Well, at least until I walked in the door and felt woefully overdressed in the face of a slew of sleek, dark-neutral clad, slender wives and moms, a surprising number of small children running about and shrieking gaily from multiple dedicated play areas, and had the realization that I was very much not with my tribe here.
And I just said, "No."
I didn't add "that didn't work out for us," or "it's a long story" or any kind of explanation -- I didn't even say it in a morose or wistful tone, I just said "No" and moved on.
It felt amazingly freeing on my part -- I mean, I'm probably not going to see the majority of these people ever again (unless we go to this party next year), and they knew nothing at all about me except for what I offered. What was weird was that I felt that an unfettered "no" was disconcerting to a lot of the askers, who seemed a bit put off and at one point someone asked how long we'd been married and I happily said 8 years and let them just wonder about our circumstances. No one asked. They just sort of stuttered and awkwardly changed the subject. Which I let them do without that urge to explain further.
A milestone, I think!
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