So last night one of my oldest and dearest friends and my 17 year old self went to see Take That in Manchester.
I am often the first to find an excuse to stay at home because I feel I haven’t seen Dan enough or because I don’t want another babysitter and sometimes I cancel, simply because I want to be at home. Last night was a real test of my resolve to do something for Mummy – it meant I couldn’t take the girls swimming and they we due to be assessed, it meant I missed an appointment as joint chair of the PTA and I missed an information evening at school ahead of F starting in September. Queue lots of guilt. However, friends stepped in, I have been at the school for 3 years and know the lie of the land, it was a longstanding arrangement and my friend needs me right now…plus it was Take That. I went and I am so glad I did….
So if you are feeling flaky about your night out this weekend or any other, read on. This is a shameful, skin crawling, cringeworthy read, and I am so close to not pressing ‘publish’ but it’s Friday night, it has been an emotional week and it’s a bit of fun!
In the rise of the auditorium, humming with the buzz of 20,000 expectant fans, I felt the genuine excitement of a young girl waiting for the boys to appear and found myself screaming when they did (40 – moi?!). Now, it being a Take That concert, it was expertly staged, wonderfully theatrical and the songs were all crowd pleasers. But what was a real treat, was the ability to leave middle aged Mummy behind and in the protection of the dark and my anonymity in the crowd, to let go. I wouldn’t exactly call it finding my inner wild woman, more like finding my irresponsible, hormonal teenager!
I cannot tell you how delighted I was to see that Gary had peroxide hair in a tall quiff reminiscent of their early days – though of course now, he has grown into himself and he looked amazing. I was literally clapping like a silly seal. And as I watched Howard strut around the stage, I will confess to tinglings that as a devoted wife and mother I would not normally feel looking at another man! Ridiculous, embarrassing but hey – completely harmless, so I gawped a bit more! I was on fire!
Fuelled by teenage hormones, I spent much of the next hour and a half, completely going for it – dancing and singing with what might have looked like gleeful abandon to the people behind us….What they didn’t realise, was that I was, of course, going to be focused in on by the makers of the DVD of the live concert and that they would keep coming back to me….I was about to be discovered. I was literally putting the dancers on the stage to shame and was bound to be spotted and asked to join the tour….And even though they couldn’t hear me in the roar of the auditorium, they could just tell by the formation of my mouth and the sway of my hips, that I had ‘it’. I was about to be revealed as the next big thing. In fact, they would be so excited, they would seek me out amongst the crowd and take me to be introduced to the boys at the end of the show…we would go for drinks and…..
I genuinely meant it when I told my friend that Gary was waving at me. It was a real connection (did I mention we were watching from the gods?!?!)….
And so I willingly and wilfully suspended my disbelief for the duration of the show….Moving with the confidence and freedom that only a young girl can…Yes I have been known to fill a dance floor with my fellow school mums – but not like I did last night. I was Beyonce. Yes I may from time to time sing in my local mums’ choir – but not like I did last night. I was Jessie J. And I genuinely let my teenage imagination take over picturing my future as the new ingénue. All night!
Of course, real me kept trying to bring me back to reality, reminding me how ridiculously I was behaving, but for the main part it was an hour and half of blissful escapism.
Then I got to thinking, that apart from being the antics of a laughable, crazy, overweight middle aged woman no longer able to charm her way past a security guard, who made us go the long way round, it was a useful reminder, to “never forget where you’re coming from”!
We should all unleash the shameless confidence we had as teenagers from time to time. We should make time to allow ourselves to dream, no matter how improbable – it’s fun! And if we keep dreaming and allowing ourselves to wander far from our humdrum reality, who knows what we might discover and which paths might actually lead us to roads we are meant to travel.
I know that last night I allowed myself to go bonkers and silly (and I was sober) but it was great and I felt really alive.
So, when you feel reluctant to go out, it is important to sometimes power through. You might have the time of your life. It might also remind you of a long neglected part of you, which from time to time, you would do well to harness.
Ps thank you to Pinterest for the image