WE’VE just had the famdamily down from up-country and you know how these things go: talk lots, eat loads, sleep minimally and splurge on chocolate and wine you wouldn’t normally dare purchase just for your unimportant, chubby little self.
Ah, it was lovely. I’m sorry if your blood clan get-togethers are tense and full of daggers, but mine are always basted in good cheer and chestnuts roasting on an open fire. Or at least a rare fish ‘n chip take-away and jolly, patient babysitters around every corner.
And, as one does, when you’re in your own space and guests are good sports, you quickly relax and stop wearing mascara and begin to drop the hostess mask to reveal your real self. The you-at-home- alone chick. The one nobody gets to see on the school run or in Spar.
Until last Tuesday, when my sister-in- law outed me, I didn’t know that me-at- home had a label. For years I’ve thought that me-out-there and me-indoors were vaguely one and the same, give or take clean hair, kitten heels and deodorant.
It was just the three of us – hubby, Carol and self – long after the kids had gone to bed and the last of the good red had been shnoshed, together with the tipsy tart and cream.
Bless her, she tried hard not to say it. But this was the night before she left and if she didn’t warn us, who would?
‘What’s with it, guys? What’s with the gowns?’
The Hub was lounging on the recliner in his navy Woolies ‘robe and I had on my salmon-pink fluffy from Ackermans (R49.99 half-price special – had to be had). Our slippers too. They matched the gowns.
Carol was in her dinky retro cardie, a pair of dainty mules on her pretty feet and midnight-blue jeans. The scarf slashed around her neck was her only ode to winter.
We had worried since day one that she’d freeze her tush off. We offered her sheepskin booties and a Scottish-print jersey of my dad’s, but she wasn’t budging.
Just because the temperature’s solid enough to freeze the eyelashes off a donkey doesn’t mean you need to dress to distress, she said. The Hub and I haven’t thought about our bedtime wardrobe for, sjoe, a few years now. And that’s why Carol’s worried.
We’re passion killers – we’ve let our hot, sexy youth crash and burn in the face of bills and babies.
I do remember, if I think about it very, very hard, that I used to have a Victoria’s Secret bustier thingie with a matching thong. That was during our courtship days. Haven’t worn it forever. Think the seven-year-old may have filched it for her Barbie?
I asked Hub if he remembered it.
“Nope,” he said, putting on another pair of socks and wrapping his new fleece blankie around his shoulders.
“But I do remember what was underneath. And that’s still there.”
Occasionally, just sometimes, men are remotely smart.