Bank Holiday again? Not that you will hear any moans from me. I always think that a Bank Holiday feels like an additional Sunday in the week, thrown in for good measure and that can be no bad thing, especially when the…. I was going to mention the large, warming yellow orb that hovers in the sky but remembered that I am not allowed to for fear of jinxing it! It’s the same when we go anywhere by car, the Husband says every time I utter the words ‘Ooh the traffic’s been light!’ or ‘We are making really good time!’ around the very next bend lurks a tailback, congestion, minor shunt, police road block, runaway llama… you get the picture.

My boys had a big black tie ‘do’ at school this weekend; honestly, I don’t recall anything like the level of preparation for such an event when I was their age. If we had a party, it was a case of bribing an older sibling to buy us a large bottle of cider or stealing whatever we could from my parents embarrassingly thin booze cupboard, usually cherry brandy or crème de menthe! I can’t actually write those words without gagging slightly, such is the memory of swigging the noxious liquids from the gritty top of a long forgotten bottle at the bus stop, oh the glamour!

For my boys it was very different. Dinner jackets and white shirts hung in dust covers, shoes were polished, hair cut, aftershave at the ready. They left the house looking like mini, spotty James Bond’s and smelling like they had just walked through Selfridges perfume department and got caught by everyone with a spritz of the ‘latest’ fragrance by a designer I have never heard of. The car was filled with a peculiar mixture of mouthwash, aftershave, TCP, nerves and alcohol. Beers had been drunk prior to departure and hipflasks were produced and nipped from. They contained a range of beverages from whisky to Jagermeister – I don’t even know what that is, but having being offered some, a mere sniff told me it was nothing I wanted to imbibe, reminding me of cough medicine.

Now, my boys wanted to bring the ‘after party’ back to our house and had invited eight friends to stay, making a total of 10 teens staying over. I would like to point out that we live in a 3 bed-semi – it’s not as if I could simply give the East Wing a good airing and have the butler make up the rooms. Oh no, instead, the Husband and I had to go and stay at my parents around the corner and we made up beds in the front room and on the floor of the bedrooms. We then came back on Sunday morning to ferry bacon sandwiches, coffee and Paracetamol up the stairs.

I LOVED hearing all about the party, the gaffes, the hilarity, how lovely the girls looked, what they ate etc etc.. None of this was forthcoming from my own, but their friend Charlie, who is my favourite – I even prefer him to both of mine, who will tell us anything in exchange for a bit of cooked breakfast and a place to rest his head.

I must confess to feeling a sense of relief that I am not a teenager now, as I listened to them regaling tales of the previous night’s exploits. It all sounds very complicated. Apparently gone are the days when us girls clung to the wall of the village/school hall wall, waiting for the sound of Fat Larry Band’s ‘Zoom’ to strike up and hoping you MIGHT get asked to slow dance before your dad came in and hauled you out, with a stern reminder that he’d left the engine running. Oh no, courtship 2014 is a far more complicated business.

It seems that firstly the foundations for hooking up are laid down on social media prior to the event! And there are only certain groups that interact and certain girls that you can interact with, depending on where they sit in the sporty/clever/age/hobby pecking order, who knew? One of the boy’s friends was quite melancholic, as his chances had been scuppered by one of his mates. ‘Oh no!’ I cried, ‘what did he do, go in for the kill himself? Tell her a grim secret about your personal habits?’ He shook his head, ‘worse than that, he told her that I LIKED her.’ 

Apparently this is a no no. You are never to tell the person you like that you actually like them in case they think that you might… like them. Confused? Sames.

When we had dispatched the young pretenders out into the Sunday afternoon sunshine, all fed, sobered up and watered, even if not fully dressed. (One without shoes or socks, two without jackets, one without trousers and one without belt, suit, shirt or wallet (Charlie)) I snuggled up to the Husband on the sofa and felt an enormous wave of gratitude that it was so less complicated in my day. I don’t know how kids cope with the immediate publication on Facebook of drunken fumbles and one too many crème de menthes. I think we got off lightly.

Turning to the Husband I said, ‘I really really like you.’

He smiled and we sipped our tea, he hasn’t chucked me yet, I might just have got away with it…

Mandy xxxx