PHEW! This “Racy” Calgary Author Was Embraced By Hockey Moms
So this past weekend I was invited out for drinks and appies with the moms of my son’s hockey teams — a great opportunity to get to know each other outside the rink. And inevitably, as the evening wore on, a question was posed to me that I normally avoid:
“What do you do for work, Delaine?” the team manager asked innocently.
To me (Miss Paranoid), all other conversation at the table seemed to halt and everyone stared at me.
You see… I don’t usually tell people I am an author. At least, not people in my Calgary community. For, of course, the next question is: “What’s it about?”, then “What’s its title?” And the cold, honest truth is that “The Secret Life of a Single Mom” leaves a pretty strong (first) impression! I think it’s misleading too — makes it sound like a sexual memoir and it’s not. Bottom line: I worry I’ll end up being headline news in the bleachers.
It’s not that I’m embarrassed or ashamed of my book or my dating and sex adventures during the first year after my divorce. Quite the contrary actually. It’s just…well, you see, I created a “rule” for myself — that I wouldn’t tell acquaintances about my book if they know, or are involved with, my children. I’ve been fearful of judgement or backlash; that’s the problem with writing about sex at all. So why even potentially invite trouble?
But on this night out with the hockey moms, I don’t know if my courage was high or my tongue just got the better of me: I ended up spilling the entire case of beans. And their reactions caught me off guard:
“Oh my God, I read it!!!” blurted the mom two seats down. Laughter erupted at the table. “Wow!” she said, leaning back with a knowing smile. “With a Dom? Well done!”
A few other moms suddenly pulled out their iPhones. “I want to download it!” I heard, followed by: “They were talking about your book on Virgin Radio’s morning show the other day!”
The cat was now out of the bag. And instead of being viciously attacked (like I said, I’m a bit paranoid!), we went on to have some very intimate and most interesting conversation about marriage, sex, divorce, even cheating. I was shocked – it was like a feeding frenzy over my book’s topics and themes.
The next evening I told my best friend, “Hali”, who’s an important character in book, about what happened with the hockey moms. “They seemed so open-minded about it all,” I said happily. “I’m so relieved!”
“You just wait,” she cautioned with a dubious grin. “They WILL judge you. They all judge through the prism of their own experiences. And if they’re all married, they plain and simply won’t relate. Remember what happened with that Calgary book club of married moms you were uninvited to…”
Hali’s words weighed on me a bit. I comforted myself by thinking no one would even download it. “You aren’t that important, Delaine, they were just enjoying a night out.”
Then, yesterday’s practice arrived.
I was sitting in the stands with another mom, totally prepared to keep the conversation light and never, EVER, mention my book again.
But out of the corner of my eye I saw the team manager marching toward us in the stands. And before she even said sat down, she blurted: “I finished it last night!”
(oh GAWD!, burying face in hands!)
The mom that was already sitting beside me replied, “Well I finished it the night before!”
And what followed (after my face returned from crimson to white) was an hour of intimate and thought-inspiring conversation in the bleachers. We huddled together like school girls, keeping our voices low, and sometimes sharing giggles.
I know that ‘other’, less ‘kind’ conversations may still go on behind my back; I kind of expect it. And I’ve no intention of making my “Calgary author” status known among acquaintances in future. But it sure feels good to know that I’ve positively impacted other women’s lives — and to bask in the freedom that comes with speaking honestly and frankly…. before I go back into hiding, that is *grin .