Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Control Top.

New Year’s Eve 2008 was not going to be another one of those nights where Jools Holland* is my best friend and where, a minute to midnight Hubby wakes me from the bottom of a bottle of Cava with a kiss and a perfunctory “Happy New Year love” and where, a minute later I stand, in my slippers and dressing gown on our doorstep watching the dockyard lasers and listening to the ships horns sound in the New Year.
Nah. This year Alice has her mojo back. She is a shadow of her former self, she has more high heels in her closet than Imelda (well not quite maybe); a short, sparkly sequined dress and let me tell you, someone, anyone was going to see her in it.
The youngest children looked on quizzically as I gently pulled up my opaque bodyshaper tights over my hips – hey I might be slimmer, but the flesh is now older and thus needs a little encouragement to stay in place. The word panty girdle may well be consigned to the past but its machinations live on. Open any catalogue and flick to the underwear section (not to be actively encouraged in any weird sense) and there you will find item after item of ‘holding in’ garments, from the subtle, tummy-panel control knickers to the downright gothic looking, ‘all over control dress’.
Well I have decided that, apart from the odd roll of flesh, I no longer want to be controlled and so I suggested to Hubby that we hook up with a bunch of friends at a local restaurant. This proposal was met with his typically negative response, “That’ll be sixty quid Alice. Before wine”.
“All our friends will be there and, as long as we are home before midnight, we have free babysitters in Pia and her boyfriend.”
He didn’t look convinced.
“Look, our son would far prefer to be out with his girlfriend and her family, so he is out of the picture; several of our eldest daughter’s friends will be at the restaurant with their parents i.e our friends so, she and I are going. You may do exactly as you wish”.
He didn’t put up much of a fight after that, which is why I was now struggling into these tights.
“You do look a bit funny mummy” offered the six year old, handing me my new La Senza bra.
“Oh yeah? Well you just wait”. She and her sister giggled as I jostled my bosoms into my bra which somehow succeeded in pushing in and up simultaneously. They were however quietened as I eased my feet into my fabulous new heels and were spell-bound as I slipped by glittery, dazzly dress over my head.
“Oh mummy, you look like a princess” said my four year old in genuine awe.
“Princesses, I think you will find” added Hubby walking into the bedroom and elbowing me out of the way of the mirror to adjust his tie, “Are young, dewy and single. Mummy is more of a duchess”.
“I’d happily be a dowager”, I said under my breath.
“What was that Alice?”, asked Hubby, the end of his tie between his teeth.
“I said I’ve always fancied being an astrologer” and I walked over to my jewellery box and put some starry, sparkling earrings in, sprayed some scent liberally, then went into the bathroom, my ladies of the bedchamber at my heels the whole time.
One sat on the loo seat, the other on the rim of the bath and watched as I applied my make-up.
“Why are you colouring in your eyes mummy?” asked the Red-Head.
“It’s not an ordinary pencil. It’s eyeliner”.
“Eye liar?”
“Liner dummy” added her elder sister, “It’s to accentuate your eyes”. She is only six. I was suddenly struck by the fact that I would have to address why one so young knew so much about the application of cosmetics. But it would have to wait. Now I had to get my lippy on and get myself out of the house.
I planted a bright red kiss on both of their foreheads, handed them over to Pia and waited for the thirteen year old to make an appearance. Her father was jangling his keys in his trouser pocket.
“We could have taken a taxi”, I said.
“It’s New Year’s Eve, the night when taxi drivers are legalised robbers. I am not prepared to be fleeced by a man with a people carrier and a penchant for picking up drunks on the way”.
Finally our eldest daughter came downstairs. At six foot tall her legs go on forever, add four inch heels and she looks as though she should be on a catwalk. She had borrowed a dress from Pia who is particularly diminutive and so the dress left little to the imagination being very short and very low cut on her.
Given the expression of dumbfounded apoplexy on his face, her father, it was obvious, was about to blow a gasket. We didn’t have time to address this issue either and so I threw a pashmina over her, whispered she looked a million dollars and bent her into the car.
We drove in silence, a brooding expression on Hubby’s face. He was out of his comfort zone.
“Honestly dad, taking you out is just like taking Jim Royle from his armchair”.
“Listen here Peaches Geldof, I’ve been outmanoeuvred this time. You’re going to be back in a gym slip before you can say quadratic equations.”
Everyone was in high spirits as we entered the restaurant. After several of my attractive friends flirting with him and plying him with bubbly, Hubby relaxed. We took a taxi home.“That mojo thing of yours. I’m glad it’s back Alice”, said Hubby in the back seat and he leant in to snog me. It was our daughter’s turn to look most put out. “Get a room”, she snarled.


Sally said...

I loved it! Hilarious. I got some La Senza just before Christmas too. It's amazing how wrong my sizing has been all these years!!
Happy New Year!!

It's just me said...

Do ya know. I just love that moment when I log on and you've bunged up a new post. Always a joy. Blywdden newydd dda! X

Alice Band said...

Blwyddyn Newydd Dda to you too x

Eloise said...

Your posts just crack me up! Thanks for the entertainment. Glad the evening turned out so well. I bet you looked like a million dollars in your dress. Did anyone take a picture?

Anonymous said...

It's tough for the dads when their little girls grow up.

Jen Ballantyne said...

You're a breath of fresh air darling Alice, I have enjoyed this post very much. Well I'm glad you got out and about on New Years Eve and happy for you that you have your mojo back. Mine's been gone so long I almost forgot what it feels like. I stayed home with the wee lad and I must say I got a similar whisper of awe as my faux silk night shirt slid over my body as I got cozy for a good night in with my little man. We even made it till midnight and raced outside to catch a glimpse of other people's fireworks going off all around the neighbourhood. I tell ya, it was scintillating..."come here my poppet, Happy New Year Darling", I gave him a peck on the cheek and a squeeze - it couldn't be much worse than last years I said grumpily to myself. This and I'm not even 40 yet!! Not far off it though either! Love to you Alice, Happy New Year, I hope it's a really good one filled with mojo. Hugs my friend, Jen B. ;)