Last night my husband and I put on some gladdish rags, said goodbye to our lovely Ironing Babysitter (the only kind to have, I assure you) and went to a friend’s fortieth birthday party. It felt good to leave our kids behind and go to a party together.
I wore my favourite purple wrap dress over my favourite dark jeans, with my comfortable black boots and my favourite dangly green necklace that I bought in Paris. I felt good! I am working that dress over jeans look at the moment. It is intensely liberating to wear a dress, which is feminine and sexy but not have to worry about sitting neatly, visible panty-lines, uncomfortable tights and showing too much leg. I love it so much that I am considering wearing trousers under the exquisite purple lace dress I bought to wear to the Oslo wedding in two weeks’ time. (More on Oslo in a later post. I know you’re breathless with excitement.)
The party was held at a great bar in a nearby town. The nineteenth-century building has recently been renovated and is filled with funky shops and new businesses. The bar is in a cellar and is completely smoke-free. That felt good. Germany is way behind the rest of Europe – except possibly France – on the no-smoking laws, so it was highly unusual to be in a bar where no-one was smoking. My clothes don’t stink today.
The friend whose birthday it was, and his lovely wife, were thrilled to see us. We have been a bit out of touch with them in the last few months so it was great to make contact again. We made promises to get together soon. It feels good that we have made such wonderful friendships here in Germany. We have carved out a place for ourselves.
During dinner – a sit-down meal where I did not have to affix a bib, wipe a face, correct table-manners or ask anyone not to talk about poo – there were the usual entertainments meted out at German birthday parties. Having been bored rigid by long poems in rhyming couplets or scary dance routines, it felt good that that the entertainments were tasteful and did not go on too long. The birthday boy’s wife put together a short movie of his life, with a great sound-track. His sister-in-law did some very impressive belly-dancing.
Impressed by her snakey hips, we were the first on the dance-floor after dinner. It felt so good to dance! I danced and danced. When midnight came and it was time to go home and relieve our babysitter, my husband said to me, “You’re having so much fun. Why don’t you stay and dance some more?” Another friend agreed to drive me home, and then he and I danced for two hours. I loved it. I danced, tested out my snake hips, laughed, smiled, drank wine and danced some more. I felt as relaxed as I do dancing at home with my kids, except I wasn’t at home with my kids, but out after midnight in a funky bar wearing my favourite outfit and dancing my heart out.
I came home and my darling husband had waited up for me. That felt good.
This morning, though, I did not feel so good. With skunk eyes and white wine breath I did not look or smell so good. But hell it was worth it. A girl needs that every once in a while.