Friday, 12 November 2010

Mrs Robinson. Not Really.

I am suffering birthday fatigue. The balloons have been burst, literally, not metaphorically and the banners folded away. The metallic confetti have disappeared up the Dyson and the glasses have been washed, dried and stored. The party is well and truly over. It was good fun, but my, oh my, good fun takes a lot of effort and organising. Invitations must be sent and replies counted; decorations must be applied to walls and ceilings; menus must be agreed upon, the band’s equipment has to be roadied for and the disco and PA has to be erected and a sound check, checked although, it goes without saying, that I had little involvement in the latter, other than stepping over the drums and guitars and various other musical detritus that was abandoned in my porch afterwards.
Musical instruments were not the only trip hazard in this house last weekend. At 1am, after a bloody good boogie and several glasses of wine, we wobbled up the road, closely followed by various teenagers who were staying the night along with other party animals, hell bent on continuing to carouse into the small hours. I haven’t the stamina for all-nighters these days, it could be very well argued that I never have and, by the time I’d stepped over a mature guest sitting on my kitchen floor sharing a fag with a few teenage boys, I’d had enough. Without saying a word, I crept upstairs and left them to it. I brushed my teeth and decided that, if I wanted to avoid a row with a drunken sailor in the middle of the night, we ought to spend the night apart. Due to some advanced planning, the two youngest girls were on a sleepover, consequently their beds were free and so, jamming a couple of dressing gowns against the door, I snuggled down under a Hannah Montana duvet and waited for sleep to engulf me. I tossed one way, I turned the other. I plumped my pillow; I pulled it over my head. I huffed and puffed, but I still couldn’t get to sleep. To make matters worse, the teenagers’ bladders, having had to deal with far more alcohol than was responsible, were protesting and the cistern went more frequently than the lavs at any social club during half time at an England game in the World Cup.
I saw 4am come and go and then, with a pitiful groan, saw it come and go again as the clocks went back. Finally, at some time just before breakfast, I did fall into a deep sleep, if only briefly. God knows what time he’d stumbled in, I hadn’t heard him then, but I did now. I painfully opened my eyes on hearing the sound of heavy, boozy breathing in my ear. Actually I didn’t just hear it, I felt it. With a yelp, I bounded out of bed, and there, dead to the world and still in the shape that had been spooning me, was one of my son’s teenage friends. I assumed it was one of his friends. He had scuzzy black pants on and a rock’n’roll t-shirt and his hair was obliterating his face, so to be fair it could have been one of many. They all look like Slash, although I can bet your bottom dollar that he’d have nicer knickers. Then, like any mother worth her salt, I wrapped a duvet around him, placed a bucket adjacent to his head ‘just in case’, and left him sleep it off. I could embarrass him later.
I picked my way gently down the stairs, wondering if and when my brain would start pounding inside my skull but remarkably, it was very sprightly. I didn’t feel I could justify a couple of paracetamol let alone ibuprofen.
A mass of bodies littered every sofa and floor space. One lad was curled up with the dog. They are both blond with curly hair, so I did hope that, emerging from a drunken stupor, he wasn’t going to wake up disappointed after thinking he’d got lucky.
As I walked into my dining room, more bodies in various states of slumbering inebriation were scattered hither and yon. I shrugged my shoulders and continued my perambulation. I was astonished to find Hubby in the kitchen whistling and washing dishes. The last time I’d seen him he’d been enjoying a very expensive, birthday bottle of scotch and singing Flower of Scotland.
“Mornin’”, he quipped.
“Same to you”.
“Sleep well?”
“Not really”. I thought it best to remain discreet and not mention my sleep had been gate-crashed.
Later, after I’d returned from BodyMax and made lunch for all and sundry, a vaguely familiar young man, with unruly hair and a t-shirt that I had read only hours before, walked gingerly downstairs.
“Ma”, said my son, “This is Jacob. You said it was ok for him to come and live here.” That’s right, I did although I thought it probably best not to disclose that he’d slept with his mother.

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