I made it through last night! (See Sober Hair).
The Big Hair and I arrived at the House of Lords. Typically it was pissing down with rain, so I had to wrestle with a giant umbrella in order to protect the expensively coiffed locks.
I was wrong about the selection of soft drinks on offer. There was no elderflower cordial - only warm, sticky, processed orange juice. Not even mineral water, let alone virgin mojitos. FFS (as my kids would say).
Not only did I not want to drink orange juice, but my bright orange tumbler signalled non-drinker!!! loudly in the sea of sophisticated wine glasses. I did not see one other glass of orange juice being drunk.
(Incidentally, when asked why I wasn't drinking I said that I'd got to the age where it just didn't agree with me any more. There's a real beauty in understatement).
I found some old college mates and was chatting happily. Then two ladies approached me (who I didn't recognise) and shrieked "SM! We saw your name on the list and had to come and find you. You probably won't remember us - we were two years below you - but you made a huge impression on both of us!"
Oh dear. I smiled, weakly.
The first one said "You were my college mother," (oops, should have remembered her!) "and you gave me a piece of advice that I have never, ever forgotten. In fact it has become my life motto."
Did I? Gosh, how extraordinary. I have depths so hidden that even I wasn't aware of them!
"What did I say?" I asked, nervously.
"That you can never wear too many sequins!" she replied.
The second lady joins in. "I remember you too!" Oh God. "You were famous for running down the corridor naked except for a strategically placed yucca plant, claiming to be Eve in the Garden of Eden."
I gave a silent prayer of thanks that Facebook had not been invented then, therefore saving #1, #2 and #3 from evidence of their mother's past misdemeanours!
I felt a wave of nostalgia for my younger, unforgettable (even if for the wrong reasons!), exuberant self, and sipped on my yicky, sticky orange juice.
After a couple of hours at the drinks, an old friend of mine (who I hadn't seen for 5 years) and I went out for dinner. It was great to see her and catch up, and it was fine not drinking. But - I have to confess - I missed that feeling of your shoulders relaxing, tension reducing and the wave of bonhomie and positivity that comes with a few glasses of wine.
I felt too rigid, too overly aware and analytical of everything I was doing and saying.
But then I reminded myself of the last time I attended the same event - 5 years ago.
I probably had at least one glass of wine before I left home. I then drank about three glasses at the drinks party - large ones on an empty stomach. By the time I got to dinner (there was a group of five of us) I was feeling lethargic.
I remember worrying that I was slurring slightly, plus being convinced that I was horribly boring as I was too drunk and exhausted to think up any witty repartee. And I'm sure I appeared totally uninterested in anyone else's life.
Needless to say I woke up with a horrible head the following day and had to do the school run.
So last night wasn't perfect. I missed my former self. But the self I missed was the one of twenty five years ago, not the more recent one. And I suspect that I am now, sober, more like the twenty year old me than I was five years ago.
Have a fab weekend all of you, and remember: You can never wear too many sequins.