Singin’ for my Supper

March 4, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Posted in Family, Giggles, Serial Commas | 10 Comments

Today was a big day for me. I had a lunch. A business lunch.

I put on make-up. Used mousse. Pulled out my Nine West boots. I ransacked my closet, tried every clothing combination possible. (Except for the pink button-down. Because it didn’t go with my boots.)

Meanwhile, down the hall, Giggles decided it would be a good time to remove all the books from the shelf and chuck them on the floor. And remove his pants. And feed carpet fuzz to the dogs.

All Dressed Up and No One to Diaper
Thus, we were a little frazzled when we left the house. But we were both wearing our pants. The books had been returned to their shelf, even if gallons of snot had been dispensed in the ensuing tantrum timeout. And we were only five minutes behind schedule (I think it was boot karma).

I dropped him off at a playmate’s house and slipped out quietly as he made a beeline for the furry purple Dora chair. Since Lollipop was at school, I really, truly, legitimately, had two hours to myself. For my business lunch. Boy, did I feel like a grown-up.

I drove downtown, going over the key points I wanted to make. I practiced answers for questions I thought might be asked. And I marveled at how outrageously tiny my purse looked on the passenger seat. Definitely no diapers in there.

I’ll Have the PB&J Please
I arrived at the restaurant a few minutes early, reapplied my lipstick (lipstick!), adjusted my earrings (earrings!), took out my stylish pen (stylish pen!). Inside, there were handshakes. Notes taken. Corporate credit cards used. And when I came back to the table after refilling my drink? No one had thrown their spoon/sippy/burrito on the floor. Need I say more?

I left with the promise of a few new projects and a renewed professional partnership. I left feeling like a grown-up. A professional. A working woman. I left carrying a purse and wearing boots, for Pete’s sake.

I drove to pick up Giggles, replaying some of the lunch conversation in my head. A catchy tune came on, and I turned it up. Hummed along, then sang out loud. I drafted follow-up e-mails in my head, shaking my moussed hair to the music from the speakers.

Monkey Business
The song ended, but the tune kept bouncing in my brain. I kept on humming it. All around the cobbler’s bench … Singing it. The monkey chased the weasel … Tapping my hands on the steering wheel. That’s the way the money goes … Tapping my Nine Wests. Pop! goes the weasel.

Oh, yes.

This professional woman fresh from her business lunch? Was bopping along to a nursery rhyme. And totally digging it.

I laughed. A little Dr. Pepper came out my nose.

And I realized: It had been fun to play career woman, a role I once knew so well, for a few hours. But I am not that woman anymore.

Summing Up
Part of me is. The part that holds onto her Nine West boots, waiting for the once-a-year chance to wear them. The part that calls herself a “freelancer” and enjoys debating the merits of the serial comma. The part that collects post-its and red pens. Part of me always will be.

But all of me is a mother. Who negotiates timeouts, wipes snot, and re-clothes pint-sized strippers. Who peels stickers off the dogs, glue-guns princess dresses back together, keeps a soccer ball in her pantry. Who works long hours and weekends, puts in overtime, gets paid in finger paintings and graham cracker crumbs.

That’s the way the money goes. And that works for me. Because I think my Nine Wests are gonna last a while.



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  1. Loved this one! Rockin’ out to pop goes the weasel cracks me up!

  2. I “work” a whopping three weeks a year, and always get extremely stressed that I won’t have anything to wear. Good for you having the go-to 9 West boots!
    Don’t you freak out a little everytime you look in the rearview mirror and there’s no one in those car seats?

  3. I related to every word of this. And, I loved it!

  4. I had dinner with my future business partner last night and felt like such a grown up, after 4 years of being Mom.

    Good for you!

    I may need to get me some boots.

  5. Awesome. I know what you mean. And since it’s not something that I can do for forever, I’m ok with immersing myself in it for now. (said after absolutely SCREECHING at all 3 kids to just GET DRESSED SO WE CAN GO TO BORDERS ALREADY.) 😉

  6. I am jealous….I want a business lunch 🙂 Although, I thank God (and my hubby) everyday that I am blessed enough to stay home with Abby. It is a hard job, but the hugs and kisses I get paid in are more than worth it 🙂

  7. I love this post – possibly because I can relate to every single piece of it.

    On my agenda this weekend? Going through my closet to see which items of my old work wardrobe are worth keeping for my occasional business lunches. Turns out I prefer my current work wardrobe: jeans and long sleeve t-shirts, often decorated with pureed sweet potato splatter patterns.

  8. I sang the Elmo theme song in the car the other day – and I was by myself. I am so grateful to you for telling me that I’m not the only one. I’m glad your meeting went well!

  9. For now, I’m sticking to lunches with people who work rather than work lunches. I still get to wear the boots, the makeup, the nice clothes but no work to do, yay! There will be a time for that later. Right now I’m enjoying not being yelled at by my client. Adriana yells at me, but she’s cute when she does it.

  10. I have to go to the ‘big smoke’ for a bunch of meetings on Friday. Alone. Have been planning my outfit for weeks. Bought new shoes. Went through my ‘work’ bag last night – contains a pair of underpants (size 3), a Matchbox car, small packet of tissues, and a (squished) box of sultanas. May need to work on the ‘work’ bag before Friday.

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