have done for my child. Lulu, if you are reading this thirteen years from now, do not take this the wrong way, but right now, being your parent, while fun and often funny, is not always very intellectually stimulating. And you, like all babies, can be rather selfish in that I DO NOT CARE IF YOU ARE IN THE BATH, MAMA, I NEED TO EAT NOW. Tonight I got to recharge my batteries, and remind myself of who I am outside of you, and I can't share all the things I love about the world with you if I do not experience them and thus cannot recall exactly what they are.

Plus, if I had not gone away from you, I wouldn't have gotten to come back and experience tons of delicious baby smiles when you saw me again. That was pretty great.

Other things I learned tonight: pregnancy has robbed me of my iced tea tolerance, which was once pretty impressive. I think I spent about 30% of my night out going back and forth from my table to the bathroom. Luckily, it, too, was far more upscale than the bathrooms I am used to at these events. There was no drug use going on in there (that I could see). And no hanky-panky between people reeking of B.O. And there was one of those hand dryers that's so strong it moves the skin on your hands all around. FANCY!

1 comment:

  1. The first time Carl and I did a real date - more than just dinner out or an afternoon matinee at the movie theater - after Joy was born was LAST YEAR. She was THREE YEARS OLD.

    We were both, as you can imagine, quite giddy the entire time. And it wasn't just because of the wine tasting we did that afternoon. Although that helped.