Published by Booktrope on March 12, 2015
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
After attending three new mom groups, only to be banned for eating Cheetos (not organic!) and uttering the occasional swear word, Sadie Walker questions why she is trying so hard to fit in. While sitting in another dingy community center playroom full of squealing babies and new moms enthusiastically discussing homemade organic baby food, Sadie meets John, a handsome, vivacious dad. They quickly form a friendship and Sadie finally finds an adult outlet. John soon becomes a lifeline and she looks to him for advice and support, and confides in him about her strained marriage and career as a copywriter. Sadie begins to have sexual fantasies about John. Those fantasies turn into opportunity when he tells her he’s in an open marriage. As Sadie contemplates how far is too far in regards to her friendship with John, she must also question herself, her marriage, and her life. Will swinging with John improve that life, or destroy it?
I’m always curious how others live, whether in fiction or real life. I suppose some fiction is based on a part of real life so that comment might be a little redundant. Regardless, I’ve read two books this week that talk about losing yourself in a marriage and it falling apart so you can find yourself. I’m single and have no kids so it’s been a bit hard to relate to. Fortunately the writing has been amazing so I still want to know what happens next!
Swings by Corbin Lewars is another that had me going in a few different directions and questioning how I act toward others. It also gave me some insight into a world that I’m not familiar with. Swinging, open marriages, and polygamy are things that I’ve only seen sparsely on TV and in movies. I don’t watch a lot so I’m sure there’s more out there, but my nose is usually in a book or designing something. Reality TV is like kryptonite to me. Can’t stand it. Off point though, so back to the book. I’m familiar with the being alone thing and wanting to be around people. I won’t spoil the end–not my style–but this book had me on the edge with the writing and the story. Well done, Corbin! 🙂
I’ve never seen so many boobs and baldheads in my life. And the noise is deafening! About twenty babies are squealing while their moms attempt to talk to one another. The way bodies are crawling, rolling, and lurching all over the dingy carpet reminds me of a wrestling match gone awry. This is a nightmare. I’m out of here, I mutter to myself. My three-month-old son squirms in his sling and smiles up at me expectantly. “Really, buddy?” I ask him. “Don’t you remember how bored we were at the last group?”
From the looks of it, this group is bound to be the same as the other three Seattle moms groups I’ve tried. Women in their early thirties are sprawled out on the floor, wearing yoga pants and ponytails, with strained smiles on their faces. The smile is supposed to convey, “It’s fun getting puked on and singing nursery rhymes,” but really I think they look tired and stressed. They definitely aren’t having fun. I understand the tired part, but maybe I’m just naïve about the stressed part because I don’t think parenting is that complicated. Hell, my mom probably just placed me in my lead-paint crib while she smoked and drank martinis with her friends, and I turned out all right. I don’t understand why everyone in the north end of Seattle seems to feel the need to read twenty parenting books and obsess about whether they are doing it “right.” What’s right? As far as I can tell, what’s right for Spencer is a lot of nursing and napping and the occasional roll around the floor.
“Well, I guess we may as well make the best of it, right?” I say as I join some other boobs in the corner discussing the merits of various strollers. “What kind of jogger do you have?” one woman asks me.
“Huh?” is my ineloquent response. “Sorry, I’m so tired I have a hard time formulating complete sentences these days.”
The women giggle and give me knowing nods. I take this as a sign to continue and start babbling. “Do you guys ever fantasize about checking into a hotel, by yourself, and staying there for a week? My favorite is imagining the clean crisp sheets and firm bed at the W downtown, but these days I’d even settle for one of the sleazy places on Aurora. I get so excited thinking about room service and how no one would wake me up in the middle of the night to nurse.”
I laugh at how pathetic it is that my hotel fantasies now revolve around sleep rather than having sex, but see I’ve lost my audience. Their quick change of topic tells me the mention of wanting to escape my family was taboo enough, so I better not ostracize myself further by asking them about their favorite sex toys. I sigh once again and think, Spence and I should have gone out to breakfast instead.
I try to feign interest in the great stroller debate but am distracted when a man enters the room. We don’t see much of the opposite sex at mommy groups, so he’s an anomaly. Add that he’s nicely dressed and carrying an adorable daughter, who’s wearing a jean jacket, faux leopard hat and huge grin on her face, and I’m surprised the whole room isn’t staring at him. He seems at ease, greets a few women with a smile and a nod, and then joins a group in the corner. He places his daughter into an Exersaucer, and she rides that thing like a bucking bronco.
He grins and laughs with his baby and it’s all I can do to not run over to him and say, “Take me with you! I’m dying of boredom!” It helps that he has that dark sultry look I love. I feel guilty for a moment thinking about my husband, Kyle, who is fair and not sultry, but then think, “Shit! The Church of Moms is getting to me, and I’m starting to feel guilty about everything—including my thoughts! I’m so screwed!” Then I laugh because the irony is I’m rarely screwed and that’s why I’m drooling over this man. The most Kyle and I can accomplish is a quickie, and that’s not very satisfying. Guilt be damned: it’s been a while since I’ve seen an attractive man, and fantasizing about him will certainly be more interesting than stroller talk.
He’s laughing along with his daughter, and they seem to be a party in and of themselves. It’s not that he’s giving the other moms the cold shoulder, but it seems more as if he’s so captivated by his daughter’s antics that he doesn’t even notice the rest of us.
Finally, the facilitator announces the meeting is over and closes with a song about bouncy wagons. I bounce Spencer on my knees along with the song and he laughs and drools all over my legs. I wish I were so easily entertained. Spence breaks out into a huge grin at the mere sight of me. If I lift my shirt, he nearly pees himself with joy.
I start gathering my belongings to leave when I hear, “Want to get a cup of coffee?” I turn to see sexy man standing next to me. He continues, “Several of us go across the street after the meeting, and you’re welcome to join us.”