We went to a really big party last night. It was a friend's Significant Birthday, and he'd gone to town.
The theme was Game of Thrones. There were 2 huge marquees, decked out with all the mediaeval paraphernalia. Goblets, thrones, huge banners, furs, velvets and dragons.
There was snow, ice sculptures, white walkers and wildlings. There was a dwarf (obviously), jesters, flame throwers and a lady with a large snake (not a euphemism).
In the 'dark drinking days' I probably wouldn't have gone.
You see, it was in the country. Over an hour by car down the motorway. Going would have involved either (a) one of us not drinking (not possible), (b) hiring a driver to take us there and back (horribly pricey, on top of present, costumes, babysitter etc) or (c) finding somewhere to stay locally (ditto expensive, plus a real hassle).
But two months ago, when I got the invitation (on parchment, with a wax seal), I thought wow, that looks amazing. I'll drive. If we leave by 12.30am, we'll be back by 1.30am. Simples.
I dressed up. I rooted through the Wardrobe of Past Lives and Shattered Dreams, and came across a boned corset with lace arms and huge feathers round the neckline (I told you I had a wild past....). I added a new, slinky black skirt and high boots, and a waist length hairpiece (also, for some reason, in my wardrobe).
I took a picture and stuck it on Facebook. This is significant. I don't think I have ever posted a picture of myself on Facebook. (see my post Mirrors and Photographs).
Mr SM was looking grumpy. He wanted to stay home and watch the rugby. I dressed him up in a rather musty smelling old fur coat I'd dug out from the cellar (aka the Pit of Despair), a crazy, black wig and a plastic sword belonging to #2. He looked like a cross between Jon Snow (which was the intention) and Monica Lewinsky (which wasn't).
Mr SM drove us there, and I had a quick peek at Facebook. By the time we had arrived I'd had around fifteen comments saying things like Looking HOT SM! Which meant that, rather than slink in, already half a bottle down, and head straight for the bar (like the old days), I STRUTTED!
My re-discovered Mojo and I OWNED that party (without rudely eclipsing our amazingly generous hosts, obvs).
Now, my local friends, who see me regularly, haven't commented hugely on my transformation. The changes have come gradually. I've lost, on average, half a pound a week.
But most of these people hadn't seen me for over a year. I have never had so many compliments in my life! (Except on my wedding day, when I did look genuinely spectacular, thanks to an army of professionals, a hugely expensive dress and a crash diet).
I must have been described as 'skinny' (which I'm absolutely not, but everything is relative, and I was wearing fabulous corsetry) at least ten times.
A teenaged daughter of a friend said she hadn't recognised me. "Oh, I've lost a bit of weight," I said. "Well yes, but your whole face had changed!" she replied.
I talked to everyone I knew. I remembered their names, and the names of their children (sounds simple, but an impossible feat when drunk, I find). I threw some shapes on the dance floor (dancing sober! Great fun! Who knew?).
I drove home, listening to the BBC World Service, Mr SM snoring, drunkenly, in the passenger seat.
And today, I woke up to a sunny day. Tired but happy. In my own bed. Remembering a great night, when I insulted no-one, managed not to do anything rude or embarrassing, and re-discovered my mojo.
And, just to make it a perfect day, Mr SM has a hangover....