I don’t get out much. I used to, but now most of the contact I have with the outside world happens within a simple loop from the elementary school to the grocery store to the cleaners. On any given day, the most exotic place I go is my backyard and the most interesting person I talk to is myself (but I’m pretty sure I make up most of the really interesting stuff I tell myself; once I told myself a very dramatic story about my time in Asia taming tigers and collecting rubies but I had to call bologna on myself because I know for a fact that I have never even been to Asia).
I don’t really remember when I stopped venturing out. When I was younger, I was always going places—I even used to go out at night (now, the mere of thought of going out after dark is quite unsettling, not so much because I’m afraid of the dark but because I would miss House Hunters). Before marriage and a child, I didn’t even get ready to go out until 9:00pm and my friends and I never left a club until closing time. These days, I’m pretty much useless after 7:30pm although last Christmas my family and I did go to a party that lasted until it was dark. I couldn’t help but marvel at how beautiful the world looked when it was all lit up.
“Wow, look at that!” I said with my face pushed up against the car window to get a better look at the illuminated glory before me.
“That’s just McDonald’s, honey,” my husband said in the condescending way of a man who never leaves work until after dark and gets to see these amazing lights everyday.
“Yes, but have you ever seen those Golden Arches look more magnificent!” I said, my enthusiasm undaunted by his cavalier attitude.
I have been looking for opportunities to go out after dark ever since the McDonald’s sighting last Christmas and yesterday I received an invitation to one of those parties where a woman cooks some fabulous meal all while demonstrating the latest in esoteric kitchen gadgets. I was about to ink this little soirée onto my calendar because nobody appreciates the majesty of kitchen wizardry like me, when I saw what time the party started—8:00pm. Eight o’clock at night? My mind reeled. What are these women, vampires?
I sat down and tried to figure out the logistics of how I could get to this kitchen utensil extravaganza and still maintain my scheduled bedtime. I’ve been known to start dozing off around 8:15pm, but the excitement of fancy new measuring cups and slotted spoons might be enough to keep me coherent. Certainly the hostess won’t mind if I show up in my pajamas and I’m sure all the other party-goers will be bringing their toothbrushes as well.
The night of the party arrived. I was in my pajamas by 7:30pm and ready to go, but apparently I fell asleep. I woke up around 8:15pm and I could have still made it to the party in time for the bonanza of bowls demonstration, but House Hunters International was from Kathmandu and that’s really about as much excitement as I can take these days.