On being too old to go clubbing but not to dance…

I went on a girls’ night out on Saturday night to celebrate a fortieth birthday.   Girls is pushing it a bit I admit – most of us are working mums and not looking as girl like as once we did.   Getting out for a night these days requires as much effort as we put into our GCSE’s (OK, fine, I did do O levels if you must be so pernickety) along the following lines:

1.  Advise spouse at least one month in advance that you will be out;

2.  Stick large note on fridge to the effect that you will be out, preferably highlighted in luminous pink;

3.  Remind spouse thereafter on a regular basis that you will be out;

4.  Fill fridge;

5.  As you leave for your night out, shake clinging children off legs as you step out the front door; approximately 10% of spouses will still call after you – “Where are you going?  It’s not tonight you’re going out is it?”

6. RUN

We gathered in the bar of the Park Plaza hotel to drink cocktails.  Oo-er get us, being all Sex and the City.  Some of us were even wearing high heels.   However, having grown  sensible with age,  we stopped after two and went into the restaurant because drinking on an empty stomach is really not a good idea is it?   And whereas usually come 10.30pm on a Saturday night we’d all be nodding off in front of the telly it was time to go clubbing!

I love dancing, me.   My daughter and I regularly have a bit of a boogie in the kitchen.   But clubbing isn’t about dancing is it?   It’s about copping off.    And drinking after last orders.     How could I have forgotten that?   When I walked into the club, the music throbbing in my chest and the dance floor squirming with impossibly young, very pissed people wearing only underwear and fake tan I felt truly and horribly ancient.   “I’m old enough to be most of this lot’s mother!” I hissed to my sister.  “Don’t flatter yourself.  You’re old enough to be their grandmother!”  she hissed back.  (This is not strictly true; I could be a grandmother, granted, but to someone going to nursery not out clubbing.)

Despite my advancing age, I did  get on the dance floor.    The floor was sticky with spilt drinks and crunchy with broken glass but a couple of us mums squeezed past the flailing arms of the hen party and the blokes on a stag night checking them out and jiggled a bit on the dance floor with the birthday girl.    I watched the courtship ritual of men and women trying to score a snog unfolding all around me and thanked my lucky stars that my snog for the night and for every night for ever and ever was waiting for me at home.

By 2 am, the place had emptied out a bit and was playing eighties music and all us mums and in particular birthday girl could dance like I do in my kitchen – for the sheer fun of it.

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