This Is Why We Don't Go Out
Sonia’s morning inbox consisted of the usual mishmash of work deadlines, spam shopping sales, and invites to various social situations where she was running out of excuses not to go. So far she’d gotten out of all kinds of bridal, baby, and puppy showers with the following: grandparents' funerals, anniversaries of grandparent funerals, a few old aunts' birthdays, and a fictionalized cat’s cancer and subsequent death that absolutely no one questioned even though they’d never even seen a feline in her apartment or Instagram feed.
It wasn’t that Sonia was actively anti-social, but in the decade-plus that she’d called LA her home, so much of the extracurricular activities that used to be fun now felt like, let’s be honest, soul-crushing obligations that only made her hyper-aware of her single-in-the-city status. But it was January 8th and, not that you’d know it by looking outside - LA has two seasons, summer and February - but she’d made a New Year’s resolution to “Say yes,” and 192 hours into the new year, she was deeply regretting the commitment.
She clicked through her Gmail, YES, she would revise the attached proposal, YES she would circle back with a new client, YES she would run the numbers on a potential new deal and, FINE, she quickly replied YES to the Paperless Post inviting her to an acquaintance’s shower which sounded less appealing than the previous three emails combined.
The saving grace to this social pressure was also the person who understood it the absolute least and that was Dominik who lived in 15C and stopped by unannounced on a tri-daily basis. A one-sided conversationalist whose favorite topic was Dominik, he had the ability to entertain and infuriate Sonia like no one else. He could make her feel both comforted and crazy in the same sentence, but, based on his close-to-a-million social media followers, at the very least, Sonia knew she was not alone. Dominik’s boyfriends and boy toys and boy bands (he swears the entire roster of the Backstreet Boys crashed in his apartment after a show at the Roxy,) were a constantly rotating bunch that kept both him and the hinges on his doors, used thoroughly.
So when Sonia found herself hyperventilating in front of her laptop as the popup reminder screamed SHOWER. SILVERLAKE. 7 PM, it was both the worst and the perfect time for Dominik to enter her apartment, Kramer-style. (He was supposed to give back the key after last Thanksgiving but never did.)
“Um, what is happening here?”
Sonia explained. Another fucking shower. Baby, bridal, whatever, who knows. She needed a present and she needed to get there and she needed to not lose her mind in the process.
"I don't go out," Sonia explained.
"You do today," Dominik declared as he rummaged through her closet, picked out her least comfortable pair of shoes, and, barking orders at an unreasonable volume, got her out the door, into the elevator, and eventually to a store on Melrose. As they perused the racks of onesies with declarative writing like, “Bottle. My room. 2 am. BYOB,” Dominik pulled out his phone to quickly cyber-stalk the shower's host.
“She doesn’t have a significant other. As per Insta. But, good for her. This is why I donate sperm as much as I can.”
Sonia stopped in her tracks, holding a postcard-sized hoodie with the words BOOB MAN across the chest.
“Yeah,” Dominik replied nonchalantly. “In Beverly Hills.” Suddenly he stopped, turned, and dramatically threw down a pacifier with a handlebar mustache attached to the top as a thought sent shockwaves through his entire being. “WHAT IF THIS IS MY BABY?”
Sonia let out a snort.
“It could be. IT TOTALLY COULD BE. That means I have to come with you. It's my blood”
Dominik grabbed the horrible hoodie out of Sonia’s hands, plunked down his Black Card at the register (really? From being an influencer? Ok,) and demanded that he must accompany her to the shower.
"You're not coming."
"Yes, I am. You wouldn't understand, you're not a parent." Sonia was too annoyed to be offended.
The stop-and-go ride through LA rush hour traffic no longer became about Sonia’s stress or really about Sonia at all. It was now about Dominik (for the first time) reconsidering what it meant to be a father after “five or six years” of weekly “donations.” He skidded into a very nice side street where the driveway was stacked with recently detailed cars and an oversized balloon arch welcomed them into the house.
“I’m going to need all of your support now,” Dominik took Sonia’s hand with an air of a person about to confront their mortality. Sonia shook her head, wiped her sweaty palms on her jeans, and hobbled into the foyer in her least comfortable shoes.
Inside there was a bar. Cool, thought Sonia, at least she knows how miserable these things are for so many of us. There was also a DJ. Interesting…
Sonia and Dominik placed their gift on a round table which boasted a huge congratulatory banner and then they made their way into the kitchen as the hostess clanked a spoon against her champagne glass.
“I just have to thank you all for coming. We have to be there to support each other in this day and age and I am eternally grateful for the energy you guys have created for me.”
Dominik squeezed Sonia’s hand. It was about him most likely not being happy that this woman was going to raise his offspring but Sonia pretended it was for her.
“Today is the day that I am giving birth.“
Dominik turned to Sonia, scrunching his forehead as much as his Botox would allow. Sonia tried to give a very subtle shrug, noticing the hostess’s very flat stomach.
“To an IDEA. I’m giving birth to the most glorious idea that-“
As the hostess continued her speech, Dominik grabbed Sonia’s hand, ran out of the kitchen, then proceeded to spit champagne all over the suede foyer loveseat. They grabbed their bag full of onesies and pacifiers off of the gift table and bolted to Dominik’s illegally parked Lexus.
Once they were safely inside, they turned to each other.
“SEE?” Said Sonia, “THIS IS WHY I DON’T GO OUT.”