by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor
My husband graciously offered to watch the kids for me on Mother’s Day so I could take some time for myself (he actually didn’t but let’s pretend he did for the sake of this column). It started me thinking about what it is I actually used to do before every waking moment was spent bathing, feeding, buying food for, tickling, singing to, or worrying about, a child. There were things, interests I had…but what were they? Sure I liked to while away a night playing poker with my friends or having drinks with the girls and of course, I enjoyed going to a movie or a mall, but there were other, even more basic things that I just don’t do anymore. Let’s have a moment of silence for…
Getting my car washed: Aaahhh New Car Smell air freshener, how I miss you. Having a clean car was a staple of my childfree adulthood. I used to relish my forty minutes a week at the car wash like some women enjoy a good massage. I thought nothing of spending a half hour browsing through the small but well stocked car wash gift shop, taking my time deciding between a Blue Mountain gift card celebrating friendship and a refrigerator magnet that says “No Coffee, No Workee” secure in the knowledge that there was nowhere to be. Now I’m just happy if I get into my minivan and the smell of rotting cream cheese doesn’t waft up to greet me. There just isn’t time for a wash and wax. Speaking of waxing…
Hair Removal: Provided I was in a relationship (otherwise WHY?) I prided myself on having a barren bikini line (and then some), as well as well groomed eyebrows and shaved legs and underarms. Now, not so much. There will be no surprise pool parties or spontaneous hot tubbin’ in my near future. These days I wait until I look like a Tom Selleck before I dash into my nail salon to fix my upper lip and brows. I don’t even want to say how long it’s been since my nether regions have been near hot wax but I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t recognize the woman who had intimate knowledge of my girly parts if I ran into her at the grocery store.
Watching Lifetime: Before I popped out my first puppy, a Sunday never went by that didn’t include at least two movies “inspired by a true story” on Lifetime: Television for Women. My weekend wasn’t complete if I hadn’t seen someone (most likely played by Gail O’ Grady or Tori Spelling) have their husband, identity or baby stolen by someone else (most likely played by Tiffany Amber Theison or Jennie Garth). For some reason, kids don’t seem to appreciate the art of a good docudrama preferring instead to watch some damn singing puppets who never ever end up mysteriously stabbed on a beach or locked in someone’s trunk. Kids have no taste.
Updating Quicken: Once upon a time, very long ago, my finances were up-to-date. Yes, it seems like a fairy tale to me now. Gone are the days where I could actually sit down every month and download my bank statements into a file and categorize that file so that by the time tax season rolled around I was ready and eager to go get my rebate. My husband and I consider ourselves early birds if we manage to get everything done by the time that last extension date comes around in October. Happy Halloween Uncle Sam!
Listening to Stories of My Friends’ Dating Lives: It shouldn’t surprise anyone who just read about my love of docudramas to know that even after I was happily hooked up with my husband, I lived for every gory detail of my friends’ love lives. I could spend hours on the phone hashing out “Do you think he didn’t call because he thinks I have a big butt?” or “Could I really marry a guy who has a small penis?” I grieved every failed relationship of my friends as if they were my own. That has all changed. I know it’s hard for my old friends who are still single to understand. The old me could be counted on to remember the name of “the guy who tried to do that thing to me with his pinky!” but that information has been replaced by more crucial things like the address of my pediatrician or the phone number to Poison Control. I do miss those talks though. I would even try to have them still but friends get irritated when every conversation is peppered with, “Hey, don’t poke your sister with a toothpick!” or “No! Your blanket doesn’t go in the toilet!”
Yes, life has changed for sure. But reading this over, I’m not missing all that much. I’ve certainly gained way more than I’ve lost. Well, except for the Lifetime movies. I know what I’ll be doing this Sunday; Happy Mother’s Day to Me!