I've often pondered the fact that many women my age (in those whimsical early 40's) spend a lot of time trying to get away from their families. I mean, ladies, think about it: How hard did we work, back in the day, to land a husband? Granted, I can only speak for myself, but, given the staggering popularity of romance novels even in today's economy, I'm thinking I wasn't alone in the ideal of "Happily ever after."
And then kids! Was there anything more beautiful than the picture of you, eight months pregnant, sitting in a rocking chair, wearing something white, gauzy, and flowing, smiling gently as a rolly poly youngster plays contentedly at your feet?
Was there anymore less realistic?
(As I recall, my second pregnancy involved vomitting on the hour, every hour. I couldn't stand the smell of grilling meat, and I was pregnant all summer in WI, home to the daily meat grilling. Bonus, my three year old boy child didn't understand the concept of "Quiet time" and for hubby the shine had long worn off the magic of pregnancy and he was no way going to get up in the middle of the night and fetch me anything. His reasoning was sound. I'd probably puke it up right away anyway.)
But I digress. After all the work we put into "happily ever after" how come we spend so much time and effort on "happily alone?"
I have a friend who is never happier than when her husband goes to his relatives home up north. Another friend bemoans the fact that her husband has only taken her children away one weekend in all their years together. Personally, I fear I'll never get a weekend alone again since, while hubby runs to La Crosse almost every month to see family and hike in the state parks, and generally takes girl child with him, BOY CHILD now has a job and works every weekend. I long for the days when I could sit in front of the TV and watch something that didn't involve sports experts shouting at each other or the mouse channel spewing forth some new star that's ever so dreamy to the preteen set.
Wow, that was a run on sentence, wasn't it?
So what is it about a woman in her middle years and the ache to be alone...and not just alone...no, no. ALONE IN HER OWN HOME!
I have a friend whose husband told her to go someplace for the weekend. She shouted back that she shouldn't have to leave her home to get peace and quiet, that he should take the children.
So how does a woman, who wants peace and alone time in her home manage it? I think I have the answer: DANCE!
You know you all danced with your kids when they were babies. You, the young mother, were the first one on the floor at a wedding when they played the bunny hop or the hokey pokey. You danced to Sesame Street, Blues Clues, Dora, and yes, there were moments when you danced with the Teletubbies. (But mostly because by the time Teletubbies came on, you were giddy with the dancing and couldn't stop.)
Then the children went to school and came back with a very definite idea of what "COOL" is and guess what...it ain't you! (Or me.)
My kids USED TO LOVE when I danced and sang with them. But now, now since I can't quite scream like the boy's thrash metal howling bands, or I'm not adorable and curly haired like a certain Jo Bro, well, I'm no longer allowed to sing and dance.
I went to Summerfest...to the Classic Rock (Read here, "OLD FART") stage. These were my people. Overaged, overweight, over anything new. And I danced with them. And then I looked around and realized that my oh-so-cool kids had ditched me.
Hmmmm, I was on to something!
So I tried it at church. Not that we dance at church, we're not that sort of fun church, but there's sometimes music that has a certain non-Germanic Lutheran beat to it, and I started tapping my toes there in the pew, sort of "pew dancing." Boy child looked at me and whispered, "Stop."
My friends, I believe I have it! Got kids? Got a husband? Want them to leave you alone?
DANCE your middle aged booty all over the house. Dance for no reason. Dance when there's no music. Create your own by humming, or, better yet, singing! And if they tell you to stop, shout at them, as if you had your ears plugged with earbuds, "IF YOU WEREN'T HERE YOU WOULDN'T SEE ME DO THIS!"
Granted, Hubby might find this new motion a bit of a turn on. But, if you're doing it right, even he won't want to be around you, you train wreck of a Solid Gold Dancer wannbe, you! (I've tried it. It takes a bit, but it has worked for me!)
It's a pity Billy Mays is no longer with us. I'd love to put together some sort of dance lesson video, and have him pitch it. He'd probably come up with a cool name for it, like "FAMILY BEGONE."
So my friends, if you want a quiet weekend for writing, and nothing seems to work...if all else fails, DANCE!