An old schoolfriend and I got back in touch recently and she’s metamorphosed from pigtails & dolls into a uber-stylish but still fun diva. Her birthday’s coming up and she invited me to a dressy, fun night out on town with some of her friends. Her enthusiasm charmed me, especially when last week, we shopped together and she said,
“I’d really love to see you in an ultra-feminine short dress!”
It’s lovely being in the company of an intelligent woman who is secure enough in her own appeal to compliment you. (That’s a woman thing, if you don’t get it).
But today dawned all grey-clouded and coughy. I called her and cancelled. Then I sat down to write this post, titling it ‘Not A Party Girl’. One paragraph in, I called her back and told her I’d meet her in an hour.
It was a girls’ night out at a still swanky nightspot. I first went there on a date with the extra dignified (read boring) banker who cheated on me. It was boring then, since it was new and nobody knew about it. Then I went there with a dance fanatic friend who had to be there to break into the professional dance scene. I think I’ve dropped in with colleague-friends on a weeknight, after hours before picking the a more dignified place where we sat and yelled at each other over the music instead of dancing to it.
Today, we plonked ourselves down, admired each other’s clothes and shoes. Then we ordered our drinks and sampled each other’s. One drink looked like something that ought to be placed next to a model in a bikini on a beach. The second was sangria and suited the strappy-dressed lady sipping it. I had my Morgan n’ coke with a dash of tabasco. A drink to suit my apparel (leather jacket & boots with a Little Black Dress) and the me I decided to wear tonight.
We were out dancing till the wee hours of the morning. We also shot Facebook-worthy photographs, did the ‘I think I’m drunk!’ conversation and kept each other from drunk-texting. One guy gestured over the crowd, asking if he could buy me a drink. Another leaned in and whispered his name, holding his hand out for me to shake (or take, perhaps). A stag group celebrating a birthday stopped me on my way out. One guy told me his friend said I was very pretty. The friend smiled and said, “You’re wearing the best outfit here!” I smiled my thank yous to everyone, declined the drink and the proffered hand but smiled at them too.
When I got home, my skin was still sparkling from the leftover glowdust and my senses tingling with that heady combination of post-dancing endorphins and compliments from strangers of the opposite sex. I logged in to Facebook to post the photographs and a classic ‘The time we had, grrrl!’ update. And there on the timeline, it hit me between the eyes.
A picture of my ex-, his characteristic angry gesture and frown. It was the preview of a link shared by two of our common friends, an interview with him by a leading publication that was covering the protest work he’s involved in.
How far our lives have come! It seems strange to me that they ever met at any place, any point of time. As I said earlier this month, I don’t feel so much anger at him now, only a lot of pain. Today had something new as well, that I put down in a status update, which I think the people in the know, will understand.
There came a parting of ways.
You chose darkness and depth. I chose light and joy.
We wish for the other what we each have.
R.I.P., my former love.
(Yes, this time it’s personal)
This delightful person told me, that you need to forgive because you love yourself too much. I know now he’s right. And because the relationship taught me the value of that, I’m grateful. I would probably never have realized just how serious I was if I hadn’t met someone even more serious than me. And it took that darkness for me to find my light.
I’ve been the Intelligent Woman for a long time now and that’s never going away. But today I realized I can also be Pretty Woman (read that every way you like). Wearing a short dress and dancing a Saturday night away does not make me dumb or frivolous. I was Madonna today, the 1980s diva who wrote her own rules of talent, love and life. My inner Madonna, she rocked today. This lightness, I think, is as much a part of being the Queen, as the strength of independence is.