The Middle-Aged Mothers Fantasize About Christine’s Dating Life by Kate Faigen
They take the train to Christine’s downtown apartment. They hold martinis and drink up her tales, every delectable word. Christine, their heroine since high school, with her zesty charm and her Jack Nicholson smile, paints a picture of a forty-something life they might’ve liked—lazy mornings, long work lunches, expensive dates with some financier or sommelier on Saturday evenings. The middle-aged mothers dream about dresses to go out in instead of sweats to get thrown up on. They picture themselves as Christine—unbreakable, untouchable, free. Tonight Christine details a suitor named Auggie, a prosthodontist with a paddle tennis addiction and a propensity for DIY. Handsome, but not my style of bag, they anticipate. Smart, but not my speed. Christine crosses her thin legs and pulls an olive from its pick with her teeth. The corner of her red lip curls. She begins to tell of the fling’s expiration when a tear forms. The tear becomes five. Her devious Christine-laugh gives way to a chest heave. The middle-aged mothers sit still, stupefied. Christine dabs her eye with a dinner napkin, picks her head up with a crooked smile. “It’s okay,” she shrugs, her voice in small pieces. “You know I didn’t want kids anyway.” Soon, the middle-aged mothers take the train back to their houses in the suburbs. Soon, they lie in bed, smushed against a snoring body. Soon, they’re unable to sleep.
Kate Faigen works as a copywriter in Los Angeles. You can find her on Twitter: @k8faigen.