I wasn't exactly a jock in high school, or otherwise really in a position to call other kids nerds or dorks - I was, after all, the kid going to extra church - but sometimes with Calvin and his friends, I feel like maybe I should have been? Like, I know that I'm actually five years younger than all them, but sometimes I kind of wonder when they're going to grow up. I guess it's a bit of everything, in that they're all white and never really had to worry about certain things, and how I jumped straight into adulthood from the middle of high school and then had a kid and I guess stopped having a lot of time for frivolity.
I mean, Game Night. A bunch of folks in their mid-twenties getting together to play board games, and, like, not even "drink a shot when you get sent to jail in Monopoly" varieties. One of Calvin's friends orders stuff from Germany that is apparently going to be the next big thing among tabletop enthusiasts here. It's insane, but I feel like I'll be letting Cal down or looking like some sort of b---- if I say I don't want to go, I sound like a snob, and can the black single mother really afford to sound like she's too good for these folks? Especially when I've got a while bunch of what Penny calls "Impostor syndrome" going on?
It's not that I don't have fun at these things, so much as how you get to doing them kind of bewilders me. I feel like I just grew out of board games, or like they're something Little Moira is going to be growing into soon, and I haven't had time to get nostalgic and try to rediscover them. I felt kind of silly asking Ashlyn not to schedule me to work every other Monday and even sillier asking Momma Kamen to babysit because this is my "grown-up time" with a boyfriend rather than a toddler.
On top of that, Calvin was hosting this week, and somehow that meant I was responsible for snacks - "we" were, but, well, you know. And because it's important for some reason that I impress these people despite never having learned to do much more than heat food up, I got myself into a panic a week in advance. I set off the smoke alarms in the apartment trying to make cookies, and maybe cried a little I told Moira and she said "ye work in a bleedin' restaurant and the owners like your fella".
So half an hour before everyone else started to arrive, Ashlyn showed up with two trays of dip, one with peach cobbler, and a bunch of tortilla chips I thanked her with promises of overtime and handing out menus, but she said not to sweat it, that we all had different challenges in our new lives that we didn't see until they were right on top of us, but that I should remember I'm only dating Calvin and not his friends.
Easy for her to say; she didn't have any of them staring daggers at me because I'd only managed "vegetarian" rather than vegan with the second tray of dip and honestly couldn't tell the couple for who that was an issue whether there were egg whites or any other sorts of animal products in the cobbler. I didn't have a great night as Calvin's partner, either; I swear someone got a bunch of "stuff Jonah doesn't know" Pictionary cards, and during Settlers of Catan I had no idea what expansions he had and therefore what we could do.
At the end of the night, I waited for him to sit down and then flopped onto the couch beside him, laying my head on his chest. "Why is having fun so stressful?"
He laid a hand on my belly. "Because you've got this silly idea that you need to prove you're awesome."
"It's not silly, and I don't have to prove I'm awesome, just that I'm not a screw-up. I've disappointed so many people."
He leaned over and kissed my forehead, and then I leaned back a little more so he could do it again on my lips, and then his hand was on my back and I turned around so he could pull me in and there could be tongue. One of his hands went to my butt and I let it, while I felt the muscles of his back. The little part of me that says I shouldn't be making out with a guy was blowing its whistle but I ignored it, laying back on the couch and letting him stale me while one hand went to a breast. I pulled him in a little, just close enough to feel that he was hard, which made me break the kiss and scoot back a bit.
"Sorry," he said, "it just happens."
"Believe me, I know. It's just--"
Maybe there's a bit of disappointment on his face as he anticipates me saying that, but despite all the talk on that subject, I don't think I noticed any. I actually found myself thinking "don't be stupid!" because I could feel myself turned on all over and thinking what am I going to do, run to the bathroom? So I took a breath and said "it's just that I really can't have another baby right now. You've got to be really careful."
A big grin spread over his face as he reached in his pocket and pulled out a condom with something about extra thickness on the wrapper, did my best not to look away as he put it on, although I may have taken a little longer than necessary in pulling my dress up over my head. I suddenly felt really naked and vulnerable in just my bra and panties, though also kind of wishing I'd worn fancier ones. Still, I was able to put myself in his place, pulling my panties down and letting him, well, you know.
I kind of don't know what to think of it. It felt good, because he knew what he was doing a lot better than I did. I mean, I didn't just lay there like I did when I got knocked up, but I didn't really know what I should do! I felt stupid for not having done anything when I was a guy, or all the things I knew I shouldn't do but which would have left me feeling less ridiculous in that moment. He said it was okay, I was just out of practice, and I just thought about how it was a good thing that if never let on just how much practice I figure Krystle had before I took over her life.
I talked to Ashlyn about it a couple days later and she started to laugh before apologizing, saying she figured it must be even weirder than usual for me. Then the next day she brought in a couple of DVDs, saying that unlike most porn, most of what was on them would be fun for both of us and most of it wasn't "too advanced". I was mortified and kept looking at my purse like it was going to catch fire the rest of the night. I've seen R-rated movies and all, but never anything like that! I was almost relieved that there was never a good time to get them out of the back of the drawer I speed them in over the past week.
But now Momma Kamen is out for the night and I've got another date with Calvin tomorrow, and Little Moira just feel asleep. I really don't want to study how to please a man like this - I can't help but think of the time my dad found the magazine a classmate had stuck in my backpack and what the thought of his son learning how to make a man come would be like for him - but I kind of have to, if not for Calvin, than for the man I eventually marry.
Still... Why is having fun so stressful?