Amuse bouche...

Cof­fee-morn­ing mums

Sunday Independent (Ireland) - Life - - APPETITES -

for the kids’ first school years, she’s a late­comer to the school. The cof­fee morn­ings were sup­posed to be her ice-breaker, and there she was, day one, suck­ing goo off her fin­gers and drip­ping but­ter­cream ic­ing onto her clothes.

It wasn’t just the messy eat­ing. It was the eat­ing at all that was the er­ror of judg­ment. The girls talk about food con­stantly, but no one eats any­thing. Even the cof­fees are mostly black, and while Lisa would like to tell them that skimmed milk is prac­ti­cally water, she has a sus­pi­cion that dairy is the en­emy.

This went on with the mums in Canada, too, but Lisa worked a five-day week there. No mums’ cof­fee morn­ings for her then. Ah, the sim­ple life.

Lisa works a three-day week now, so she’s in of­fice clothes for the school drop-off Tues­day to Thurs­day. On Mon­days, she’s there in her run­ning gear — for ac­tu­ally go­ing run­ning — and Fri­days are ca­sual the world over, right?

No. Some of the girls are more dolled-up ev­ery week. Last Fri­day, Lisa could have sworn that some of them had fresh blow-drys.

Af­ter a fourth Thurs­day night of sweat­ing over what to wear, Lisa de­cides to make her Fri­day-morn­ing ex­cuses to the girls.

She de­cides to sign up to a class at that scary Pi­lates place. It’s an ex­treme mea­sure, but bet­ter than ad­mit­ting she’s opt­ing out. Be­cause even if Lisa doesn’t want to be friends, she has seen enough of the ca­sual cof­fee scene to know she shouldn’t make en­e­mies.

SARAH CADEN

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