‘I have been eating solo with my kid for so long now that I’m terrified I’ve forgotten how to eat in public.’
I am writing this to you from the comfort of my own home. I have my hair piled high in a crack addict’s bun. I have no make up on. My toenails have 3 month old nail polish peeling off them and I can’t even remember the last time I shaved my legs. Basically, I’m a total picture. Jessica Alba, eat your heart out. All of this is soon to change however, as tomorrow evening I have: A Date.
A Date. With a grown up. Involving food and cutlery and a conspicuous lack of Bananas in Pyjamas to accompany my evening meal. I would love to write to you that I am bursting with excitement, but truth be told? I’m absolutely f*cking terrified.
I have been eating solo with my kid for so long now that I’m terrified I’ve forgotten how to eat in public. What if I’ve forgotten how to hold my knife and fork? Will my date think I’m being inappropriate if I cut his food for him? I must remind myself not to sing the Happy Happy Dinner song when he eats his vegetables. I probably don’t need to rush him off to the bathroom to wash his hands and face either.
How does one hold a conversation with someone over the age of two? I consider myself to be a reasonably intelligent human being. I love to read, although my repertoire these days extends mostly to The Hungry Caterpillar and That’s Not My Truck. I enjoy cooking – I make the world’s best eggy cheesy bread and I even plate it spectacularly in the form of smiley faces. I am expertly cultured, I can identify and even sing the most obscure of nursery rhymes. When it comes to the fine art of making small talk with a relative stranger, however, I am at a total loss.
Seen any movies recently? Only the Octonaut special on ABC2. Been anywhere interesting lately? Well I took my son to the park yesterday and on our walk we found a dead bird. Have you ever tried to explain to a two year old why he can’t pick up a dead thing on the side of the road? It’s fun. Give it a go sometime. It’s akin to successful hostage negotiation.
I decided to bring in reinforcements and reached out to friends for help and advice. One of my closest friends is also single – albeit child free. She tossed her beautiful hair, flashed me a gorgeous smile and told me to just relax and have fun! “Dating is supposed to be fun! You’ll have plenty to talk about, it’s so easy. Don’t worry.” I contemplated on stabbing her with the lid from my take away coffee mug but decided that would probably be overkill. It’s not her fault she’s socially blessed.
I sought advice from my married-with-kids-friends. They were so excited at the prospect to live vicariously through my one night of object terror that their advice was a little… enthusiastic. Not wanting to be mistaken for Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman (hell, who am I kidding.. I WISH!) I decided to stick with my original wardrobe choices and there would be absolutely no flashing of any thigh, regardless of how many encouraging text messages they sent me during the course of the evening.
Today I was supposed to finish some chores and complete a couple of assignments that have been hanging over my head. Instead I spent the day frantically trawling the internet to bring myself up to speed on pop culture. Seems I’ve missed a lot in the last two years – it’s amazing how quickly you can feel like a complete and utter social pariah, regardless of the fact that you’re only 24 and have an ADSL connection.
So I prepare, nervously, for my date tomorrow with questionable eating habits, an encyclopaedic knowledge of all things poop related, a close and personal relationship with Thomas the Tank and an astute ability to locate beloved figurines belonging to mentioned toddler in the most obscure of hiding places. But am I prepared for a date? Nope, nope and more nope.
Wish me luck.
Until the next misadventure, xx A