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Single In The Suburbs, Installment 30


In this installment, our columnist—a Midwestern divorced mom—does something very out of character… will she regret it?

By Sara Susannah Katz

To read the entire series of articles from the beginning, click here.

n our last installment, our writer was being courted by a new online interest, a guy she’s calling Mr. Romantic. After exchanging emails, she’s decided to pick up the phone and see if there’s any chemistry when they hear one another’s voices…

Friday, 10 p.m.
I’m on the phone with Mr. Romantic. He seems thrilled to hear from me. He’s very
I’ve wanted to feel young and reckless and free…
talkative, in the way some people get when they’re nervous and happy. He’s also hilarious. We’ve been talking for 45 minutes. Well, he has been talking for 45 minutes. I’ve been listening and laughing. He says I have a nice voice. I can’t exactly return the compliment; he has the kind of twang you find in the rural parts around here, and I can’t help wondering whether he’s as educated as I am. Not that I’m a genius (see my recent pathetic attempt to help my daughter with geometry), but I did go to college and I’d like the same in my mate. (I know that’s bigoted and unfair. I’m just being honest.)

Friday, 10: 15 p.m.
This is inauspicious. Mr. Romantic says he really, really, really wants to meet me. The thing is, he lives an hour away, and he hates to drive. Especially with gas prices as high as they are. He wants to know if I can meet him halfway. I say that I’m busy preparing for a job interview and probably won’t be available for a date for awhile. What I really mean is: I cannot believe you are whining about driving an hour to meet me and complaining about the price of gas. You big cheapskate. You’re delusional if you think I’m going to date you now.

Friday, 10:32 p.m.
I didn’t really want to meet this guy in the first place. For one thing, he posted old pictures, and that’s just not honest. Plus, he’s too much like Craig, right down to the fact that he still plays with model trains and hates mushrooms. On top of everything he’s so lazy he won’t drive an hour to see me.

But now I’m depressed. Craig and Heather are rolling around in a heart-shaped bed somewhere, and I’m alone tonight. Darn. I don’t want to stay home alone tonight.
I look in the mirror… and wonder what my kids will say.
But I don’t want to go barhopping either. Target — my favorite place for therapeutic shopping — is already closed. What will I do?

I remember that the tattoo parlor is open until midnight. I’ve decided to get my nose pierced.

Friday, 11:00 p.m.
Ever since Craig and I separated, I’ve wanted to do something daring. You don’t have to be Sigmund Freud to figure out that I want to feel young and reckless and free—especially with Craig dating a girl only a few years older than our son. Even though my kids don’t play soccer, everything about me shrieks Soccer Mom, from my big, bulky van to my high-waist cotton briefs. This nose-piercing isn’t merely a fashion statement, it’s a declaration of my new persona. Goodbye Soccer Mom, hello… sexy adventurer. Or something like that.

Friday, 11:15 p.m.
The piercing specialist, a tiny guy named Jake who has a shaved head and a thousand tattoos, is preparing to stick a needle through my left nostril.

“So, you got kids?” he asks.

“Yeah. Two.” I am sitting in what looks like a modified dentist’s chair, trying to summon my courage. Heavy-metal music is blasting through the speakers. I’m doing my Lamaze breathing.

“Ready? OK. Now don’t move. One… two… there!”

For a moment the pain is unbearable, but then it’s over. I’m pierced. Jake hands me a mirror so I can admire the tiny crystal stud in my nostril. It looks cute. I think.

I wonder what my kids will say.


Sara Susannah Katz is a writer in the Midwest.

Read Single In The Suburbs, Part 31


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