Saturday, 17 January 2015
I have little time for blogging these days, mainly due to too much partying. This weekend started on Wednesday night with girls' drinks at the pool, after a free zumba class in our compound, then a night out in a nice restaurant ( girls only again) followed by a girlfriend's birthday party last night. That one, for a change, included our husbands. However, just like on many other occasions, the women were acting somewhat more wild and silly, while men just stood around talking about…I don't know what, probably their jobs?
'Have you noticed', Husband asked casually this morning, as I sat there with a large mug of very strong coffee in slightly trembling hands, 'That it is always wives who get more crazy at all these parties these days? And not the husbands?'
I have. I, in fact, have been thinking about that for a little while now, and (I think?) came up with a perfect explanation. We, middle aged women, are just fighting back.
You have to realize, I said to Husband, that, however happy we are to be wives and mothers, we sacrifice a huge chunk of our younger years for the privilege. From the household chores to giving birth, our life becomes a chain of events that claim us entirely, body and mind, 24/7, no negotiations, no time off. We go through pregnancy, throwing up, getting fat, leaking milk from what used to be pretty sexy things before then. We give birth, encouraged to do it naturally, going through undescribable pain. And then we don't sleep. For years. Most importantly, we no longer belong to ourselves. Ever again. Because, once you are a mother, you belong to your children. Cooking, cleaning, looking after them, worrying about them, thinking about them. Non stop! And some of us forget what it was like to be simply ourselves. Whatever that was. Not the mother. Not the wife. Just me.
For some it was partying, smoking, dancing till early hours of the morning. For others it was doing sports for hours every day, or reading a book, or lying in bed for however long we wanted to! Or being at work. Being able to focus on the job, on career, and not think about school trips we are missing, runny noses or homework that will need doing later. And suddenly one day, we wake up and think FUCK! Wait a moment, what happened here? I am fat. I am mumsy. My hair is always pulled back. What happened to my body? What happened to my mind? What the hell happened to my clothes and underwear?
OK, so I am getting older... But not quite so old yet as to forget entirely how to enjoy myself. How I used to enjoy myself. And thats why, I think, we, mothers who suddenly get that tiny bit more sleep as our kids grow up, that tiny bit of free time when they finally start school….maybe go a bit crazy.
Yes, perhaps smoking cigarettes again, even though I quit for years is not a good idea. Perhaps drinking a lot and dancing till 3am ( and maybe ending up swimming in the pool with my clothes on…) is not very sensible. But wait a minute. I have done years of sensible. I might just need a little bit of craziness back in my life.
Call it a midlife crisis, if you'd like, but I watch it happen all around me. And, as we discussed with Husband this morning, in this expat life, it happens on a bigger scale than it did back in our suburban little village in the UK. Probably because the conditions are more conducive to such naughty behavior. Most of us don't work. Most of us have maids to do the cleaning after. Most of us miss our friends and families back home and need to get distracted not to feel miserable and homesick. And drugs are illegal here.
But, whether here or back home…Some of us hit a certain point in our lives when we stop focusing entirely on other members of our families and slowly look back at ourselves, and what we have become.
And so we fight back. We start wearing sexier clothes again, we dance and work out, we drink more than we ever did before and we like to party a lot. So what, I ask you. It is all for the very same reason that you ( i.e. husbands) want a sexy new car, a mistress or a paddle board. We don't want to get old. We already given up a lot for you, for the kids, for the home…But now, while we still have a bit of energy left, it is time to claim some of our own selves back. To remind us that sometimes, we can let our hair loose and party like we used to.
Please, watch out, Husband pointed out, I just don't want you to fall into this stereotypical lazy drunken expat wife pattern. Why not, I said. There is nothing wrong with that. I am an expat wife. Might as well embrace it, gratefully. Tomorrow it might all change. I might end up having a full time job, commuting on a train for hours and wearing layers in winter to stay warm…But for now, let me enjoy this tiny little bit of freedom that I have left. So, cheers! Here is to more drinking and debauchery, girls.