Life swap 2: the duplex

Monica and Rachel are not just two names. Every woman in my age group wants to be friends with some sort of Monica and Rachel. Everyone wonders what it would be like to live in a quasi rent controlled apartment in one of the hippest areas of NYC, with your best friend living next door, drinking coffee all day, with your very own Chandler. For almost 48 hours, I got to live it. It was awesome.

When your girlfriends offer to move into your apartment, mind your kids and let you crash their place for a whole week end, you say ‘fucking yes’, ‘freaking thanks’ and ‘if they bother you, just knock them out with milk’. And then you leave as quickly as you can in case they change their minds. But we did not, instead we shared some Thai food and discussed our lives. That was when I truly comprehended that I was not just moving to Brooklyn that week end, I was going to teleport into a different universe. A true quantum leap.

Sarah and Lola are best friends in their late thirties and are single. But as I like to tell people, it is normally the 9th and 10th thing I mention to define them. I mean, why would I want to introduce these awesome women as you would do in a French resume? American people, it is true. In a French resume, you put your age, sex, marital status and a picture of you. How retarded is this? Mine would look like this:

38 years old
Female on most days
Married but not in the eyes of the Catholic church
See my overtired fish like eyes and gloomy pasty face.
Do I get the job?

Being single is a detail when I think of Sarah and Lola. They have great jobs and great bodies, they bike for hours, hike mountains, laugh ALL the time  and Lola has a Stella McCartney coat I may literally steal one day.  But most importantly, they live in ‘the duplex’. With two other roomies, they occupy two floors of a 3 unit building in the center of Park Slope, capital of bourgeois boheme crowds (although more bourgeois than Boheme these days). They are coming from different parts of the world and every monday, they share pasta, sushi, tapas or cheese, drinks to get through some fuck ups at work, heartaches, or general slump. ‘‘Fuck Monday’ drinks and dinner  has thus become the one ‘do not reschedule’ rendezvous in their very busy calendars. I say and believe this: ‘ladies with a broken heart, don’t look for a new boyfriend, find a best girlfriend. Chances are that she’ll probably save your ass’.

Looking at my shrimp curry and listening to their Brooklyn way of life, I thought: ‘they sound so chirpy, they bloody have no idea of what is coming up’. I then handed them some notes about my kids now infamously known as  ‘The Manual’.  They first laughed probably thinking it was a joke but as I started to go through our family routine, meals, outfits, sun cream, ointment, the kids’ fights, L and P’s breath holding spells etc., they started pouring more and more red wine in their glasses. P was not helping as she did have one of her ‘I am upset-I stop breathing- I turn blue- I faint’ episodes almost on cue just to freak them out further…

At 2am, we arrived at the Duplex, lounged into the sofa, put some music on and shared a beer. Suddenly I said to DH: ‘my entire back hurts…’ and he replied: ‘So is mine.’ Turns out we are always on the go with the kids, tense, with our shoulders arched and as our muscles started to relaxed, it was hurting like hell. So freaking weird.


 48 hours later

DH and I came back with a huge hangover, a newfound love for Park Slope and its coffee places,and feeling …somewhat young.

Sarah and Lola left  sleep-deprived with newfound respect for us and relief that we did not flee the country, and feeling…a sense of ‘Marathon like’ achievement.


1 week later

DH and I are still recovering from our hangover.

Sarah and Lola are in the Bermudas.

Can we swap again?

Life swap 2

5 thoughts on “Life swap 2: the duplex

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: