This coming Friday is my work’s Christmas do. This will be my first ‘proper’ night out into Liverpool since having Joe, in April. I’ll be honest. I really can’t be arsed. Now, I’m sure you are thinking ‘miserable bastard,’ which of course I am, but the fact of the matter is, I don’t really know how to do ‘nights out’ anymore. I last had a social life sometime in 2012. Apparently, that was almost five whole years ago, even though it feels like it was just last week. You know, around the time Geri was still in the Spice Girls, a month or so after Dirty Den handed Angie the divorce papers in Eastenders? That’s my concept of time so I don’t really have a clue how to be cool about anything. Friday night poses a few nightmares for me.
1. What to wear
Oh Jesus! Where do I begin?! I’m a ‘sturdy’ girl. I’m a size 15. Sure, I know this isn’t a size but such is life and I struggle to get clothes to fit 165cm of short legs, big thighs, sticky out bum, short waist and mum tum (Let’s be honest though, that tum existed long before I was a mum!). And don’t even get me started on the cleavage… My tits were pretty knackered before I had kids. Years of yo-yo dieting meant that a strapless wedding dress was out of the question. I tried on 453153 bras on before my wedding to give me a decent cleavage. Fast forward five years and, thanks to two attempts at breastfeeding and a bit more yo-yo dieting, I have gone and got myself a snazzy pair of knee warmers when naked. My boobs are like a pair of your nan’s flesh coloured stockings smuggling golf balls. Floppy, empty stockings of misery. These aren’t ‘funbags’, these are ‘slightly miserable sacks.’ Trying to find an outfit that makes you look like you have some boob volume and holding that volume above your waist is, at best, a challenge. Basically, my ideal outfit is a nun’s habit. I can’t deal with fashion. I meandered around the shops recently, attempting find something suitable. I walked past one shop and thought “Jesus, kid’s clothes have gotten a bit slutty!” Turns out, it was Miss Selfridge. They ain’t no kid’s clothes, that’s fashion in woman sizes apparently, Jem! I then walked into M&S, checked out the Per Una range and genuinely thought about buying an outfit from there. I actually liked the stuff. Then I checked myself. I’m just shy of my 34th birthday. Is it ok to like M&S clothes yet? Have I aged too soon? Surely Next is where I should be looking if I can’t face Topshop? I’m still not sure of the answers and came home with some baby vests.
2. Having time to get ready
Well, there’s a thing. I don’t ever really have time to get ready. I shower before my husband goes to work so that I don’t have to leave anyone unsupervised for more than 30 seconds. Any longer than that and there is a real chance that someone may die. Consequently, I have three hair styles. Number 1; the greasy/frizzy ponytail for when Rob needs to get to work asap and we are running several hours behind schedule. This is the usual situation. Number 2; clean and a big wavy mess. ‘Beachy’ in my head. I’m just rocking ‘beachy’ waves. In November. In Liverpool. This is when Rob has time to let me wash my hair but not dry it. For example, on days we started off on time but James ‘lost’ a shoe (threw it behind a couch) and Joe took a massive, explosive poo, so now I have wet hair but need to get the feck on with things. I just throw a little mousse on and hope for the best. Finally, there is clean and straight. This is when we have time or when I just think ‘fuck the lot of you, I want to look human. You will wait the full hour it takes me to wash and dry my hair.’ At best, this is once a week. Realistically, once every 10 – 14 days. I am not like the other women of my homeland. They all sport a beautiful up-do or a bouncy, curly blow and that is just for going to the shop. Even my mum heads to Tesco after bouffing herself up with some heated rollers. Sod that! Bearing in mind that I will have a window of approximately 45 minutes between my husband coming home and getting the hell out of the house on time on Friday, without time for a visit to the hairdressers or make up artist, it’s fairly likely that I’m not going to look like Tess Daly when I go out. (Why have I said Tess Daly? She irritates the life out of me! She is beautiful though…)
3. Having a drink
Anyone who knew me from around 1999, up until about 2009, will remember me as a drunken mess and will probably be surprised by the fact I don’t really drink anymore. I was an old lush but I am now reformed, mainly due to the fact I have two kids under three. Anyone who knew me during that time will also know that it is probably a good thing I don’t really drink. In fact, it is absolutely a good thing. I’m an irritating drunk who made many a poor life decision due to alcohol. It’s the reason I am not rich and do not live in Australia, as was The Plan™. But hey-ho, I wouldn’t have had my boys etc, so screw The Plan™. As I have been pregnant for three continuous years, I can handle, at best, two gins. After that it goes one of three ways; I jabber a load of crap and then fall asleep. Or, I