I had dinner at a friends place last night. Her fiance and my husband go to school together, and she and I have hung out a few times.
It was…interesting. It was the kind of meal that during the meal I kind of realized it wasn’t that great, and that, upon thought, I realized it was kind of not great at all.
There were a couple of things: They are both incredibly young. Like, really, really young. I mean, my bat mitzvah was 8 years before hers kind of makes-me-feel old. Two of the other people at the meal were around my age, and then the other four – my host, her fiance, and then two others, were in the “senior year of college/first year of graduate school right out of undergrad” club. It was strange. I’m not that old – 28 isn’t – but I felt out of place. There were other awkward aspects – clearly the meal was meat, despite the fact that two people at it were vegetarian – nothing like 2 of 7 people not partaking in a chunk of the meal.
The real kicker, though, was the story of Noah.
No, not the ark, and the flood, and animals going two-by-two.
Apparently, one of their friends has an 18 month old named Noah. I have totally forgotten how they know Noah, mostly because I never cared in the first place. Honestly, how much do I care about someone’s baby whom I have never met and will likely never meet? Really? Life situation aside, some random baby is not interesting. Even when said baby is a total prodigy. Like, really – did you know that Noah can tell the difference between the kind of prayer book that his daddy uses and the kind that his mommy uses? Or that he uses the Hebrew word for praying in context while daddy is praying? Well, I found out last night, and now so did you. Maybe he is a prodigy. I haven’t spent enough time around 18-month-olds to really know. What it sounds more like, to me, is that mommy and daddy either a) spend all their time praying or b) need to vary the kid’s activities a little.
Of course, it probably wouldn’t have been nearly as annoying if it weren’t for our “life situation.” If I had a baby or was pregnant instead of watching warily as our 2-year mark of trying comes up. But I don’t. So, instead, I listened to her gush not once but twice (once during our walk from Friday night services to their place, once at dinner to “thrill” the other guests – although some of them apparently knew Noah so maybe they cared more) – and felt impotent to say anything. There was nothing I could say without it being totally awkward – it wasn’t like my friend (another girl barely out of college, and the wife of a classmate of my husband’s) who joked around about people being pregnant and then was gently told not to do that anymore. This was both an example of general social awkwardness made more awkward by the personal history of the recipient.
It’s the kind of thing that makes me want to throw my hands up in the air. Nothing to do, just have to move past it – but what a meal!