Back in the day, sometime in the 90’s, when I first had an internet connection at home * I began trying to find an old friend of mine that I’d lost contact with. She was my verybestfriend until I moved to California when I was ten. Unfortunately, her name is pretty common, and not so many people were on line back then, so I couldn’t find her. I checked again maybe two or so years ago, and finally did get an email address for her. So, I wrote to her and she wrote back and it was nice and we sort of got caught up some. Until I totally blew it. She’d just had her second baby and was getting ready to go back to work. I said, in an email, that I really missed working because being home with the kids meant no coffee breaks and no shopping at target on my lunch hour. I was trying to kind of make a joke, not to be mean, but because I was having a really hard time being home with the kids and it came out in all sorts of ways. I said it because I knew how much it broke my heart going back to work when Nate was six weeks old and cried all the time and I was hoping to inject a little humor into the situation.
What I got was a reply about her really dreading going back to her job, and, I think, about how lucky I am to stay home. And I am lucky. Also, I give up A LOT of things to stay home with the kids.** Then I wrote that we were going to be visiting my grandparents who live about an hour from her house, and I got silence. I never heard from her again. I think that if she knew me now, and read that or even if she’d heard me say it over the phone, she’d have known that I wasn’t making light of her situation, but that I was saying, in a backhanded way maybe, that I knew what she was doing was really difficult. Sometimes I see hits in my stats coming from the town where she lives. So, B, if you are reading this, I’m really sorry for being an asshole and I plan to visit this summer. I would love to see you and meet your family.
*Anyone out there remember during the 80’s using the modems that you had to put the phone into to use? You’d set the (what’s it called?) earpiece into the cradle and be really quiet so the computer could get on line. All the little beeps and static were really loud, and you could look up song lyrics in the Library of Congress! Song lyrics you could never before even guess at like Louie, Louie and Jumping Jack Flash.
** Haircuts, makeup, new clothes (even from target or old navy), trips, dinner out, decent health care, homeownership, retail therapy, mental therapy, pedicures, massages, chiropractic care, yoga (or any) classes, professional carpet cleaning. . . you get the idea.