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2010-03-09 - 7:48 p.m.
Now that I live in The InBetween, there are certain things I can't say or do without garnering sideways glances from friends and work associates.
For instance, it is no longer acceptable to comment, in mixed company, on the relative hotness of a particular actor or celebrity. Maybe this is acceptable after you've been married for awhile, but trust me, when a newlywed does this, it is frowned upon. Apparently my desire for my husband must be so vast, so ALL-CONSUMING, that there is simply no room for say, a passing fantasy about George Clooney. (Not "Up in the Air" George Clooney- though I wouldn't kick him out of my bed for eating crackers- but "From Dusk Til Dawn" George Clooney. Circa 1996. With the tattooed neck and the gun. Dear God.) Anyway...
It is also very difficult to be spontaneous when you live in The InBetween. Making plans with single coworkers, for instance, can lead to hang-ups. Either they feel the need to tell you, gently, of course, "oh, it's so great that you can come, but this happy hour is going to be girls only." Thanks for the clarification - because, obviously, I can't go anywhere without my husband, right? And then, once its been established that I'm expected to show up solo, the group will propose a date and then someone will say, "I know you probably have to check with Mark, so feel free to confirm by email." Yes, thank you. I'll check with the warden to be sure I can get a day pass and get back to you. Even worse, you stop getting invited to social functions altogether. This wouldn't be so bad, except that you don't have kids yet, so the young Mamas at your office don't accept you either. You're drifting.
But if you live in The InBetween and you really want people to look at you like you have seventeen heads, tell them that you're planning a vacation alone. When you're newly married, taking a getaway by yourself, (not the "to visit family" kind but the "just for fun" kind) is a sure sign to the outside world that you're having marital difficulties. When I told a coworker today that I'm headed to Las Vegas next week and that Mark is staying here, she looked at me askance and whispered, "are you guys okay?" To which I replied, "we're great - but I like to build in some 'me time' now and then."
Cue sideways glance.
Ladies and Gentleman, step right up and get your tickets to see... "The Married Woman Who Goes to Vegas By Herself!" Shock shock, horror, horror.