Moms Night Out, Aisle Four
by Rachel Allord
Our mom slumber party had been planned for weeks. Yet, when three friends and I finally gathered for much-needed girl time, we could barely keep our eyes open. And it was only 8:30 p.m. Between the four of us, we boasted 10 children, who were blissfully miles away with their dads — most likely eating strawberry jelly straight from the jar for supper.
But we didn’t care. This was our night. To talk. To paint our nails. To wax our eyebrows and to watch sappy chick-flicks and eat food with no nutritional value. And yet sleep beckoned like the Pied Piper.
We’d already donned our pajamas for comfort’s sake and decided to perk ourselves up with a pot of coffee, only to find we had none. We agreed to make a coffee run. A trip to Wal-Mart with no child in tow is every mother’s dream anyway. We considered changing back into our clothes, but after examining our flannelled bodies, concluded we weren’t likely to tantalize anyone.
I giggled and held up the bottle of facial mask that someone had brought. “Hey! We should put on our facial masks first.”
A hush settled over the room. “Yes,” someone said contemplatively, “We should.”
Before I could explain the sarcasm of my comment, the mother of all mother-schemes ballooned into a full-grown mission. We slathered the green mud over our faces and wrapped our hair in terry-cloth towels to boot. With our pajamas and turbans secure, and our faces the color of the inside of a diaper gone wrong, we drove to Wal-Mart. By the time we parked the car, our feet had grown cold and our faces were beginning to crack.
We took turns wavering, “Are we really going to do this?”
Maybe we should forget the whole thing, we reasoned. Perhaps this was illegal somehow. But we were here and we needed coffee. And, doggone it, we were going to make this night count! With the poise of the Queen of Sheba, we strode through the automatic doors and boldly approached the coffee aisle.
Shoppers reacted to us in one of two ways: either they gaped in unadulterated fear before bolting in the opposite direction or they smiled in wonder like we were celebrities. One college-age girl said we were the coolest. For the briefest moment I thought she might ask for our autograph.
Gaining confidence, we strutted to the bike section and took turns test-driving the Huffys. We toyed with the kitchen gadgets. We sniffed all the candles. We lingered over the lingerie. We harmlessly flirted with Carson, our pubescent, crimson-faced cashier.
“We’re moms,” we declared proudly to anyone brave enough to ask what on earth we were doing. “And we don’t get out that often.” But when we do, we make it count.
Wife to a pastor and mother of an 11-year-old and 6-year-old, Rachel Allord has written for Chicken Soup for the Soul, MomSense and Pockets. Follow her at harperleesushiandme.blogspot.com.