We would go out
on a Friday and Saturday night
and on a Thursday because the local club had an 80s night.
And on a Wednesday because they put on a karaoke night.
And on a Monday to celebrate getting through the first day back at work.
And Kate would always invite us out on a Tuesday because she knew I wanted Nachos.
We would drink
cheap, nasty wine. Bottles of the stuff. Because we thought we looked sophisticated.
Or we’d get jugs of cocktails from Wetherspoons that were 5:1:3 parts ‘ice water slop: alcohol: shit cola.’
We’d guzzle Smirnoff alco-pop from glass bottles that left a thick cement of sugar on our teeth.
We would have bright blue tongues from the WKD, or green tongues from the apple sourz – and sugar highs from the ‘fruit’ in the Breezers.
We would down shots of Aftershock that burnt our retinas,
and sambuca that some idiot suggested lighting,
or just sip Baileys in a whisky glass with ice like we were some Russian Bond beauties in a Skii lodge –
not a posse of pillocks in Birmingham.
And we’d dance.
We’d “ooh! push it (push it real good)” on podiums and wear barely there skirts.
We’d discover the bruises the next day from falling off the podiums.
We would sing,
badly on Kareoke. Eurythmics or Shania Twain or Robert Palmer.
and we’d would flirt.
we would wear corsets with jeans or mini skirts with playgirl bunny t-shirts.
We’d wear concealer on our lips, Vaseline on our eyelids and white eye-liner.
We were thinner than any of us appreciated.
And we’d snog.
We’d snog for days.
And the next day we’d laugh about who we pulled and text them on our Nokias.
We had no idea what they looked like because we had no cameras.
No smart phones.
We hovered in the dark with no flash, no selfies, no tagging, no permanent reminders.
to cheap holidays on the Tenerife strip, and Magaluf and across the world.
and we loved
boys who were never that important.
We stuck together.
We had tiny tiffs – fixed with a text and a bottle of wine.
about what we’d be when we grew up, when we were successful, when we had big money,
when we could bring anyone home
we could do whatever we wanted because we were out of mum and dad’s.
When we found ‘The One’ who would make our lives complete.
We would be free.
we go out
one or two nights a year
or we go on little self labeled dates (day release) with the other half while the grandparents watch our son.
But we don’t tend to.
We would rather stay in.
Going out is exhausting; expensive.
Getting dressed up. Wearing heels. We can’t take it.
And we drink.
Shots of Gaviscon.
G&Ts trying to lose the self labeled ‘baby weight’.
posh wine from Waitrose to try and tell ourselves we’re middle class – not people who should drink a lot less.
Or we are growing a baby so we drink milk or orange squash (like the children we’ve sprung).
And we dance.
like pillocks at ‘Mini movers’ to out dated nursery ryhmes
to the ‘Makka Pakka’ and ‘Tombliboo’ dance on ‘In The Night Garden‘ half way through a conversation about life insurance like it’s perfectly routine.
And we sing
the wheels on the bus, or wind the bobbin up (what the fuck is a bobbin?) or the alphabet song, over and over and over and over.
And we flirt
with the bin men so they’ll take our extra bags of nappies and milk cartons and empty wine bottles.
with people in the queue so they’ll let you pay for his chocolate buttons real quick – so you can shut him up.
we don’t snog
and we travel
to child friendly caravan parks and detached cottages and mum meet-ups.
We love our children.
We love our children
We love the partner we chose – if we are having a good day.
We love our parents more.
We love our families.
We love kind strangers.
with our partners, daily “It’s your turn you bastard”
with our children “Go to bed, for the love of Christ”
and with our old friends:
we grow apart, we drift away, we make mistakes, we can’t fix our differences with a text and a bottle of wine.
We aren’t the same.
We wear clothes with more stretch and functionality.
And we dream
of a full night’s sleep
of a night off
of a holiday
of being slimmer
So we go to bed at 7pm on a Saturday night because sleep is sleep and we don’t care what the clock says.
And the neighbours are having a party again.
Probably swigging alcopops and doing shots and singing Kareoke and snogging.
And you pop another Rennie in your gob and roll over and hate them.
And the baby kicks.
And you smile.
And you think about making pancakes for breakfast tomorrow and pushing your child on the swings in the park.
Maybe the sun will come out.