I turned 31. Lucky for me, I was invited out to celebrate with a gentleman I’ve been seeing. We’ve been dating each other for a few months, and, as I am sure many single NY ladies can attest to, that means nothing. In the NY dating scene, a few months could mean you’re on your way to moving in together, or you could still not know someone’s last name. We were, thankfully, somewhere right in the middle of these two scenarios.
Going out on a date as a mom is difficult for many reasons. Still, my top three are:
1. You have to find a reliable babysitter
2. You can’t be out too late (all moms know that on the days you need that snooze button, you instead get a human in footie pajamas climbing into your bed well before the alarm).
3. Taking someone back to your place is reserved for very serious, committed relationships or weekends you don’t have your child.
Since this was a Monday, I had one of the three (a babysitter) and was willing to forgo the other two.
My date picked me up and took me to dinner in the city. I got the shrimp risotto and a glass of white. He got the lamb and an imported beer. We had a great conversation. But, as the clock struck 10:45, however, things started to go downhill. I was yawning and nearly falling asleep. My stomach felt a bit funny, but I chalked it up to eating so late. So, he paid (Happy Birthday to me!), and we walked back to his car.
Things started to fall apart somewhere near exit nine on I-87N. I could tell that my stomach was not acting up just because I ate late but instead because of something I ate. Nausea washed over me. “What’s wrong?” he asked sweetly. “I don’t feel well.”
Then he did that thing guys do, try to make things better, but they kind of make them worse. He reached over to rub my leg, and I pulled it away. “Oh, gosh, no. Sorry.” He knew I meant it and decided to do that other thing men do, make very logical and strategic decisions. He pulled off the highway at exit 11 and took the local route back to Yonkers in case I had to throw up, which I did.
We made it a few hundred more feet before I begged him to stop the car somewhere near Van Cortlandt Park. I trudged through the woods, losing a leopard print flat, bent over, and un-digested all of the shrimp risotto and half the glass of wine. On my way back to his car, while looking for my missing shoe in the dark, I stepped in (what I hope was) dog poop. As it squished between my toes and up over the top of my foot, I wasn’t worried or embarrassed; instead, I began to chuckle. I was reminded of when I tried to use biodegradable diapers on my son. A few days in, while holding him, the diaper began to degrade all over the two of us. I knew that if baby wipes could clean up that mess, it would clean this up too.
I found my shoe and walked slowly, dragging my soiled foot, back to my date who was patiently waiting in the car. “It happens to the best of us,” he said when I explained why I needed to walk barefoot to the bodega nearby to buy baby wipes.