I’ve started to consider, in my own head, sitting on the other sofa as a ‘change of scene’. Those EXACT words ACTUALLY went through my ACTUAL mind. That’s not all. Recently I punched the air and whooped because my favourite Tinga Tinga Tales was on – the chameleon one. I need to get out more. I miss pubs. I miss chatting at the bar. Some of my favourite comedies have been pub-based; Cheers and Early Doors spring to mind. Beer breath and stale chairs. I’ve considered inventing pub-scented potpourri or a plug in pub “defreshener” but I realise I may be the only person who would buy it.
Village pubs don’t really count. I’m talking about London pubs where everyone is crammed in, jostling and joining random groups. Where you spill half your drink on your way back to your friends and you forget to eat and you have to wade into the toilets. I want to pub properly. Village life is great. But you know you’ve moved to a village when your main conversations involves kidney stones and bed sores. At the school gates I once talked to a man I’d just met about skid marks.
We have lots of pubs nearby. In fact, BUB.1 went through a phase of shouting ‘PUB!’ whenever we passed one in the car, in same way other children shout ‘COW!’ or ‘PARK!’, leading me to wonder if I do this. And of course when I do get to go out, I find that getting ready for a night out isn’t what it was. I once had to deal with two poos and a pair of sore bollocks just during make-up application. Despite usually having to let one of my children try on my dress or my boots or my bag, despite sweating most of my make up off before I leave the house, despite hangovers with kids being the ultimate torture, I want to pub so badly.
To counteract the getting ready shenanigans, I usually have one night away a year in London when I stay in a hotel from early afternoon until the next morning. I missed last year. Can you tell? It’s like a missed valium. I’ve got the shakes.
But, of course, pubs live on. They live on in my children. School meetings with other parents invariably occur in the pub. I asked BUB.2 if he wanted to be a Learning Detective (whatever the hell that is) at school, in response to a slip of annoyingly vague paper that I found crumpled at the bottom of his bag. “I do because you get to go to meetings,” he said, before pausing for a while and sighing. “But not in the pub.”
There’ll be a time to pub my son, a time to pub.