So remember how Bear got that new job? He’s been working really, really hard since then. Sometimes he’s at the office until 11:30. Sometimes he’s working until 4 am. I don’t know how anyone can work for that long. Actually, I don’t know how anyone can do anything for that long. I don’t think I’d be able to watch TV for that many hours in a row. There’s a slight chance I might be able to cuddle with Bear for that long. But that’s about it.
Anyway, tonight I’m meeting his team. And I’m really nervous.
(us, before the last work event I attended, when I went so far as to straighten my hair)
Tonight is not really about me meeting his team. It’s about everyone getting together for office solidarity, or something along those lines. Bear set it up. He said, “Are you free Wednesday?”
I was surprised.
And then I was nervous, and it occurred to me that I have nothing to wear, because my dresses are all either too casual or kind of skanky. And it occurred to me that I might not be as pretty as some of the other wives and girlfriends, and that I might not have anything to say to anyone, and that I might just stand there stupidly, unable to remember what part of the city I live in when someone politely asked me. And then I might suddenly fart.
OK, I probably won’t fart. But I might make Bear look bad in some other way.
This is all very silly, my friends were telling me last night, when we were sitting around the table eating cupcakes from Crumbs (absurdly large, gooey, fancifully flavored things), and talking about writing and sex and what I might wear to this thing tonight.
Sometimes, actually, it feels a little like Sex and the City around my table. Four young Manhattan women, having this very animated talk about what constitutes kinkiness, and then summer fashion, and then the state of online media. We’re cooler than them, though. Our characters aren’t so clear cut and our outfits are better.
But Sex and the City is not the point. My three gorgeous, quick-witted friends were telling me I would, obviously, be fine. Which I, somewhat obviously, guess I might possibly be.
Bear’s world and mine aren’t at all alike. When we hang out with hipsters, he doesn’t tell them what he does for a living. When I’m around people in his field, I feel awkward and a little lame saying, “I’m a writer.” I didn’t mean to imply that hipsters are my people.
If you describe us by our career paths, it might sound like we have absolutely nothing in common. Which is when our allies pipe up encouragingly, “Opposites attract!” But we aren’t opposites at all, because who you are is a lot more complicated than what you do for work. Our senses of humor (with the exception of his appreciation for nearly every episode of South Park) are fantastically well-matched. And then there’s something bigger and vaguer, which is critical but difficult to express: our ways of looking at the world are uncannily similar.
And then there are tiny shared habits and other miscellaneous similarities, and after that, it’s differences all the way out. He isn’t artistic, and practically everything I do is artistic. I still don’t really understand what he does all day. I humiliate myself when someone asks me specific questions about his job, and I can’t answer. I try frantically to remember, but there are so many acronyms, and the whole thing sounds like it’s an unsolvable theoretical equation that a million people are gathered around, constantly erasing and rewriting numbers.
So when I go to meet the people who he sits in an office with all day for the first time, I feel awkward. As though they might wonder why he picked me. And as though they might talk about us, later, in the cab, wondering whether there is some trick to me, some secret, that explains why we are married.
“Maybe she’s incredible in bed…”
* * *
Unroast: Today I love the way my hands smell after I’ve been cooking with garlic.
P.S. Post over on Skipping School about fighting with my mom. And how I’m not supposed to, because I was homeschooled.
Important note: You should check out these cupcakes from Crumbs.
This set is called The Ice Cream Collection Taste Pack. Look at the green one! I love how they go all out.
This is called The Cobbler Collection. They actually have strawberry rhubarb, which I think makes them look very savvy. Also, strawberry rhubarb is the best thing ever.
Awesome note: Crumbs gave me a free six-pack of cupcakes for the above mention, which is what my friends and I were eating last night. I think this officially marks my entry into the world of successful writing.