…the other day.
For someone like me who has spent the past ten years being out of circulation and pretty much up in the Himalayan caves, meditating and ingesting hallucinogenic stuff in social terms this was the equivalent of going to the Oscars. Or to dine with the Queen. Or a state dinner at the White House. Or whatever would be the epitome of a social outing for you good people.
When the invite came, all hardbound and sleek and glossy, I panicked. But being the strong, calm and composed person I am, I quickly took charge of the situation and ran shrieking to the wardrobe to check if the fancy clothes had become fodder for the silverfish yet. Yup. I was going to have to attend this do drenched in Eau de Mothball, as the mothballed up for yonks formal wear would emanate. I could just see the crowd on the red carpet or entrance if there wasn’t a redcarpet, parting as I stepped up wrinkling their delicate noses at the offensive odour I emanated. Maybe I could air out them mothballed raiments and spray on a profusion of perfumes and hope they weren’t strong enough to slay a charging bull at ten paces. Maybe I could get out and buy myself something new. Maybe I could just wear something that had been aired periodically and wasn’t quite so designer but which would do the job of keeping the jiggly parts camouflaged and create the illusion of a slimmer silhouette. I turned to my favourite black pile of tops and immediately breathed a deep sigh of relief like I had looked into the refrigerator and discovered an unclaimed packet of M&Ms. You know.
The day dawned. Twas a hectic day. Work, school pick up, etc, etc. And then off to the party. It has been so very long since I have got dressed up and ready for a proper party that I’ve forgotten what dress up feels like. When in doubt I have a long hot bath, so that is what I did. And shampooed them tresses. And skipped the conditioning because I was, by then so very late. Poured myself into my clothes (no this is not as smooth as I try to make it sound, it involves much sucking in of stomach, hopping and jumping and spewing a few cuss words before button and buttonhole and two edges of the zip decide that they should come together). Spatulaed on some war paint and shimmered off to the distant venue.
We reached the venue, were greeted warmly by the hosts and proceeded inside to find ourselves a table from the tables which were rapidly being filled up. The venue was one of the very happening places currently in the city, and with me not having ventured beyond my five kilometer radius since the birth of the child and the dropping out of the spouse from the social obligation routine, it was my first visit here, I was gawping so bad a friend had to snap my mouth shut, especially when celebrity was spotted. I felt like the village bumpkin at the ball, with my unconditioned and unblowdried tresses and hurriedly slapped on makeup, everyone all sleek and coiffured and making smooth polite conversation and I know no one, except the lovely friends I was seated with. Me being the archetypal wallflower who would rather dig herself into a hole next to the bar, and pull it in after me than go out there and circulate, I stayed put. Until I saw a couple of old colleagues and acquaintances. That was comfortable. These were people I had worked with, people I knew. Small talk happened. Some sparkling wine was ingested, which unfortunately didn’t do much to make my presence scintillating and sparkling as should have been desirable, given the quantum ingested. Food was duly consumed with the natural penchant for gluttony when confronted with extensive quantities of delicious food not being diminished by the sight of women with perfect bodies tucking into cabbage leaves, chewing on each morsel for what seemed like well on the better part of an hour, while I had food marks all over my face, and needed a trolley to wheel my laden plate to the table.
Fed, flushed with wine and good music, we wound our way back home, happy and content, and a little unsteady of step, and more giggly than I would prefer to be in a public situation. I was glad I finally stepped out of my self enforced curfew. I was not missed by the child I had imposed a curfew on self for. And while I don’t think I’m going to be a regular fixture on the party circuit, (too much effort to dress up and suck stomach in, not to mention too much stress with wardrobe issues and of course, total lack of page 3 social circle), an occasional glimpse into this world does me good, especially when I get back to my mundane hausfrau existence. I must practise that airkiss though, I’m sure I got it all wrong the other day. Or maybe it was that Eau De Mothball.