The Brunch: Chapter 4 Sanja

Updated: Feb 13

I just want all of my friends to be happy. Is that wrong? Look at all the mess Nina is in now. Dating in your 40’s with children? Really? She should have just stayed married to Jay. So, of course he was a snob and looked at other women. That’s what men do. It's the risk you take for living such a good life. He took care of her and those boys; she never had to lift a finger. He provided everything. In my opinion, her divorcing him was a slap in the face. She had everything. She had a house in the Manor, which is the most elite black neighborhood in the state. Their kids are in private school. They enjoyed exotic vacations; and I can’t even count how many cars they had. Granted, she gets to keep everything, and I’m sure she got a huge payout. Now, she has to work. Who wants to go back to work after all of these years of keeping house? If you ask me, she made the worst decision of her life. My father always says, “a woman’s place is in the home!” What is a woman without a man? She thinks she is so high and mighty because it was easy for her to go right back to work. Those boys need their mom to be present all of the time.


This is why I make sure to cater to my husband. I take care of everything in the house and the children. All he has to do is pay the bills and give me everything I want. My kids want for nothing, and I will never be poor or have to work. The last time I had a job was back in grad school. I worked in a museum. I majored in Art and planned to be a creative, full-time, after grad school. I really wanted to live the life of a starving artist. Then, I met Gregory, during my study abroad in Spain. He was studying international relations and attending another university. We kept in touch and had a long-distance relationship for about a year before he asked me to marry him. I moved across the country to be with him and we got married. We had the most lavish wedding you have ever seen. Greg was beginning his private law practice at the time, and we both wanted children. We agreed that I would stay home with the baby, while he went to work. I agreed because, while at home, I could work on my art, or so I thought. I got pregnant within our first year of marriage, and again the next year, and then again two years later. This left little time to work on art. We have a part time nanny because he doesn’t believe in them. I needed help with three kids. Now, she is full-time because we have a fourth. It’s hard with four kids, and they are all under the age of 5. I haven’t worked as an artist for quite some time. 

While at Nina’s house this evening, I saw a flyer for a gallery opening downtown. As much as I think she isn’t doing the right thing by going back to work, I can’t help but wonder how she does it all. She has just gone through a painful, messy divorce, has two boys, and she makes it all look so easy. Even with all of that, she gets invited to all of these glamorous events around town. I don’t work and hardly have time to socialize. My father would say its because she is putting her children on the back burner, and one day they will resent her for it. I can’t help but admit that when I saw that gallery opening invite, I was going to ask if I could be her plus one, if I could get the nanny to take some extra hours. Gregory would be out of town, so there wouldn’t be any fight. He wouldn’t even have to know about it. God forbid I get one night to myself. However, since I told her how I really felt about her divorce tonight, I doubt she would even consider me. And I can’t believe she kicked me out of her home. That was rude as hell. I was just trying to get her to see that maybe being divorced wasn’t the answer. I tried to call her when I got home, but she didn't answer. I didn't even leave a message. How do I apologize for giving good advice that she just took the wrong way? Maybe I will just speak with Maya or Nicole and get their take on it. 

I walked into my bedroom to get ready for bed.

“You finally made it home. I thought I would have to send out a search party for you,”                 my husband said, jokingly.

I smiled as I hugged him. “So, how is Ms. Nina? What was the APB about this evening?”          He asked.

“Nothing too serious. Just something she wanted to run by us. We hung out for a bit and talked,” I replied.

He pressed on, “You seem like something is wrong?” 

I replied, “I just always feel like I am saying the wrong thing to these women. It's like they are in another league. They all have these amazing careers, and I don't have much to add to the conversation. When I speak up and state how I feel, I am always the odd one out. And I believe I offended Nina this evening, and she politely asked me to leave.” 

“She asked you to leave? Baby, what did you say?” He asked with a confused look on his face.

“She was complaining about how this date went wrong. I then mentioned that maybe she was too hasty in her divorce from Jay. Now, she has to face this dating life in her 40’s with children. I can't imagine how hard that is going to be for her,” I said. 


My husband looked at me, with his mouth open. “You said that, Sanja? What would possess you to say something like that?” he said. 

I was shocked. I thought he would be on my side. “I was just saying what should have been said,” I replied.

“Who says? Who said you were the authority on what people should do with their lives, Sanja? You can't go saying things like that to people. Especially these women that you are just getting to know,” he said.  

I couldn’t believe that he was acting this way. “Greg, a woman’s place is in the home. We decided long ago that I would take care of house and home, as well as you, and you would work and provide for us. How could you not agree with me on this? Isn't this how we live? Isn't it easier to manage? One person in charge of the finances and one in charge of the children and home? She had all of that, and now she has to figure out a whole new life,” I spat back.

“Sanja,” my husband began, “you stayed home with the baby because I was beginning my practice, and we could not afford childcare, living in the lavish neighborhood you just had to have a house in. We could not afford one more bill. You continue to stay at home because we now have four children under the age of five, and we cannot afford to put all of them into childcare. Which is why we have a nanny who is part-time. We did not choose for you to be a homemaker, to have a nanny, and to attend Mocha Moms. You chose this life when you decided to give up art and just stay home. I’m behind you 100% and whatever you choose, but you cannot push those views on other people. Don’t unleash your wrath on them because this is the life you chose, and now you are unsatisfied with it.” 


I was appalled. 

“You put out this idea that we are living lavish, that we can keep up with the neighbors and your friends, and we are barely making the minimum payment on our mortgage. Sanja, you need to get a reality check,” he stated, as he walked into our bathroom to shower. 

I sat on the ottoman in our bedroom. My phone began to ring. It was Nicole. 

“Hello,” I answered.

“Hey, Sanja. It’s Nicole. I just wanted to make sure you will be at Maya’s sunrise yoga tomorrow.”

“Yeah, Nicole, I don't think I will be able to go. Greg has a work thing, and the nanny is off tomorrow,” I said. 

I lied. I wasn't in the mood to namaste at 5 a.m.


She replied, “Well, will you be at brunch? I think we should all sit down and talk about last night.” 

“Sure,”  I said, “I will try to make it.” 

“Great,” she replied, “see you tomorrow!” 

“See you tomorrow.” 


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