Monica Bielanko
That's What She Said
Just A Junk Drawer Dream
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How To Be A Mom

I guess I may have a bit of postpartum depression after all. I went out for drinks with a coupla gals from work last night. I had worn jeans and some kind of high school gym t-shirt I'd picked up from a thrift store to work. Needless to say, next to these two cute twenty-somethings I felt like a beefy, butch gym coach.


When we arrived at the joint the girls had suggested my social anxiety immediately shifted into high gear. People spilled out the front door of the bar du jour. Giggling girls, guys standing around struggling to tune in cool with their strategically spiked hair and carefully contrived ensembles meant to convey the fact that they don't care about style. Real boobs, I discovered, are now a rarity. I pushed my shoulders forward, back curving into the letter C to hide my own post-baby saggy floppers.

We weaved through the bar, past orange-skinned blondes and pseudo rocker dudes, my fire engine red Chuck Taylors a stark contrast to the very stylish stilettos on Whitney's feet. We staked our claim in the back corner of the bar where a very large chested waitress proffered the boring beer I ordered. The girls, of course, were glugging mixed drinks. Rum and cokes and such. I tried to talk, be social as this kind of socialization requires... but I felt out of place. Conspicuous.

God, I hope I don't see anyone I know, I thought to myself. Of course, the minute I thought that an old college friend walked by. I fully expected not to be recognized. He recognized me instantly. It was nice to see him, actually. But the fact that I truly expected not to be recognized got me to thinking. I don't feel like Monica at all anymore. The dark hair, pale skin. The blood shot eye that never goes away. 15 pounds heavier. I feel hideous.
I can't believe you recognized me, I said to my friend.
What? You look exactly the same.

Maybe. And maybe he's just talking out of his ass to be kind. And it's not just about how I look. I don't feel the same. I'm not sure how a mom behaves out in the world. I'm a great mom at home with my baby girl... but when I'm out and about with grown-ups, I'm not sure how a mom should behave. Do moms drink? You know, when Dad is at home with the wee one is it okay for Mom to get her groove on? Or is that shameful? I don't know.