You Know It Was a Good Night When a Fox Ends Up Wearing Your Shoes

There have been occasions when Him Indoors is away on business over the weekend and I have been left to navigate through a social evening on my own. Such an event is looming and I am not ashamed to admit I’m scared. It is not that I am completely inept as social gatherings; it’s just that sometimes I need his gentle hand of restraint to keep me in check when I am having too much fun. My last solo outing without a trusty chaperone is a case in point.

I had been invited to a good friend’s 40th birthday in a local pub. Things started promisingly: with Him Indoors away, a friend had offered to have my children for a sleepover so that I could attend the party. I dropped the kids off with plenty of time to help get them all into bed, which apparently required a glass or two of fizz to ease the process. I then teetered off to the pub decked out in my finery and wearing a fabulous pair of very high, silver Mary Janes, safe in the knowledge that I could party all night long if I so desired without having to rush back for the babysitter.

The party in the pub was an absolute blast – loads of great friends laughing and trading banter over yet more fizz. I am proud to say that when someone started ordering shots at the bar, I deftly avoided them and stuck to what I know best. My pride stops there. By the time last rounds were called, I was well into my second bottle of fizz and feeling very high on life. Then someone suggested a night cap at their house close by. It always sounds like a good idea, but never is. As we stepped outside into the cold air, my inebriation hit me like a truck and I was a goner. I realised quite quickly that trying to walk in my fabulous Mary Janes was proving difficult, so I took them off, tucked them under my arm and strode forth in my tights.

From here, things are fuzzy. I have flashbacks of drinking port, drunken dancing to the same three Example songs on a loop, bizarre rugby-tackling games on beanbags, and drunk-dialling Him Indoors to tell him how much fun I was having. At 4am, my friend and host disappeared for 10 minutes, only to reappear in her dressing gown (but still fully clothed), hand me a glass of water and suggest rather bluntly that it was time I went home. I also remember looking around for my beautiful Mary Janes and only finding one. Having gone beyond the point of sensibility, I shrugged it off, put one Mary Jane on and limped down the (thankfully short) road back home.

The next morning’s hangover green-tinged with morning after embarrassment and recriminations. And it was a Hangover to End All Hangovers. I dragged myself into a standing position in time to fetch my children from my friend, who took one look at me and sent me back to bed with promises to look after the children for a little while longer. She is a saint. Then I remembered my shoe. Had I really limped home in one shoe? I checked the state of the tights left stranded halfway up the stairs and noted that they were well and truly shredded in the foot. I phoned my dressing-gown-wearing friend who confirmed that my shoe was not left at her house and the realisation set in. I was convinced I was the drunkest at the party (I wasn’t, apparently, but everyone else seems so sober when you are reeling), so was suffering from Day-After Shame, and now had to admit that I had lost a perfectly fabulous pair of shoes! I contemplated retracing my steps and lost-and-found posters, but decided against it and resigned myself to the inevitable.

Later that afternoon, my friend rang me with some news. While in the park that day, her toddler was seen rummaging in the bushes and she thought the little explorer would bring her a stone or twig, but instead she brought out my Mary Jane! It would seem it had caught the eye of a fox, which had completely mauled and chewed it to the point of being unwearable. I really hope that fox danced in the street wearing it before she got her teeth stuck into it. Perhaps I will leave the other one out for her so that she has a matching pair.

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