“Yes. I accept. Put me down for a night of revelry and drunken camaraderie, Bunco-style! Because of work I will only be able to attend occasionally, but what the hell, let’s do it anyway!” I nerdingly exclaimed before I clicked send.
Poor naïve, friendless, working-mom me. So innocent. So… out of the loop. I closed my smiling eyes never seeing the truth for what it was. Never bothering to read up on this Wisteria Lane-esque phenomenon that was sweeping the nation and had been for years. You see, for those who don’t know (and believe me, there are still people like me out there that don’t), Bunco isn’t some fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants-I’ll-show-up-occasionally-with-tequila gathering of middle-aged women and mothers. It’s a marriage… a commitment. And if you can’t commit to one night a month with your house (no matter what the size or how many kids occupy it) playing host when your turn is up, then sista, you can roll your Bunco die around some other Peyton Place, ‘cause it ain’t rollin’ ‘round these parts… no way, no how.
In so many words I received a response a few days later that politely but firmly explained the following as it pertained to said Bunco group: “You’re either in, or you’re out.” And knowing that my job – one that took me away from my house, husband, and family for eleven-and-a-half hours a day, five days a week – would not allow me to commit to something as serious as a dice game (irony alert), I made a choice that I wondered if I would regret down the road. I hit reply, put my non-manicured fingertips on the dust-reddened keys of my non-MAC laptop and typed three words:
“Then I’m out.”
And clicked “send” before I had the chance to change my mind.
I wrote that email years ago and to be honest, I haven’t looked back. What my Bunco experience taught me was that I didn’t need friends just to have friends. I need, my job. I need, my husband. I need the house I live in, small or not, and fancy or not. And I need to like who I am even if other women don’t. Don’t get me wrong – I have friends, they just mostly aren’t here in Atlanta. The ones that are here are very cool whether they’re working moms or SAH moms. But when I go home to the North, my old friends and I sit around their dining room tables in our pajamas, without make-up on, drinking coffee and telling stories as we laugh our asses off loudly in grand ol’ Philly style.And that, to me, is my kind of friendship. And we do it without dice, and without booze, and without a doctrine, contract, or commitment. It’s organic, the way friendship is supposed to be, and I have no regrets.