Last night we attended my cousins wedding party. Luckily we managed to skip all the mushy, lovey dovey bit and showed up at the drunken “I love you so much, what’s your name by the way?” bit.
My kids were thrilled to be getting into party clothes at bedtime and I was thrilled that the caterers were dishing up just as we arrived.
It was Hubby’s turn to do the sober duties. As the ‘credit crunch’ has kicked my purse right in the ‘cream crackers’, I had to go back to using my teenage tricks of buying a coke and then disappearing under the table to top up with extreme cheapo vodka which smelled like paint stripper. When a pint of common label larger and three cokes costs over £7.50, I have to admit that pride and morals are too expensive to maintain.
The DJ was playing all my favourite tunes and I found myself every three minutes jumping up and down, clapping my hands exclaiming “Oh, I love this song” the problem with that though was it did not give me much opportunity to go back to the table for a slurp of paint stripper. Why is it that, no matter how much natural rhythm one has, it never translates when you are sober on a dance floor?
Repeatedly, I had to grit my teeth through the pain of a stitch so as not to lose face in front of my fellow boppers. I am the boogie woogie master! It is a widely acknowledged fact. Last night however, nobody was looking at me. No crowds circled round me chanting my name, no attention whatsoever, Zip! Instead I was elbowed to the side of the dance floor as the throng crowded round someone else. A new talent who was grinning from ear to ear as she stole my glory. The throng thief was my six year old daughter.
Twirling her dress and throwing some serious shapes she was bopping her little heart out. Silver sparkly shoes tapping and gliding so fantastically that she put my moonwalk to shame. As I danced with her, I soon found myself wearing that expression, the one I can remember my mother wearing about a decade ago at another wedding party.
Back then, Mum had enthusiastically jumped up to dance to her favourite tunes, then the Spice Girls song had mixed in and I joined her on the floor. I showed her my moves and smiled smugly as I accepted all the “wow, you are a great dancer” complements. Mum did her best to copy my routines before plonking herself down and hitting the whisky, too deflated to hold onto her smile. History was now repeating itself.
When did I become uncool? Our relatives were laughing openly as I showed my girl a bit of Mambo combined with a lot of hip hop to which she showed me a near perfect Elvis lip curl and single eyebrow lift (try it, you’ll get the idea). I suddenly found myself feeling a bit foolish and sulkily retreated to our table and vodka so strong I feared hangover cystitis would kick in next morning so hastily sunk a pint of soda water.
On all the tables were helium balloons and by 10pm the helium was still inside the balloons and not inside the best man’s lungs so my son and I went and collected a bunch. Those balloons were the highlight of my little boy’s night. As we said goodnight to the groom he enquired as to where we thought we were going with them. I said they were a present from the Bride and then we quickly scarpered.
As I tucked the kids into bed that night, I realised that this was the first, in what was inevitably going to be many occasions, which I felt like an old fart in front of my kids. Pretty soon I will be ordered to stay out of sight at the school play or drop them off a few streets away from the cinema. I will battle to receive half-hearted hugs and reluctant conversations about their day. Screaming matches about skirt length and shaven heads will rage over the din of door slamming and blimmin awful ‘music’.
I tried to paint that picture for my husband so that he would understand the direction that I believed are lives was heading in. His response was to give me a hug, patting me on the back in mock comfort. “Don’t worry, I understand why you are feeling this way” he said. I sighed and relaxed, ready to hear words of wisdom from him that would put the world to rights. “Next time we go to a party, I will offer our daughter a fiver to humour you” he laughed. “Yes please” I replied gratefully.