Last Friday night, I found myself alone and left to my own devices. Mr. Magpie was at a work event that evening and had warned me that he probably wouldn’t be home until midnight, and, after I’d successfully fed, bathed, and pajama-ed mini, I took she and Tilly out for a walk around Central Park during that magical golden hour just before seven, fed mini her nighttime bottle, and rocked her to sleep.
After sliding the pocket door to mini’s nursery closed and cleaning the kitchen, I was practically radiating with joy at the thought of an entire evening to myself. It goes without saying that I adore evenings spent in conversation with Mr. Magpie, but — variety is the spice of life and there was something deliciously indulgent about having no one to account for but myself on that stray Friday night. I ordered dinner for myself (a Sweetgreen salad, which sounds boring on the surface, but Mr. Magpie is not a salad-for-dinner kind of guy, and it was just what I wanted), poured myself a glass of sparkling wine, put on my new favorite face mask (full review here; and PSA: it’s on sale RN!), lit my new candle, sat down on the couch in my favorite pajamas (I just discovered they now come in a short version!), and put on Julie + Julia. (I didn’t care for it the first time around, and was equally uninspired at my second viewing — I can’t stand the way Amy Adams plays that character for some reason. It’s cloying and overdrawn. But still — it felt so delightful to put on a borderline bad chick flick with no explanation needed.)
It reminded me of that Sex and the City episode where Carrie talks about SSB, secret single behavior: what people do when they’re alone. I remember Carrie talking about eating saltines slathered with jelly standing up at her counter with her socks on. My evening was decidedly less idiosyncratic — could I have been enjoying a more #basic night? It was like a page out of Cosmo magazine: “How to De-Stress on a Friday Night” and “10 Steps to Instant Relaxation.” But it was also perfect.
What’s your SSB? I’m wondering if you have some more inspiring and quirky ways to pass time solo — but if you don’t, let’s join hands in solidarity around our SBB — secret #basic behavior.
Post-Script: Reader Q+As.
The evening also gave me time to respond to some recent reader Q+As:
Q: My mom is coming to visit [me in D.C.] soon and each time she visits, I am disappointed to not know more shops we can visit (specifically antique stores / clothing boutiques). Was wondering if you had any recommendations for shops in DC?
A: I absolutely love the little corridor up in North Georgetown on Wisconsin Ave, just south of R Street, starting with A Mano, an adorable gift and home goods shop that has been there for a long time. You’ll find a bunch of little boutiques on your walk down Wisconsin, but for antiques, you MUST make it to The Christ Child Opportunity Shop, just south of P Street on Wisconsin Avenue. My grandmother and mother volunteer(ed) there, and they consign upscale home goods and furnishings and art and the profits go to support children in need. Mixed in among all those great little boutiques are some of my favorite eating spots — Bean Counter for good sandwiches (apparently a lot of celebrities stop in there!); Patisserie Poupon for great salads, lattes, and pastries; and Cafe Bonaparte for French bistro fare. (And there’s also an incredible wine bar further up, north of R, called Bistro Lepic. They have a wonderful wine list and Mr. Magpie and I used to go on dates there frequently!) For dessert — Thomas Sweet is a CLASSIC for ice cream, and there’s a fancy gelato spot called Dolcezza in that vicinity, too. Finally, if you have time for a manicure, I used to go to Vicky’s religiously every week for many, many years. Vicky is a doll!
A: Oooh, this is a good one. Well, I can tell you what NOT to do: do not wear a Saloni dress with a low vee in the front (mine looked a lot like this, but from last season), as I did, because I then found it so awkward to bend down and scoop Emory up and probably flashed a thousand people. Blah. You are wise to be thinking about functionality…If I were up to a redo, I am swooning over this floaty number from Doen or pretty much any of the new arrivals at Dagny, all of which boast movement alongside eye-catching details. I know you said “casual,” but a breezy dress feels right to me.
Q: How did weaning actually go? Did you have to do anything special? Or you just stopped offering her nursing? Did she accept it? Did you have to do anything for your own body? How long did it take? What did you substitute?
A: First, a HUGE congrats to you for making it as far as you have! No small feat. You are a champion and you should be SO proud of yourself. As far as weaning goes, I’m going to be honest and say it’s not pleasant. For starters, even though I was down to only one feed a day when I weaned, it took a full week or maybe ten days for my body to stop producing milk, and those seven to ten days were so, so uncomfortable. I thought I might have had a blocked duct or something, but no — it was just normal old weaning. My suggestions: take hot showers and hand express when you’re feeling super super full. You don’t want to pump or anything because that will tell your body to keep producing milk, but a little hand expression is necessary now and then (or, it was for me, because I thought I was going to explode). I’ve also heard that people use cabbage to help dry up the milk supply (literally place leaves of cabbage in your bra), but I never tried this. People swear by it though! Also, Advil.