This might be difficult to believe but some years ago I did something embarrassing. I hadn’t married my Beloved yet and we’d been invited to a friends “significant” birthday party (before continuing, I need to clarify that Beloved’s son had a party the previous evening starting at 5:30. It’s important to know that because it excuses my confusion). Beloved arrived with my younger kids while I followed on with my older daughter. He called me enroute telling me that I was late and dinner had started so they’d tuck in without me. Once I got there I profusely apologized to our bubbling host for being late and advanced on the buffet. The host with the most was (and still is) a very gracious man (incidentally, he also happens to own his own gardening business and if he’s reading this -you know who you are and there WILL be a blog in the very near future about your escapades this morning!). I don’t like to give out real names on the web so let’s just call him “Drucie” and his gorgeous wife “Penny”. Anyway, “Drucie” smiled knowingly and assured me that he knew “some people” who would be arriving even later. Evidently I’d misread the invite: family was arriving at 5:30 and we weren’t supposed to be there until around 7pm. It was just a mere faux pas and neither Drucie, Penny nor myself have mentioned it since. Besides, it was water off a duck’s back for Beloved and he didn’t seem to mind a bit.
Since that time Beloved has well and truly had payback for my little indiscretion. Take last night for instance. It was his work’s social club do and since he’s the Treasurer, it was important for us to attend. In previous years the White Shirts have been there and the venue has always been classy so I pulled out all the stops in preparation. I shaved my legs – and it’s still winter. I spent two hours deciding what to wear, wore my fake hairpiece, slapped on a ton of makeup, to look like I wasn't actually wearing any, and even balanced in stiletto heels. Zeeb was all set for babysitting and we hopped into the little yellow “Mini Shagmobile” (I’ll show you a picture sometime) and hit the road. Then I realized something was up.
“Is THAT what you’re wearing?” I asked, glancing at the faded sweatshirt in the driver’s seat. I wasn’t reassured when he told me he was wearing a clean shirt underneath and his “good” trousers. And I was really getting concerned when he finally told me the venue. Not Ellerslie Racecourse. Not even Waipuna Lodge. My aim was too high. Turned out this year it was for “the blue collar workers at the Onehunga Working Men’s Club”! Think pub, jeans, tee shirts, jandals. I could have worn my pyjamas and fitted in better. I smiled through gritted teeth and hissed at Beloved “Aren’t you glad I’m on medication right now. But later you are going to SUFFER for this!” If you are a man reading this then take away this one lesson if you want to have a long and happy marriage: Inform your wife about the dress code!
I have to say that it was a cultural experience for me. There was definitely a Pacific Island influence on the evening which is quite nice. I would have just felt a little more comfortable if I wasn’t scrubbed up like a pink *Palagi poodle. (*Palagi – pronounced “pahlahngee” – not a Pacific Islander). I leaned back in my bar stool and tried to pull off the casual, propping up the table look. Luckily I happened to have spare shoes in my handbag so I was able to discreetly change my footwear, while using my coat to cover up the bling on my top. Surely no-one’s surprised about the shoes. Knowing about what fits in my "AA Filing System", it’s hardly surprising I’d have half a wardrobe crammed in my purse.
|Pick the nephew!|
The entertainment was massive. “Massive” as in impressive and “massive” as in…not petite. I’m not saying they weren’t pretty to look at in their shiny, pink shirts but when they sang “Who Let the Dogs Out” I noticed a few party goers trying to suppress their chuckles. The band’s tireless performance incorporated a bit of Old School with a Cook Island Flavour. I’d hire them any day. Right after Beloved’s opening speech complimenting the “All Female, Girl-Power crew”, the lead singer introduced her sisters and NEPHEW. I later intercepted Beloved trying to apologise to him over the pavlova at the dessert table. Let sleeping dogs lie, I say! Besides, any guy with long hair who sings with his aunties while wearing a pink shirt is probably used to the occasional slip up anyway.
Pacific Island dancing is different to the headbanging stuff I grew up with in the 70s. It involves lots of hip swinging, what looks some sort of squatting and knees knocking together, all on tip toes. Trust me, it looks easier than it is. I gave it a whirl but I strongly suspect I turned it into some kind of epileptic chicken dance. I only stood on one foot though and I don’t think anyone was seriously injured. It could have been a disastrous night out but I decided that since everyone was getting somewhat blotto and I’d probably never see any of them again, I might as well have a great time. I even lucked out when some guy around my daughter’s age tried to chat me up and share his drink with me.
A short while later a long-term employee of the company struck up a conversation with me: “He sure stands out you know” he was glancing in Beloved’s direction. I followed his gaze and had to agree. Beloved surely does stand out in a crowd. He's tall and round with shocking sense of dress and a big nose. He blurts things out that you wish you could bury in a hole somewhere and doesn’t seem to be scared of anybody. I nodded knowingly, but I was a bit taken aback by what was said next.
“I’m proud to know him. He’s been the Treasurer for a long time now and I wouldn’t trust anyone else. He’s a good man!”
Yes. Yes he is!