(Title borrowed from Supergrass’s “Alright”)*
On Saturday night I was very keen to get Le Sprog to bed. I was planning to go to the shops to purchase a bottle of fizz, which I had a hankering for. (No, I’m not an alcoholic. Yet).
On the dot of 7pm, I put her in the cot, all warm from her bath and full from her dinner and milk. Then I grabbed the keys and the iPod and headed out the door to the carpark.
I was exaltant. Yay! I’m Free!
Sadly, it had been a couple of weeks since I’d been anywhere without the baby. So I literally felt the shackles drop off. I was a different person: I was GOING OUT on a SATURDAY NIGHT.
In reality, of course, it was only 7pm and I was heading to Woolworths, which is about a two minute drive away, and slightly less exciting than a dental checkup. But I’m never one to let distance (or lack thereof) rule out an opportunity to listen to music, so I selected The Magic Numbers and drove to Woolworths.
Now the beauty of the iPod is that you can disconnect it from the car, plug earphones straight into it and continue your listening pleasure. Which, of course, is what I did. And music adds a spring to my step and makes me feel happy and young and carefree. So, I walked into Woolworths feeling… maybe not like a million bucks… but at least like a hundred.
Now, Woolworths is in the middle of the city, in very close proximity to backpacker and budget accommodation, so I wasn’t surprised to see it was absolutely pumping at 7:15pm on a Saturday night. There were lots of beautiful, tanned, foreign backpackers walking around buying food and alcohol, contributing to my rather misguided fantasy that I was once again young and beautiful myself.
As I was walking through the Woolies freezer section, bopping away to The Magic Numbers, feeling like one of the Young, Beautiful people, I caught my reflection in the door of the freezer, and straight away I noticed a big black mole on my leg. I stopped in my tracks.
Now, I’m pretty careful about being sun smart, so I couldn’t believe this slipped my notice. I bent down to take a closer look at the mole, and was horrified. It wasn’t a mole, after all.
It was a steamed sultana. And right next to it, smeared all over my black pants, was a huge lump of smushed up apple.
I’m sure anyone who was subscribing to the fantasy of me, the Young and Beautiful, would have seen the sultanta as a mole and the apple as a giant lump of snot. I just saw myself for what I was – a mum on a mission, free of the child for half an hour.
Now, I’ve imagined myself in a lot of exciting and romatic situations in my life, and I’ve often need a rather harsh reality check. But I never expected that reality check to come from a sultana.
So, to cut a potentially long trip short, I headed straight for the bottle shop, bought a bottle of fizz, went home and drowned my sorrows. And every hour or so, I peeked in at the cutest baby in the world. Which makes for a pretty good night out, after all.
*The Supergrass tour of early 2000 (I think) is a gig I truly regret missing.