I've been waiting a while to tell this tale, mostly because it involves one of my absolute favorite people in the whole world, however totally disses her friends. I had to wait an appropriate amount of time so that if they ever turn their heads from their parenting encyclopedias, they won't know this is about them. You feel me?
Anyway, I have this friend. We're going to call her Ashtray for the purposes of this blog post, and also because that is what I call her to her face, and it is also her name in my cell phone. Ashtray and I have been friends since I was 16 and she was 20-ish. We met when we were forced to painstakingly fold a sweater table at a retail store we both worked at for the Christmas season. We were quickly separated because nobody could tolerate the hilarity when we sweater folded together. We were totally besties back then only it was weird because there was a big age gap. After we finished our jobs, we lost touch because this was also back in the dark ages where there were no cell phones or facebook. I know. So long ago.
However, luckily a few years later, I was seated behind her on a flight to Toronto. I was terrified and attempting to breastfeed my 6 week old infant. All hell broke loose when she pooped and needed to be changed. Ashtray, who was pregnant on her second at the time, calmly took charge and assisted me in my dilemma. The rest is history.
Anyway, Ashtray is a mom in every sense of the word. She lives and breathes motherhood. She enjoys laundry. Yes, you read that right. She also can french braid. Her children are in every summer camp known to man. Those youngsters can paint, horseback ride, sing, act, and probably basket weave better than anyone else on the go. She makes me look bad. She makes you look bad. I have a deep hatred for her, but at the same time, she is my soulmate so I tolerate what an awesome mom she is.
Just to add some balance, I will also say that Ashtray loses her shit. I remember days when I would show up at her house at 9am, and she would be ready for supper because she had been up with her girls since 2:30am. Like, that is what time they got up for the day. I would kick the hundred pairs of tiny shoes out of the way in the front entrance and make myself at home in her kitchen where dishes were piled high in the sink and you could barely see the counter tops under the clutter. This is what I needed and will always need. A best friend who appears to have her shit together, but doesn't. Because who does, really? And we would sit, drinking room temperature coffee, and yell at our kids together. And it was always perfect.
That is, until I went to her child's birthday party.
So for even more background, I moved out of the city when our kids were still young. Avery had just turned one and so there wasn't much partying on the go those days. With me being two hours away, and both of us being realistic, we had never attended a party for each other's child, and this had never been an issue. Imagine my excitement when I was going to be in town for a birthday party. This was going to be amazing.
That day I ran out and purchased a couple of cute outfits for the birthday child. Wrapped them up and put Avery down for her mid day snooze. Of course this ran longer than usual, and so I was basically going to be the last person to show up at this party. But come hell or high water, I was going. This was happening. Finally.
I strapped Avery in her car seat and drove across town to Ashtray's where the party was to happen. Immediately upon pulling on to her street, I felt a deep sense of dread. Audi's, BMW's, and Escalade's lined the curb. I resisted the urge to whip my Kia Sorento around and head home, and parked as far away as humanly possible. As I ascended her steps, I practiced saying, "Oh my God, WHO owns the Kia?" in my head so that it would sound natural when I walked in. However, when I did walk in, I became immediately speechless.
I had spent longer than I care to admit choosing my outfit for this party. I finally settled on a neon orange frilly tank top and a pair of jeans. I walked into a sea of beige. Every mother in there was wearing some sort of cream/oatmeal/white uniform.
"Oh great", I thought, "I look like a fucking pylon."
As I maneuvered myself through the party, desperately seeking the familiar face of my hilarious friend, I caught sight of the gift table. I don't even know where to start with that. I couldn't tell for sure, but it appeared that these moms had brought full on scholarships with them as birthday gifts. It was terrifying.
Finally, I found her. She was wearing lavender, to clarify. She hauled me aside and whispered to me that she wanted me to know that these were not her secret friends, and that they were in fact just mothers of her kid's friends and to please not judge her. I tried my hardest.
For a short while, I sat in the living room and attempted to make small talk with the other moms. One mom wanted me to know all about how her little Celery was the smartest kid in his Biochemistry for Tots class. Another lamented that her 3 year old, Ottoman, was having much difficulty in his Mandarin Language camp.
Ok it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't good either. So imagine my joy when Avery toddled over to me and told me she had to go poop.
I decided that I would sneak upstairs and use that bathroom as Avery was being potty trained and who knew how long it was going to take me to get this on the go. I gave a quick wave to Ash and she gave the "go ahead" nod from across the party, so up we went. Avery sat her little bum on the toilet, and made a valiant attempt to go number 2. But has her pushes turned to strains, and her strains turned to cries, I started to really panic. Avery had poop stuck in her bum and Ashtrays entire main floor was full of goddamn Stepford Wives. My only option was to leave my screaming child in the bathroom and weave my way through the sea of beige moms until I found my friend. I was sure none of them would be able to help me. All I'd get out of them would probably be how they bred their son, Whisk, to not ever take a dump, so they would be confused at my issue.
I managed to hit the jackpot and find her AND her mother together. "Guys. I need some Vaseline and some Q-tips. Stat."
The beads of sweat on my forehead and my screaming neon shirt probably alerted them to the fact that I was not dicking around. Mrs. Ashtray assisted me in finding the things I needed and I hurried upstairs to perform an epic poo extraction on Ash's white tiled floor. After it was all said and done, Avery was hysterical and definitely needed to sit her little bum in a warm bath. This was the perfect way to get out of there before anyone saw what I was driving. I couldn't pass it up.
I quickly said goodbye to Ashtray who was, as always, incredibly understanding, and hauled ass out of there. Like a bright orange hemorrhoid being removed from a perfectly bleached asshole.
She called that night and apologized again. Those women are not her tribe. But she did a way better job entertaining them than I would have. And that's why I love her. Girlfriend can adapt. I don't know anyone else who can survive for years on two hours of sleep a week, or something like that.
Also, for the record, I hope you can all find yourselves an Ashtray. She literally would talk me down at 3am when I was up for the fifth time with my non-sleeping son. She also counseled me through shitpocalypse over the phone (read it and you'll understand). She is there for me for everything, even if it's from two hours away via text message. And she understands that even after all of this, I am never going to another one of her effing birthday parties ever again. Ever.