tales of a girl in the city

mars 07, 2005

Meeting The Friends

W is thirty-six, and so are his friends. Stacey and Gary. They are not the same thirty-six as he is. They are thirty-just-moved-in-together-and-furniture-shopping-for-the-first-time-six. W is thirty-starting-a-hedge-fund-and-buying-himself-a-penthouse-six. W's thirty-six is not so easily divided by two.

We all got together for dinner this weekend. W. Me. Stacey and Gary....

Stacey holds onto her boyfriend's arm under the table like a favorite expensive handbag. She tells her most recent "Isn't He Cute? Story," detailing their trip last Saturday to buy couches. They chose something taupe. With a lot of texture. She wasn't sure it was the right piece for their living room. Too oversized, maybe. She left to browse for a bit while she made up her mind. When she returned Gary was sound asleep, mouth open on the throw pillows, drooling on the chenille. She captured the moment on their new digital camera: taupe and texture and too cute for words. They bought the sofa on the spot.

I am Laughing At All The Right Places.

Across the table Stacey and Gary order to share. She wants to set Gary's older sister up with someone. He kisses her cheek. Stacey, his gesture seems to say, is always thinking of others. She is thrilled with this notion of herself. Buoyed by his belief in her goodness, she continues. "I mean, his sister is still pretty attractive. You know, for forty. She's thin, anyway. Though she does look older. But she's very nice." She snuggles deeper into Greg's shoulder. Everyone at the table nods, ignores the veiled nastiness of her comments. Greg's love invents her, and we buy the illusion. Stacey is so nice. Always thinking of others.

I choose from the menu, ordering for myself. Inside, I shake my head.

It seems so easy for them. The Stacey's of the World are invented and loved and lit up by their own assured simplicity. They have one long relationship after another. They pick out couches and set up undesireable sisters. The Stacey's of the World are always on the side of the table that orders to share.

And--in some small way--I envy them for it.