The first time I was invited to a coffee morning, I was insulted. Newly arrived in Houston, married only two weeks, 27-years-old. What would I be wanting with a coffee morning?
A coffee morning? I mean how retro, how sexist, and what a waste of time. I associated the term with housewives; housewives with not enough housework to do, and with a penchant for gossip but with little of interest to talk about. That wasn’t me. Coffee mornings were a throwback to my mother’s generation and further, weren't they? I was a career woman, without a work permit at the time, but a career woman, nonetheless, above such idleness. I only gathered with people when there was a specific agenda or alcohol, or preferably both, on offer. Yada, yada, yada crap. I didn’t say any of this aloud, you understand, but politely accepted the invitation and produced such a diatribe to bend the ear of my husband.
I also used to think that any woman who didn’t work clearly wasn’t ambitious and that absence of ambition was worthy of derision. I once said that I wasn’t going to send my children to the international school too.
So this morning I went to a coffee morning for parents of Grade 1 students at the international school and was grateful that I didn’t have to rush to an offce after school drop-off. There was one dad there; a brave Swede. I can’t imagine many Irish men turning up at such an event (but could in fact see my Danish husband yapping away with the ladies if I ever earned enough to keep us in the style to which I have become accustomed. Yeah like that’s ever going to happen). I had a nice time. I have embraced the merits of such a gathering.
Maybe I’ve grown up and divested myself of my ‘I’m-never-going-to-be-expat wife’ (expletive removed) chip on my shoulder. I clearly remember the evening I made that declaration by the way, only a few months after I started dating my husband. (You’d think he’d have had the sense to run).
Or, have I just become an expat wife. Mmm. What do you think?