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Black Tie

It’s true. This week for me has been full-on. I was meant to be out every night, doing things that I actually wanted to do. But these things come and go in waves, and as such, the weekend and the coming week are fairly low-key. For now, at any rate.

And yes, it’s true that my boyfriend did have an invitation to a black tie Christmas party at his fancy company. I knew it would drive The Mom to distraction to learn that such an event was within the realm of possibility as far as my attendance goes, and so I let her in on that juicy little gem of a detail.

I swear to you, she nearly fainted with excitement. But then, as we all know, The Mom is prone to over-excitement and or panic, depending on your persepctive.

I told her that he would have to hire a tuxedo for the evening and I kid you not, I wouldn’t have been shocked to get a phone call from her the next morning, announcing she’d caved and got on a flight, in order to bring me something in a suitable ensemble and shuffle me off to the hairdresser and to wherever it is one buys cosmetics these days.

I let her imagine the situation briefly before telling her that I’d said I already had plans. And yes, it was to attend a philosophy lecture. I do actually like that sort of thing.

To say she was disappointed doesn’t even get across the utter sadness that befell her previously gleeful mood.

“But why? Why would you do that?” she bemoaned.

“He’s not keen on it either. Hiring a tuxedo is not cheap. And he doesn’t know anyone there. And has something else to do that evening which is as nerdy as my lecture, but probably to do with Dr. Who, wrestling or films, I can’t remember which.”

“But wouldn’t it be fun? You could have a really glamorous evening?”

“No, no it would not be fun. Do you know what we could do with the cost of the tux rental alone? We could have a really good BBQ meal at the place up the road, some excellent beer, and still have money left over for pints in the pub after.”

It’s a sick and slightly twisted pleasure I get out of doing this sort of thing to her. You see, her idea of Living in London is that it involves swanning about in gowns, mixing with Royalty or at least the Landed Gentry, and doing things that are stuffy and fabulous, simultaneously.

Which it is, most assuredly, at least for me and the people I know, not. It’s more like stumbling through your closet, finding something that’s clean or at least dry, remembering to have time to take a shower, remembering to top up your Oyster card so that you can get on the bus or the Tube, turning up at the pub at a decent hour, remembering to leave before the last train does so you’re not stuck on a night bus, and getting some greasy chips – or in the case of my boyfriend, chicken and chips – on the way home. Upon arriving home, making a bit of a mess in the kitchen, throwing your arms up at the whole tired thing, falling into bed – without your glasses if you’re lucky, but there are times that you can’t be bothered or forget to take them off, waking up in the morning feeling rather rough around the edges, slamming back a coffee and getting to work. Or doing it all again if you’re strong.

The idea of going to someone else’s work Christmas party when I loathe my own work do is just laughable. And having to shell out a ridiculous amount of money to look appropriate – good would cost too much – to do it is absolutely absurd.

And really, why would I be dating someone who would want to go to such a thing anyhow? I mean, would that not deem him wholey unsuitable?