Yesterday I attempted to outline the types of parties a Suburban Wife/Mother must endure. Tonight, I'll take on events those in the "lifestyle" refer to as "vanilla." I also call them "middle" parties because they're not quite stiff as the mandatory gatherings and certainly not as (overtly) "free" as the parties I've been to on the dark side. You're dying for me to get right to the swinger parties, right? Build-up is everything (as is foreplay). So, patience please.
Let me outline how the night typically plays out. It's a Saturday night and I've got a sitter coming. I'm wearing a sexy brown velour BCBG dress I just bought at Nordstrom's. It's perfect because while it shows off my cleavage (34D), it hits the knee. I have to be careful not to show both bare legs & cleavage. One or the other, less I want to be called a slut. Again, the only reason I care in this crowd is because parents of my children's friends will be there.
We have arranged seating at the Country Club. I'm not overly concerned about the small talk because I'm sitting with some rather entertaining characters. My friend Gwen loves Gin & Tonic. She drinks so much EVERY time she goes out that we can always expect her best "Elaine" dance moves (Seinfeld reference). Tonight, she announced to the table that she'd be right back after she found a "fucking tampon." I couldn't script that, honestly.
And then, there's beautiful Leah. She has a new best friend about every two years because she generally gets "dumped" after their husbands become too fond of her. She dances like there's an invisible cage around her. I've seen her in more guy-girl-guy/girl-guy-girl sandwiches than I can count. Jake always says she's a shot away from a threesome. I suspect she's already had that shot, but not when in the same town as her husband.
Both Leah and Gwen have interesting mates. Or should I say keepers? watchers? Their husbands monitor their drinks, their curfews on girls nights, insist on turtlenecks. Yeah, there's a lot of CONFLICT. I guess it's everywhere.
I could go on and on painting the human landscape, but it's pretty repetitive. Picture's the same corner to corner. Diane Von Furstenberg here, Gucci there. Misery everywhere. Everyone is conflicted.
The conflict these "vanilla" friends of mine face is at home. In my opinion, this is the worst place to have a conflict. Someone wants to be the life of the party. Someone wants to be the supressor. I guess you could argue they're the Yin to the other's Yang. I only see the product as tortured people who fight all of the time and make each other miserable.
In a nutshell, it's at these "vanilla" parties where you get the best glimpse of conflicted couples. I'm conflicted too....right? "Mimi Conflicted"
My conflict is imposed by society. And me. I am supressing myself for society. I'm "me." And the other "me" so that I can continue to exist in the awkward. Makes no sense when I put it like this. If you are in the lifestyle and have kids, I suspect it makes complete sense. If you are not, I will continue to try and get you to understand.
OMG! I forgot to tell about the terrible thing that happened to me that night. I was walking back to my table from the ladies room when three women walked by me and very obviously looked at my cleavage, POINTED, and said "nice dress" and threw themselves into fits of giggles. It was the first time in my adult life I was truly mortified. Okay, maybe not the first. But it was a rare emotion to experience in what Jake referred to as my "Holly Hobby" dress (he likes me to bare as much skin as legally permitted.) Here's another conflict. Who am I supposed to please when I go out? Jake, or the societal influences? Do I know the answer?