Whether or not

Let's get the party started #1, by jinterwas on Flickr, licensed under Creative Commons

Tonight I went to a party. I wouldn’t say I deserved to go. The fact is, since I got home from work yesterday I have been an impossible bitch to my partner, notwithstanding my current mental and physical state and notwithstanding the very great and magnanimous patience I enjoy from J. I gave him hell last night, and again today. The only possible reason he was okay with me going to a party tonight, even though it meant putting the kids to bed solo on a night when he also had to work, was that he was probably glad to see me go for a while. If I’d had to live with myself the past couple days – no, let’s say the past two weeks or so – I’d also love a break.

In fact, I do live with myself. And this was no more evident than when I needed to dress up to go to this party (fancy/fanciful dress was mentioned but certainly not a requirement) and kept striking out. My first choice, a silk Halston number I bought about 25 years ago and have never found an occasion for, was great, except that the one time I did wear it out of the house  (if I recall, it was a Purim party three years ago), I got chocolate on it, and never bothered to launder it. The next dress looked great on me… 25 pounds ago. Ah, memories. I finally stuck with the third outfit, safe black, with a decorative camisole on top meant to camouflage everything else. Young A pronounced me beautiful, and that was good enough.

The party was at my gym, celebrating its fifth anniversary. This is not a regular place, and definitely the only gym party in the universe I would consider attending. It’s where you get to say hello to your gym friends, who may be pretty famous writers, or struggling artists, or any combination in between. You may have seen them a few times, or several times a week for years. Personally, I haven’t been to the gym for weeks now. And yet I was welcomed as warmly tonight as the regulars. I enjoyed my conversations with those who have been as sick or sicker than me, and I enjoyed my conversations with people who have no clue about my illness. I really needed this time tonight, to transcend my situation, drink wine in the space where I usually drink water, relax in the space where I usually work so hard. I’m grateful for the people who have made this space possible.

But first and foremost, I’m grateful for the one person who couldn’t have been more angry with, annoyed by, and exhausted from dealing with me these days (with cause, I might add), and yet let me go anyway. I’ll try harder to be more worthy of your love.

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