Last night, a friend who I met almost five years ago through our local MOMS club had her birthday at Akbar, a local and unpretentious gay bar/club where the 7 foot (with platforms) DJ in neon pink was spinning 90s techno to her hearts content. The music was fairly awful, the beats irresistible, and the vodka effective.
We danced until well after midnight, and I had a great time.
Almost all of her guests are also parents, friends found through their preschool and others who work in ‘the industry.’ Almost everyone else at the club was gay.
And then there was me. Not gay, not coupled, not a writer/producer/actor. Not the same.
This happens all the time. I end up being the single parent in the group of coupled friends. Most of the time this is fine. Sometimes, the wives in these groups get weird and territorial when their husbands talk to me. Occasionally, people have been unintentionally mean (like when one of the MOMS members made a comment about not choosing a charity that serves teen moms because, “…most of them are single and the MOMS Club is here to support families…“). Here in liberal Hollywood, I am a wild card, a threat to the order of things.
Even in the single parent scene, I’m a bit of an oddity. In my experience (which I admit is pretty limited) ‘single parent’ groups are mostly divorced people, dealing with the issues of coordinating with an ex (I wish my son’s dad would coordinate more but, given that he lives on another continent, every other weekend and shared school responsibilities are not a part of my reality) and wanting to smush their broken family with someone else’s (twice the dysfunction = twice the fun!). Now, I would like to date more, have more grown-up fun, and be open to connecting with someone and seeing where that goes but I feel no urgency to cobble together a family. AJ and I are a family, with a rich network of extended relations and friends and love.
I attended a group called Single Mothers By Choice for a bit and even had the honor of helping a friend get started on the whole sperm donor choosing process. Wow. Who knew? But, ultimately, I didn’t relate there, either – I didn’t ‘choose’ this situation, really. I mean, I did make a choice to have my son…but these ladies are choosing to go to all kinds of lengths to be moms. I kind of fell into this world by accident, unprepared, and don’t know much about hormones and insemination and IVF.
So, in many situations, I find myself an outsider – observed observer in worlds I half inhabit. Still, I am not really interested in socializing with people based on their partnered/parental status. My friends are amazing, talented, wonderful people…and I want to spend time with them.
On the other hand, I am not likely to meet someone for me while dancing the night away at a gay bar with a bunch of couples. Just sayin’.