As I stand to leave, my phone buzzes – a text from Olivia.
Hey! We’re all meeting at Hunter’s for drinks at 8 – you in? It’s Margarita Monday!
I love a margarita as much as the next girl, but I don’t know if I can do it tonight. I know there’s no easy way out of this. I don’t have a good excuse, as far as they’re concerned.
You don’t have kids and soccer practice and ballet classes to deal with. All you have is work, and after that you’re home free! And you work at a school, so you get summers off! You can do whatever you want, like, all the time.
They’re not wrong. There’s a certain freedom that not having kids gives me – like impromptu meditation sessions in the park after a particularly hard day – I can’t deny that. And they may not be my own flesh and blood, but my students are my kids. I care about them, even love them.
But it’s not really like being a mom, you know. You get to send them home, and you don’t have to worry about feeding them or taking them to the hospital when they’re sick!
Again, they’re not wrong, really. But sometimes I don’t get to “send them home” until hours after the bell has rung because they’re too afraid to go home. And my friends don’t know about the cabinet full of granola bars and Gatorade for the students who haven’t eaten since lunch yesterday. And in a school of 2200, there have been more than enough sick kids I’ve had to help get home or to a hospital.
Suddenly, I feel that familiar uncertainty creep back in. Maybe I do have it easy. Maybe I’m not cut out to do anything more than be a school counselor.
I ignore the text and get back on my bicycle. I’m home within fifteen minutes, which is good because it’s getting dark. Once inside, I head into the kitchen and, faced with a fridge full of uncooked ingredients, grab a handful of grapes and flip on the TV. My phone buzzes again. Olivia.
Hello? Are you coming? We all got sitters, so it’s now or never, haha!
I hate this. The guilt trip. As if I’m not allowed to be tired or stressed and have to do everything they want when it’s convenient for them because they finally got a babysitter.
I pop a grape into my mouth as I think of what to reply. I’m tempted to ignore it again. And why shouldn’t I? Wouldn’t that show them I’m just as busy as they are?
No. It would just show them that you think you’re too good for them.
I sigh. It’s true. Missing out on Margarita Monday means I’ve got better things to do than hang out with a bunch of moms. Not that that’s all they are. Olivia’s in marketing. Jenna is an accountant. I’m not sure exactly what Maritza does, but it’s something in home healthcare. Really, they’re the women who do it all, the kind you read about in magazines, the ones who are main characters in sitcoms.
I put my thumbs to my phone and tap out a reply.
I’ll be there! See you soon!
By the time I’ve changed clothes, refreshed my makeup and closed the door behind me, I wonder if I’ve made a mistake. I love these girls – we’ve been friends since college and weeknight cocktails aren’t unusual in our group. But since they all got married and started having kids, I’ve been forced to wonder if we really have anything in common anymore. It’s starting to feel like we don’t.
A pang of insecurity punches me in the stomach.
(…to be continued…)
Series – Evanescent
January: If Something Can Go Wrong…It Will – Jonay Quintero Hernández (Spain)
February: The Planet of Pleasure – Nane Sevunts (Armine Asryan) (Armenia)
March: Evening with Jackie Chan – Gennady Bondarenko (Ukraine)
April: Vuvuzelas, Walkie-Talkies and Madiba Magic – Sarah-Leah Pimentel (South Africa)
May: Remembering – Seyit Ali Dastan (Turkey)
June: 5-4-3-2-1 – Talia Stotts (America)
July: Getting Ready for Newborns – Marilin Guerrero Casas (Cuba)
August: Regrets – Kate Korneeva (Russia)
September: A Hollow Pursuit – Diana Haidar (Syria)
October: The Test – Alejandra Baccino (Uruguay)
November: A Life Rekindled – Lauren Voaden (United Kingdom)
December: Translation Perfect – Zhang Lu (China)
Special: Catching Water III – Javier Gomez (Argentina)
Background – Context
Transadaptation Volume 2: Conceived – Childhood Transadapted, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2021)
Transadaptation Volume 1: In the Middle – Prelude to a Contemporary Transadaptation, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2020)
Peripatetic Alterity: A Philosophical Treatise on the Spectrum of Being – Romantics and Pragmatists by Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
La Syncrétion of Polarization and Extremes Transposée, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2019)
The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2018)
L’anthologie of Global Instability Transpuesta, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2017)
From Wahnsinnig to the Loony Bin: German and Russian Stories Transposed to Modern-day America, (eds.) Angelika Friedrich, Yuri Smirnov and Henry Whittlesey (2013)
Emblems and stories on the international community
Perception by country – Transposing emblems, articles, short stories and reports from around the world
Cover photo: Galveston Island, Texas – Downtown – Lily Miller (Unsplash)
Source: The Codex of Uncertainty Transposed