Judith Lautner (judith) wrote,
Judith Lautner

Oldness and goodness and delight

Tonight I joined eight other women for a "bachelorette" party for one of us, Elaine, a 30-something mother who is getting married for the second time. Partway through the evening, Elsa referred to this as Elaine's third marriage, and Michelle corrected her: it is only the second marriage, the second affair was "only a baby". That is, only responsible for a baby. Most of the gang was from the second floor of city hall. I was the oldest of the group, twenty years older than most of the rest. The youngest was Sarah, our intern, who in some ways seems barely out of her teens.

Ah youth. Sarah walked to the restaurant from her home, a few blocks away, wearing severely pointed severely high heels. I don't think she gave her feet a second thought.

When our dinner was over, Elsa suggested moving on for drinks and dancing somewhere else. They settled on The Cliffs, I believe, and both Carolyn and I bowed out at that time. As we walked away, Carolyn said "sometimes I feel SO OLD." Carolyn is more than ten years younger than I, and has a five-year-old child. We both felt very out of place, though, by then.

I know age is a relative thing, of course. When I arrived for this party I waited quite a while. The restaurant was full and the guy at the front desk didn't seem to know from reservation. I watched the people at the tables and the other people waiting to be seated. Everyone was in such a good mood. The restaurant is Moroccan and features belly dancers. Soon after I arrived, three of them danced out to sing and dance happy birthday to two different people at different tables. At each table they got the person up to dance with them and they danced willingly and happily. One of the dancers came toward the door and gave her stick to a man waiting there. He was an older guy wearing a hat, who looked very Irish. He was smiling the whole time he was there and he gladly took the stick and took part in the dance. Everyone seemed to be a part of it, just loving being there.

We realized that nobody wanted to leave. They would get their checks and just sit there, laughing, drinking, enjoying themselves. So it was forever before we got seated. The food was terrific; everyone liked what they got. I had a Moroccan beer, which I also liked, and a spicy veggie curry, so good that I took the rest home with me. A couple of us gave gifts to Elaine, nothing risque, and there were no male strippers.

I thought, as I listened to Bach on my way home, that there isn't really a place where I fit in socially. Odd. I hang around the fringes and am invited to the ones where I might overlap. It may be that it isn't possible to be part of a group, not for me, because I just want to watch, observe, see others. I saw things tonight that were wonderful. The man with the hat. The woman on the sidewalk who stopped and danced briefly for us - was she drunk? The look of the lovely young women who were with me - they had such a womanliness to them, a lush beauty, and they glowed. The belly dancers!! Comfortable in their ample skins, graceful and perfect in their movements and their smiles. It's hard for me to be part of things but I get such joy from seeing and hearing.

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