In fact, I feel more than ready; I’m absolutely desperate to start going out again.And not to the pictures at the bottom of the road on my own, although with a load of Ryan Gosling films coming out this year, that's not the end of the world.
But I mean proper going out.
Washing my hair and using a hair dryer instead of letting it dry Brian May style, going out. Wearing something that doesn’t qualify for the sniff test, going out. And heels. Actual high heels, going out.
I heard a girl chatting to her mate on the bus the other day, about how she was feeling rough as she hadn’t got in until 5am.
I get up then.
And I felt jealous of her feeling ropy.
It’s so stupid.But I couldn’t help thinking that the only time I’m going to hear loud music for the foreseeable future is at the zumba class with the grannies. Or when I get the Casio keyboard out for Nancy to have a mess about with, and she turns the demo up to the max.
I knew that the potential to be spontaneous would cease when we had Nancy. Of course you can’t just drop everything and do stuff on a whim when you have a little person who is dependent on you to make sure they’re fed and put to bed.But when your family live over six hours away, there’s not the option to ask your mum to come over for a bit so you can catch up with friends.
I arranged in November last year to go out with a friend at the end of February. That’s three months in advance.THREE MONTH’S NOTICE TO GO OUT FOR A DRINK??
I think of working on events in the evening as going out now. I don’t tell colleagues as don’t want to appear a total sad sack. But I’m out the house in the evening, so that is kind of going out. Isn’t it?In an attempt to rectify this, I’ve started doing some reciprocal babysitting with a woman who has a child exactly the same age as Nancy.
I go and sit round her house watching her telly and eating her biscuits. And then a couple of weeks later, she comes and eats biscuits round mine.Pre-Nancy, babysitting would have been a bit of a bore, I could have been doing lots of different stuff instead.
But now it’s a total treat.There’s nothing you can do at someone else’s house, other than watching telly. You can’t clean their kitchen, or wash their clothes.
It’s just Borgen and a four finger Kitkat.So after clocking up a babysitting credit a couple of weeks ago, I cashed it in last Saturday to go on a date with Ben.
I’d bought a posh dress from a charity shop, forgotten about it, remembered about it still in the bag, gave it a quick Febreze, and I was ready to go out.
And Nancy knew.I think she smelt the Febreze/ Chanel combo, and thought, hang on a minute, something’s going on here.
After weeks of going to sleep at 7pm like clockwork, the babysitter turned up bang on 7.30pm, as Nancy chatted away loudly to herself and threw all her dolls out her cot.It was a disaster.
I gave her two and a half bottles of milk.Sang Show Me the Way to Go Home, 16 times.
At the point when I’d admitted defeat and decided that we couldn’t go out, the babysitter said that she didn’t mind playing with Nancy, and that we should just keep our phones close by in case it all went to shit.Talk about taking one for the babysitting team.
No Take Me Out. You can’t even keep a cup of tea close to hand. It’s just Where’s Spot a hundred times.So we went to the posh gastro pub round the corner.
Panic ate a two course meal, and downed two pints and a bottle of wine in just under an hour. Spend the best part of seventy quid, and paid the bill the moment the call came that Nancy was inconsolable.But within 30 seconds of us returning home, she was fast asleep.
No fuss. Just straight off.
I couldn’t believe it.
Surely it can’t be this hard to have a social life with a child?
And at seventy quid an hour, I don't think I could afford to go out more than once a year anyway.
So I think it's just back to me, a bag of popcorn from Poundland, and Ryan Gosling, for a bit longer.
When I put it like that, it's not all bad.