When I originally accepted an invitation to the Members Area at The Races with the freshly-single Mild-Mannered Lawyer, I imagined that I would mostly be there on some kind of security detail. You know, screening the menfolk as they approached her: “Sorry, your shoes are too beige, git away back!… How much do you earn? Okay, you can talk to her but you Can. Not. Touch…. You? You’re cute. But I might have to snog you first as a precautionary measure…” Etcetera, etcetera.
I also imagined that I would look reminiscent of a slightly older yet still beguiling Audrey Tautou in the black 1960s cocktail dress I had chosen to wear and that we would both be sitting around on a red velvet chairs in the Member’s Lounge, being elegant and witty and drink champagne from crystal-cut glasses.
What I didn’t count on was that I would still be in incredible pain and heavily medicated following my oral surgery the previous week. That the only way I could possibly be said to resemble Audrey Tautou was if she were to play the role of a mad woman who’d decided to store nuts for winter in one half of her face. And that I would make a last-minute – and somewhat uncharacteristic – decision to wear heels. And that there would be nowhere at all to sit – not even along the long concrete ledges where there’d be some girl sitting with a couple of half-drunk alco-pops who’d say “Sorry, those seats are taken!” and make me mutter loudly to the MML “Oh, the poor dear. She thinks those bottles are her little friends.” Not to mention that she counted a narrow concrete ledge as “seats”. Desperate times, people. Desperate times.
Nor could I have foretold that the MML would insist on placing bets with the independent bookies and that I’d end up saying “I bet you don’t get to see big money like this very often!” to one bookie as I poured a handful of twenty cent coins into his hand for a “$1 bet each way on Horse 14”.
Or that I’d win $42 off the $9 I placed in bets.
Or that we wouldn’t get an iota of male attention until the very last race, by which time we’d have drunk three bottles of champagne between us and all my weight would have slowly transfered to the front of my feet so that my two big toes were essentially holding up my 75kg frame. And that I’d be almost pathetically grateful for the pain because it at least took my mind off my aching jaw.
Anyway, let’s just say that I wasn’t exactly in a discerning state of mind when a gaggle of 30-something boys in crisp suits and pastel ties surrounded us and started making remarks about gettin’ them some sweet cougar lovin’ even though we clearly weren’t that much older than them. Clearly. Good-natured creatures that we were (we were also very drunk), we let them take photos of us and examine out our fingers for wedding ring marks and The MML even spot-checked each of them for “beer girth” – although, ostensibly, that should have been my job in my capacity as her Door Bitch. Some friend I turned out to be.
Then, when they suddenly disappeared off to the bar and the one left behind to “mind us” decided to call his mother – yes, his mother – the MML and I had a quick conference.
“Do you think they’ve gone off to buy us a magnum of Moet?” I asked her, always hopeful.
“I don’t know,” The MML replied. “They might just come back with five coldies for themselves.”
Which it was, we’ll never know. We chose to slink off mysteriously into the crowd, like the cougars that we were. And actually, it was lucky we didn’t stay because, as the MML herself put it later, if she’d drunk any more champagne she might have thrown up and that might have “ruined the magic”.
Anyway, the point is this: who’d have known that I could wear heels and drink as much as I did on the amount medication I was on without falling over? Or that my fascinator would end up staying on my head and not falling in the toilet? Or that I’d end up spending so little and laughing so much at a day at the races?
Thanks for a great day out, MML.