I was at the grocery store late the other night. Pj pants, no wedding ring and a cart full of random and solitary items. One loaf of bread. One pound of ground beef. One liter of diet coke. I felt the eyes of the person behind me looking into my cart. Bored, and trying to determine who I was based on what I was buying. And I imagined she was thinking, "Single lady. Probably has a cat. No make that multiple cats. I bet that hamburger is for her giant brood of precious kitties."
And I wanted to turn around and say, "I'm actually not single. I hate cats. We're just kinda skint till payday so I'm doing the mini-grocery shop till then. And I took my ring off when I was doing dishes tonight. I really have a GREAT husband and kids."
But I kept quiet. Because to randomly sputter these things would have been totally mental. And I'm trying to cut back on the totally mental. But I also kept quiet because I realized that most of the women that I would like to know, would care to know, would have seen beyond the cart anyway.
The ones that I might care about would have recognized the tell tale signs of a late night mom escape. The "Oh my God. I'm so beat down tired" hunch in my posture. The "If I don't get to go somewhere where nobody NEEDS me right now I'm gonna lose it" crazy-glint in my eye. And the "Should I write a check? How fast does the Jewel Osco put their checks through? Will husband notice that I slipped a Star magazine in if he looks at the receipt" eye-rolling calculations.
The woman that I would want to know, would totally get it. Even if she might also be thinking, "Oh dear God is THAT what I looked like last Wed. night? I swear I'll never go to the Jewel in my pajamas again."
And then my flannel clad, bedraggled self was suddenly really happy. Cause at 37 I've finally figured out not only the type of women friends that I want in my life. But that it's ok not to waste a moment worrying about the rest of the gals. Even if they are hypothetical friends that I imagine are judging what's in my grocery cart. How very, very nice.
Note: There are a million awesome women blog friends who "get it" that I could have linked to. I just linked to the two that are local and might actually see me at the Jewel in my flannels.