Wow! Two social events in one weekend – that’s pretty major for me.
The first one was games night with some girlfriends, hosted at my house. Technically, and according to the rules of the group, I should have banished the entire family from the house, but as it turned out my youngest couldn’t be got rid of. Still, he had a friend over and they managed to make themselves scarce – probably terrified of all the hysterical cackling and shrieking that inevitably accompanies a dozen women drinking and playing games of chance.
During that evening I went public with my determination to develop a social life apart from my children, an avowal strengthened by the impending birthday bash of one of the very same friends, the following day. Even though hubby had inconsiderately left town (much to my disgust, and causing, I am not proud to admit, quite some sulking), I promised to attend and have a rolicking good time.
All went well, although I was slightly late because I found I couldn’t miss the last 15 minutes of the season ender of Torchwood (a spin-off from Doctor Who, and at the risk of digressing, I just have to say that I think it’s the coolest thing in the world that I can sit and watch a show with my children that I used to watch at their age with my parents. And Doctor Who is still awesome, after all these years!).
Okay, where was I? Everything was going well – I arrived at the designated bar before it became hopelessly crowded, dark and noisy, so I was able to engage in some light banter and set myself up as a fun kind of a gal. Then, before we knew it, the place filled with jostling singles on the prowl, the band started up, drowning out every word that was said, and the dimming lights plunged the room into a semi-darkness that blurred even the nachos on the communal snack plate. Nonetheless, I managed to maintain a cheerful demeanour and pretend that I wasn’t wishing we could all move to Starbucks.
So far so good, until about ten thirty when Number Three Child phoned to inform me that he was no longer with his friends, and was home alone and scared. Despite the fact that he is almost thirteen and probably should be toughening up, what can a mother do? I made my apologies to the birthday girl, who in reality I think was just surprised that I had come at all on my own, and I left.
At home, we had tea and watched TV snuggled under a blanket, and I tried to ignore my relief at being out of that dark, noisy pub.