Recently, I got dragged kicking and screaming out of my suburban comfort zone to the Cool Side of Town. I had been invited to dinner at a hip’n’happening restaurant for my dear friend Mzzz E’s birthday – but I wasn’t going to let it all be on the Cool People’s terms. Oh no siree. Me being me and having the evil early-rising children that I have, I made them change the booking from an 8:30pm to a 6:15pm sitting… Rock. And. Roll.
But the Coolest Person of All, Mzzz E, got her own back. Half-way through the meal, she got this evil glint in her eye that, had she been one of my children, would have earned her five minutes on the “Thinking Spot” as a preemptive strike before things got out of hand. Before I knew it, she had suggested we play “Fuck or Die” – a game where you imagine yourself in the Extremely Likely Situation that someone has just burst into the restaurant to make you choose between having sex with someone in the room OR being instantly deaded. Apparently it happens all the time on the Cool Side of Town – but as I don’t spend too much time in those parts these-a-days, it was a bit confronting. For one thing, I hadn’t thought of anyone other than my husband in That Way for over ten years (other than the occasional frisson felt when watching Matt Damon as Jason Bourne – again, who would have thunk it?).
Luckily my legal training from Mr Justice helped me find the loophole I needed and I immediately declared: “I would rather die than cheat on my husband.” Which is the cue for a big “Awwwwwwwwww” from the audience. Yes, folks, it’s True Lerrrvvvvvvv. NDM and Her Husband sitting in a tree, K-I-S-S-I-N-G (or though these days it might be more a case of S-L-E-E-P-I-N-G or, worse still, B-U-D-G-E-T-I-N-G).
Unfortunately, Mzzz E’s friend, “The Girl in the White Dress”, called my bluff. “What if you had to do it to save your husband’s life?”
That Girl in the White Dress was obviously a Bad Girl, like Mzzz E. The two of them have been cooking up some blog idea where they earnestly dole out dubious parenting advice, neither of them having any children of their own to parent. At least with the dubious parenting advice I give on my own blog, I have three children to road-test it on first, so that cardinal rule of parenting is never broken: No one loses an eye. Still, it won’t stop me from reading it when they get around to writing it, and I’ll probably even try a few of their suggestions when I find myself in a desperate place (which is way more often than I care to admit).
Anyway, the obvious answer to this new affront was that I would sleep with anyone to save my husband’s life – which put me in the same category as another dinner guest, MC, who had declared he would happily sleep with anyone in the room, with or without the death threat. Suddenly, I was starting to look Quite Cool by Association.
But then it all came undone when Mzzz E then hinted darkly at a version of the same game where you could only save two members of your family from certain death. Has the woman not seen the movie Sophie’s Choice? You. (sniff) Do. (sniff) Not. (sniff) Make. (sniff) A. (sniff) Mother. (sniff) Choose. (Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!).
Personally, I’m sticking to Suburbia in the future where the most difficult dilemmas I’m faced with are which flavour rice crackers should I buy, will the kids still eat the noodles if I put a dash of sesame oil in them, and should I try put Tiddles down for a sleep now or should I wait until after the kindergarten pick-up.
And for the record – and before anyone thinks my sensibilities have been forever ruined by watching too much Disney: I ended up choosing the dark-haired Canadian waiter with glasses because he had this Clark Kent thing happening and there was always the chance he might come over all Super Hero in the sack. However, luckily no-one burst into the restaurant that night, so I’m proud to say my marriage vows remain unbroken.