Friday, 22 November 2013

Mothers on the Dancefloor

Man, I love November.  The beautiful light in the mornings as bright sunshine cuts through crisp frosty air; fireworks bursting into a night sky; the switching-on of pretty Christmas lights, and general permission to start eating gorgeous festive food.  But much more than that, for me, it's Birthday Month.

I am one of those people who is mad about birthdays.  All birthdays are good with me, but most especially (of course) my own.  I wonder whether I'll hit an age where it's less exciting, but so far so good.  My excitement starts on November 1st, and continues for a good few weeks, until I eventually pop out of the birthday bubble somewhere around now, a little like wobbling off a rollercoaster and thinking "Wahoo!  I can't wait to do that again!  But first...a cup of tea and a sit down..."

This year, I was determined to see in my birthday whilst dancing the night away.  Much to my delight, my Mummy friends (wo)manfully agreed to accompany me to a suitably cheesy establishment. Babysitters were booked, arrangements were made.  That was when we hit our first low.  Having booked a booth online (yes, I booked a booth, we are too old for that standing around with all our stuff crap now), I then got a telephone call during the kids' bath time.  "Hi, this is Vicky from Chicago's...erm... you've booked a booth for 8.30pm but we don't actually open that early, so...if you'd like I can ask my Manager to open early for you?  Let me know."

Mortifying.  Still, I rallied, threw down Larry the Lobster, and called her back, explaining that we'd be more than happy to just come when the bar actually opened.

On the night itself, the kids were fed, bathed and popped into bed in record time, and beautifications took place with great excitement.  One of the Mummies is still breastfeeding her newborn, so kindly volunteered to drive everyone there.  Upon arrival, we realised we were still early, so in order to save ourselves the shame of queuing too keenly, we waited in the car.  5 glammed-up (but playing it cool) mummies packed into a Peugeot on a retail park in Stevenage, windows gradually steaming up as we all got the giggles, was funny enough, but at the appointed hour, when we decided to (still coolly) unfurl from the car, we discovered that of course the backdoors were childlocked.  Further faintly hysterical giggling ensued.

We strutted over to the bar, still playing it cool, and were met by the Manager, a very sweet girl who gave us a broad smile and said "Hi ladies, come this way, I've chosen you a table near the dancefloor and away from the doors so it's a bit warmer".

Of all the lows, this may have been the worst.

We soon recovered our spirits, sampling the bar's complimentary 'bubbles', mysterious bright green shots and assorted pitchers, and by midnight, as the music took off (by which I mean, turned into mainly songs I'd heard of), I was bursting with birthday spirit.  Smoke machine: Check.  Strobe lights: Check.  Birthday shout-out from the DJ: Checkity Check.  That's the thing about me, I'm pretty easily pleased.  I love feeling my heart soar as a familiar beat kicks in, everyone's arms go in the air, and it feels for that moment as though the whole place is completely alive.  Hey, I love my role as a mother and wife, but I also love the way music can completely strip everything away and I'm back to just being me.  Me at my very core.  Me at my cheesy-music-loving best.  It's actually better than dancing as a teenager or 20-something, because in those years there was so much self-consciousness, so much pre-occupation with looking good.  Now, it's just about me, having a ball.  Peering through the smoke at my Mummy friends, I sensed it was the same for them.  And I loved them all the more for it.  Happy November, ladies.  We're still cool!