Shortly after I gave birth to my daughter and put my career on hold, I ran into an old friend.
She and I had been close as children and later, as roommates. I was the more studious and informed of the two of us and often kept her apprised of current events and important women’s issues. While she spent a lot of time ensuring a high gloss on her hair and perfecting the art of the eyebrow arch, I spent hours and hours reading in my room.
When I went to college, she drifted from job to dead-end job. While I advanced in my career, she languished in retail. And when I became engaged to be married, she began dancing… and I don’t mean Broadway. By the time I was pregnant, I heard that she owned a tanning salon and was dancing full time with “a little help from the plastic surgeon“.
So, it was as much a surprise to me as it was to her when she passed judgment on my life decisions. And I actually accepted it.
I was having lunch at the mall with my baby daughter when I saw her breeze by in all her spandexed splendor.
“Lena!” she exclaimed stopping short, “Oh my God! You had a baby?!”
“I did!” I responded as she eyed the chubby squawky bird in my lap.
“You’re still working at the bank though, aren’t you?” she asked, eyebrows raised.
“No. I’m, um, I’m actually staying home with the baby.”
“Really? I would never have expected that from YOU!”
“Well, you were just such… such a feminist!”