We’ve all heard the term, “Bros before hoes”…how about, “sisters before misters”? We too have an unwritten rule of backing up our girlfriends and not being sellouts…
Some time ago, I was out and about with Mr. Niceguy at a park. And though I’d love to say we were alone and were on a romantic stroll, gazing into each other’s eyes, whispering sweet nothings, and getting ready to settle down for poetry over a nice picnic with some beaujolais, baguette and brie…the reality was that we were chaperoning our children which meant screaming at one not to throw sand at the other kids in the sandbox, while pushing the other for what felt like an eternity on the swings while having this type of conversation:
Me: Hey, how was your day?
Mr. Niceguy: Hmmph.
Me: Did anything interesting happen at work?
Mr. Niceguy: Nope.
Me: How are the markets? Are they up? Are they down? Are they up and down? (tee-hee)
Mr. Niceguy: Yup.
Me: So things are going well then? TSX hit a new high? Or they could be better? Markets still reacting to Russian aggrandizement?
Mr. Niceguy: Huh? Ya. Hey, what are we doing for dinner? Where are the boys?
So, it can be a nice change to run into other parents at the park. I find it’s a good way to have some adult social time and to commiserate. After all, how else are we supposed to get through the sleepless nights, the teething, the terrible twos, the not wanting to wake up and go to school, the nagging and whining and all that other not-so-great stuff?
While children are definitely one of life’s greatest joys, let’s be real…all good comes with some bad and having a support system to deal with some of their curve balls is an absolute must!
Anyway, on one such occasion we met a couple while at the park. The conversation flowed freely and we were all enjoying ourselves, reveling in the happenstance for adult time while the children ran around, until the moment when the woman from the couple had to tend to her tantrum-having-toddler and her spouse came over and made a slight complaint to me…about her! I was completely taken aback. Now while what he said really wasn’t a big deal, it was really weird – not only because we’d just met but also because it felt like I’d been transported right back to high school, like to an episode of Glee – yes, I still watch it, and did you see Gwyneth last week? She was AWESOME – where I was now put in a position of “high drama” and “inner conflict” and had to figure out “the right thing to do”… My inner monologue started to work overtime as I broke out into a cover song and dance routine in my head. Hadn’t this guy heard about “sisters before misters”?? Didn’t he know the code? Things just got a little too intimate…
Now let me explain what I mean when I say, intimate. Not intimate like being intimate with a loved one in the bedroom when you’re…well, NO! Intimate like when you’re getting ready for a very important first meeting so you try and retry outfit after outfit and finally settle on a cute skirt paired with a sweater and booties that will carry you from that meeting to an après work drinks party that you just got invited to and can’t miss because since you left your middle-management-downtown-financial-district-career, gone are the days of regular Thursday night drinks and throwback parties where the beers are bankrolled and you don’t just talk about homework and compare extra curriculars but bitch about bosses, new initiatives and unreasonable work expectations.
After all that daydreaming, you realize that you’re going to be late and so no more revisions on the last outfit iteration and off you race to the subway (which before, was the bane of your existence, but now, an out-of-the-norm treat) only to realize when you get on the train that your sweater shrunk more than you thought after you freshened it up in the dryer (bloody merino wool and bloody hard-to-set-dryer-timer!!) and that you’re going to have to sit through an entire quasi-interview / meet-and-greet / bacon-to-my-bread meeting fidgeting with a now very tight and itchy crop top and though you try your best, you are no match for nature and you flash your still-not-washboard stomach and belly button to the utter amazement and surprise of not just you, but the prospective employer. THAT kind of intimate. (Oh, and true story by the way)
So how does one respond? By now, I believe I’ve expressed (in rather eloquent detail, if I do say so myself) that while I can have the strongest of opinions, I can also be a cowardly jellyfish – I responded from a place of great surprise in between nervous giggles: “Oh, ha ha. OK.” And while that would’ve normally been enough, the puzzled look on his face revitalized me enough to say, “Well, to each his own. I think she’s doing a great job.” And walked away. Though we’re not in high school anymore, it’s still sisters before misters…except where Mr. Niceguy is concerned, of course!