On Monday, I like to hang around my Google Reader pane, the online version of the water cooler, and listen to people’s stories about what happened over the weekend. Just like at the real water cooler, I laugh at the appropriate places and sigh with just the right amount of envy and don’t pitch in because my weekends usually look something like this: on Friday, Husband and I get takeout, make plans to binge on whatever HBO/AMC drama we’re in the middle of, and then pass out embarrassingly early; on Saturday we wake up embarrassingly early to walk the dog and then I work and then we take turns walking the dog about seven more times over the course of the day; on Sunday I go to church and nap two or three times and Husband makes a nice meal and we walk the dog some more (also we watch more TV).
This weekend, though, we went to a party, and so I will tell you about it. It was a Mormon party, which means that it started at 6:30 instead of 9:30, and there was a galvanized washbin full of soda instead of beer, and there was no cleavage to be seen, even though the heat index was well over 100 degrees. Also, there were kids. A lot of them. Husband and I were doing what we do at parties where we don’t know a lot of people, namely, clinging to the first couple nice enough to talk to us. I always feel bad when this happens, but not bad enough to let the nice couple move on and talk to anybody else. We need them.
So Husband and I are talking to this other couple and I’m drinking a Mexican Coke* (because this is a Mormon party and sometimes Mormons drink Coke) and eating cake and suddenly someone is crying. The crying is not very loud, though, so I tune it out. A few moments later the crying is screaming and it is coming from the ground next to my feet. I swig my Coke and glance down. There is a small child lying flat on his back, feet in the air, face scrunched, wailing his head off. I stare for a few moments. I look back up at the people I am with to resume our conversation and it occurs to me that maybe I should do something. But surely a parent is present, and surely said parent would rather let their kid cry it out on the ground than risk a few minutes in my heathen Coke-drinking arms. While I’m sorting out the proper response, a lady swoops in and scoops him up. Oh good. Mom was close.
I quickly learned that mom was not close, and that mom was very grateful to the swooping lady who clearly is clearly somebody you’d rather have around in a moment of crisis than me. Because she did not spend the moment of crisis trying to figure out where to put a kid in hands that were already full of cake and Coke.
*These days, people ask me about Coke more than they ask me about polygamy, which is surely a sign that the times they are a changin’.