get hung over before 11pm and then fall asleep. Or I just fall asleep. There is a lot falling asleep involved. I have two kids who don’t sleep. I’m in my mid thirties. I’m tired, ok? Just leave me in the corner of the club, snoozing, covered in your coats. (Shout out to the person I know who did this in a Hungarian nightclub. I wasn’t physically there but you are my kindred spirit, girlfriend!) There is also the not so minor issue that my new boss will be there. My new boss who I have yet to meet. I am not back in work yet and my new boss started after I went on mat leave. Always great to make an impression by talking complete nonsense for an hour AT someone and then falling asleep in the corner, with your false eyelash on your cheek and your left stiletto snapped in half. I know some people will suggest that I don’t drink and to be my dazzling, interview style best. Believe me, I wish I had the strength of character not to drink. Or to just to have a couple, make my excuses and dart BUT I’m just not that person. I think if I were to win any pageant, it would be Miss Peer Pressure 2016. I’m 33 and yet I can quite easily be bullied into binge drinking. I have never known when to go home. I have chronic FOMO – Fear Of Missing Out. (I have a story about repeatedly trying to gain entry to a club when I was 19, after being given the knockback due to inebriation but my mum reads this so let’s leave it there…) The ridiculous thing is, due to my massive lightweight status, I don’t even enjoy drinking excessively anymore. (Traitor to my Mummy Blogger kin? Sorry!) But no one wants to be on the receiving end of a “just have a bloody drink” beating on a Scouse Christmas Do.
My name is Jemma. I’m 33 years old and I can’t dance for toffee. I am a Gilbertson. Well, I was before marriage. The Gilbertsons are a long line of bad dancers, people born without the ability to clap in time or sing in tune. We have a couple of genetic mutations in the family. Those who show some hint of rhythm by playing the guitar but, on the whole, no one in the family can dance. Most people I know think that they can dance after they have a drink, regardless of ability. The knowledge that I can’t dance is so deep rooted that even after several Bacardi and Coke, I know I can’t dance and am hugely self conscious. The Robot isn’t a dance for me. It’s just how I move. Even when I’m drunk, my best moves are side shuffles with a bit of arm swinging, a la an uncoordinated Nolan Sister, circa 1981. “I’m in the mood for… making a tit of myself.” I don’t even know what people dance to these days. Despite the club story hinted at above, I have never been much of a clubber. I have always preferred bars and I have never liked ‘garage’ or ‘house.’ In all honesty, I don’t even know what those genres are. Indie, rock or pop are my main stays. However, these days, if it isn’t on Cbeebies. I don’t know it. The last album I downloaded was “Andy and the Oddsocks” by Cbeebies hotty and my future second husband, Andy Day. I know every lyric to the Paw Patrol theme tune. I even know the numbers raps on Cbeebies, but I do not know what is in the charts. I listen to Heart radio now and again. They like to play “Cake By The Ocean” by DNCE a lot. I thought I was super cool, bobbing along to this in my car the other day with my 11 year old niece. I thought she would think “Wow, my aunty Jemma is amazing!” But no, she informed me that the song was “ages old” and gave me a look of disdain. I better just do my Nolan shuffle and hope for the best on Friday…
5. What to talk about
It’s been a while since I was last in the office and it’s been even longer since I had anything other than my kids to talk about. I’m off work. My life is Baby Sensory, weaning, potty training and drinking SHITLOADS of coffee. My Facebook, Instagram and Twitter all demonstrate how much of a baby bore I am. Hell, I even started a blog about motherhood, just to hammer home that baby bore point a little harder. I have no clue how to interact with humans in anything other than a baby group capacity. What if I am nowhere near as frickin’ hilarious in Real Life™ as I am in my head?
So yeh, I am painfully not cool and Friday is daunting. I would be much more comfortable sat at home in my pjs with a family size bar of Galaxy. But, it might be nice to see other real humans, who don’t have a baby attached to them. It might be nice to try and look ok, even in Per Una at M&S. I mean, it’s not like I’d be dressing in a nylon nightie from Bon Marché is it? (well, not until I got home, anyhow) Yes, I am going to dance horribly to songs I don’t know. I’ll probably bore the lads on the team, who have zero interest in my kids, with dull tales of Rugby Tots. I will probably fall asleep pretty damn early and be home before 12. But I might as well go get some office gossip. There might be things that people do with their lives, other than have kids! Some stories might even be worth staying up past 9.30pm for. Plus, my work colleagues are good eggs. Hopefully, they wont mind me being that shithot mess who is allowed out once a year. Chin, chin!