Saturday, 31 July 2010

Annoying Ellen's Birthday Party. May She Rot In Hell.

Gah. It's Annoying Ellen's birthday party tonight. I don't know why I don't just find the courage to tell her that I can't stand her, and then refuse to go. I guess I'm probably afraid of falling out with her because I seem to spend half of my working life trying to stop the suffering caused by neighbour disputes. I don't want to find her kicking the side of our car in, or throwing dog poo over the garden wall.

So, as usual, I keep the peace, and now I'm in a state of total panic as to what to wear to compete with Ellen. Unless I wear a balaclava, this is an entirely unrealistic aim, as Ellen's blindingly high-shine forehead is a testament to what can only be achieved via repeated injections of Botox. I decide that I will just have to rely on finding something flattering to wear.

I feel as if I have hit the jackpot when Max spots me posing in front of the mirror in a dress that could be described as body-con - had it not been from the early 80s, before that phrase was even thought of.

"You still have a great body for a woman of your age," he says.

Wow. Wow! Did my husband really just say that? I am lost in transports of joy for all of five minutes, until I realise that he was being rather specific. Why didn't he just say, "You look great for a woman of your age?" Or even, "You look great?" I'll tell you why. Because my body might look good, but my face doesn't. Aargh. I need Botox, right now. Maybe if I put a bag over my head and blunder around the house wearing that, Max might actually fancy me enough to consider having sex with me more than twice a year.

So I am already feeling very low-spirited by the time we walk round to Ellen's, with Connie in tow. I have decided to take her with us, in the hope that she can poach one of Ellen's toyboys to fill the less than yawning gap left by Russ's departure. It doesn't really help. Connie thinks all the toyboys present look dead from the neck up, and insists on staying close to me instead. I almost mention that Russ was hardly a rocket scientist, but am distracted by trying to see what Max is up to.

Connie sticking to me like an Elastoplast has freed him to wander off unsupervised, which is never a good thing. He still hasn't accepted that he cannot keep up with Ellen and her friends' drinking habits. It doesn't matter how many times I tell him not to even bother trying - he always ignores that the reason that they can each drink a whole case of beer is because of the vast quantities of coke they are shoving up their noses. I'm sure Max has already had about six beers and a whole bottle of wine, and he's found a second bottle that he's carrying around with him. This is not going to end well.

I seem to be the only married woman Ellen knows. All the others here are divorced. They are highly-vocal about their sex-starved status - huh! - and are all wearing very shiny tops to match their shiny foreheads. What is it with women of our age? They seem to have a uniform for parties, which basically involves wearing jeans, paired with strappy tops which reveal too much low-slung cleavage. I bet all that bloody beaded decoration was stitched on by starving children in sweatshops. I feel like a visitor from another planet in my little black dress, and my alienation is not helped by the fact that, every time I spot Max, one or other of the shiny women is staring into his eyes, and giving a very good impression of hanging onto his every word.

Connie and I end up sitting in the garden for most of the evening - where I smoke fit to bust, and Connie nags me about my filthy habit. That's when she's not going on about her amazement at the behaviour of some of Ellen's friends - who turn out to be teachers at Josh's school. No wonder Josh is like he is. Then one of the toyboys suggests a game of poker and, after checking that we're not talking about strip poker, I persuade Connie that we should both join in. I am bored enough to play snap by then, so poker seems a much better option. I suddenly realise that Max is seated at the other end of the long table, next to Ellen. She has obviously just been upstairs for another snort, and is displaying an irritating amount of energy. I do hope she doesn't supply coke to her students. Or Josh, for that matter.

Unfortunately, Max is not displaying anything other than the fact that he is totally obliterated by now. I decide make him a coffee, but get a mouthful of abuse when I take it over to him, so I retire back to my place at the other end of the table, where I then have the dubious pleasure of watching my husband gradually slipping sideways on his chair. I'm just considering whether to ride to his rescue, when I realise that he is slipping towards Ellen, whilst wearing a beatific smile. As if in slow-motion, he moves in towards her neck, upon which he plants a long, slow kiss. Suddenly, the room falls quiet, and I feel as if I have been paralysed.

"What the hell are you doing, Dad?" Connie breaks the spell, thank God.

She stands and goes to pull Max off his chair, pushing past Ellen, who just sits there giggling. I am so angry and humiliated that I can't move, until Connie gestures at me to help her. Even with our combined efforts, we still can't get Max to his feet, so we have to draft in help - in the shape of two of the toyboys, who hoist Max up, and then half-carry, half-drag him back to our house. Connie walks behind, carrying Max's jacket, while I storm ahead wielding my keys as if they were a weapon.

In the hallway, Max shakes off the toyboys and lurches into the living room, laughing like a lunatic. Connie throws a blanket over him and then looks at me in disbelief. I have no words, which is most unlike me. As soon as Connie's gone to bed, I am going to email Johnny and say that I've changed my mind. Marriott County Hall, here I come. As soon as bloody possible.


  1. Victoria (from Facebook)1 August 2010 at 01:48

    Want me to kill him? I have a shovel and a 38 and know how to use them

  2. What a terrible party, but at least it's over.

    P.S. Your blog is absolutely gripping.

  3. God, I know - it was AWFUL! It's over, but the bad atmosphere here isn't, as I am stamping about sulking as noisily as possible.

    PS Thanks for the PS! It sometimes seems my life is a lot more gripping to read about, than to experience ;-)