SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER
Twenty bucks used to get me a great night out.
A few moselles and orange, a smoky pub, dingy lighting, sticky carpet and it was fabulous. I was one classy girl! We stood around faking mild interest in the sweaty band belting out ‘original’ tracks wearing grubby Jim Beam singlets. We strutted back and forth hoping to be spotted by the popular, boozed up senior footballers who were lounging oh so cooly at the back bar. Our all girl posse danced in circles, with the strobe lights darting across our purse pile in the centre. We queued. We queued in flimsy tops and coastal gales just to get in. We queued for drinks at the bar, seemingly invisible alongside the fancy pants patrons who flashed their $50’s and got served faster. Ultimately, we queued for taxis at 3am, praying for the ‘vacant’ golden light to appear. We whooped with drunken joy when one did, only to hurl spiteful abuse in desperation when someone else snatched it from further down the road. Now believe me when I tell you, these were bloody fantastic nights! We would be back again the following week with our twenty bucks and 3 quick pre going out spumantes swishing courage through our system.
Gradually this evolved into DINK (double income; no kids) nights with a partner. Now the pubs were a little classier, the ‘eat you cheat’ mentality was replaced by trying out fancy restaurants and their degustation menus (a word I still can’t pronounce and inevitably always sounds too close to ‘disgusting’ to me). We sipped over-priced wine and pretended we knew the difference. The music (if any) was quieter and we often took turns driving; sheer madness queuing for a taxi in the cold.
Before long, the now Husband and I graduated to dinner parties. The cramped uni dwellings had now given way to a house with a dining table. He experimented with different, exotic recipes, (I kept it real with a Vienetta) and we ‘decanted’ red wine into engagement gift crystal. I centred cuttings of rosemary and lavender and we listened to strange rhythmic music from CDs bought on overseas travels. Friends chatted about the ‘ridiculous’ expectations of overtime, the location of the best farmer’s markets and compared the latest smart phones.
And now? Now Saturday night has become ‘family’ night. This might begin with takeaway or an early dinner somewhere that welcomes kids…places that are open at 5pm and have high chairs are rare and precious. Places that serve hot chips, wipe up spilt drinks with a smile and have TVs on kids channels are to be cherished.
Then it is home again with kids buzzed up on their special treat of soft drink. A bubble bath is splashed in, whilst curtains are closed, lights are dimmed and some cheeky wine is poured. Warm, flannel PJ’s are pulled on lovingly and the couch is slid out like a bed and covered in pillows and doonas. It is now ‘movie’ night. Not some highly acclaimed arty farty cinema release like the old days, rather it is now some PIXAR classic; something that shrieks, “Awesome,” too loudly, with oversized cartoon heads, talking vehicles and crescendo pumping movie music. Not quite perfection yet, as Princess still has the attention span of Dory, but we’re getting close. The fantasy is that we can finish the movie, then carry them off to bed as they slip into a full night’s sleep, dreaming of talking snowmen or meatballs falling from the clouds.
Often it is still a juggle between Husband and I to settle them as we crave for some adult “down time” together; simply to break out the hidden chocolate, giggle about the quirky adult spin on the kids movie we just watched, or to google the latest holiday packages we won’t be going on any time soon. Sometimes, rather than queuing for a taxi at 3am, we find ourselves stroking flushed faces, measuring doses of paracetemol or ventolin and plotting our bed/sleeping strategies.
When did Saturday night ‘party’ night become…well…Saturday night ‘movie’ night?
Strobe lights have been replaced by night lights, and that just doesn’t sound particularly exciting…but quite frankly… most of the time I would much rather be attending to a low grade fever than dancing in tight heels with blisters. And when you find a really good burger joint or fish ‘n chipper, that often beats those prissy restaurants hands down. Give me a frozen Princess over foreign sub-titles any day! Hey; I am not in retirement just yet…you should see me rockin’ those 40th’s….and seriously, a date night every now and then is essential and ladies night is obligatory. But for now it seems that giggles, snuggles and freshly baby powdered kids, wins hands down against the waste of a perfectly good Sunday nursing Maccas and a hangover.
I’m gonna call it…
I think…I think I am a MUMMY!!