Tonight we're going to a very swanky Christmas party at LK's work. I haven't been for five years, mostly because we can never find a babysitter at this time of year, and even if we can, I've either been massively pregnant or one of the girls has been sick.
Needless to say, this hasn't been a year of champagne-swilling glad-ragging for us, so my collection of appropriate evening wear has dwindled. When I was in College I had several go-to outfits, the strappy black, the short cream, the lacy black, the deep green velvet with the eye-popping split. Those were the days.
Now I have work clothes, sweat pants and pajamas, and quite frankly it's hard to tell them apart sometimes.
I stupidly left things to the last minute believing I had two dresses in my arsenal. There was no way I was going to be spending money on a new outfit when both our computer and our car are in a race for catastrophic failure so I dusted off the two contenders lingering at the back of Lucy's wardrobe. Literally dusted them off. First, a fitted, beaded number which is sexy in a kind of Washington DC fundraiser kind of way (think Ann Taylor stuffed shirt) and secondly a floaty tiered black skirt with camisole top first worn for my SECOND wedding anniversary (we're on #13 now).
What has happened to my life????!!! What has happened to sexy? To flirty? To clothes that have to be dry-cleaned??
I tried them on.
Firstly let me say I know I've had two children in the last five years, and that there have been a few alterations to my general geography (think urban sprawl), but I put on the slinky beaded number believing all would be well and was confronted with a black pudding bursting out of its casing. I had chicken cutlets between my arms and my boobs. Every time I breathed in I was risking a rupture or a sequin hurtling across the room.
Anna gasped and said "Oh Momma can you wear that when you pick me up from school?".
I went to plan B. This was my bull-pen pitcher, my cast-iron guarantee of a safety net. You see, the last time I wore it, was at the same Christmas party six years ago - and I doubt anyone in the crowd we will be hanging out with tonight has even stayed married that long and so that's a guarantee no-one will recognize it, but more importantly, the last time I wore it I was nearly 16 weeks pregnant.
I'll spare you the details but suffice to say it doesn't fit. Not even close. Too much Ali, too little Blah Blah.
My wardrobe for tonight's affair now consists of a pair of newly purchased tights (I splashed out) and a skirt with an elasticated waist. No top.
I'm sure LK will be thrilled.