I texted Sooz “I’m free!!!” and we met at the car. I’d spent a bit more money than Sooz had this morning (because you KNOW what a bargain TKMaxx always is!) Free, free, free! I’m free! (Well, not “free” to Mr D. I’m the most expensive wife he’s ever had. Good thing he has no basis of comparison or he might trade me in.) Texted the dear man, and Aphrodite, and a few friends, and time to pack, eat lunch, and grab a cab to Heathrow.
Thus, Parents’ Weekend. It couldn’t have been more memorable, really.
A couple of follow-up notes in this whole deal. One was that my friend, the hostess on Friday, was simply horrified to hear what had happened. She said, “Gosh, we only opened two bottles of bubbly amongst the three of us, and more than half of the second bottle was still here when you left! What HAPPENED?” To which I can only say, “Who knows?!” I hadn’t had anything to drink before I went, but I also had hardly eaten anything all day. Half to three-quarters of a bottle of champagne, starting on an empty stomach, and the last glass close to midnight? I guess I’m a cheap date. Take note, boys. Although of course my darling Mr. D is finding me more and more expensive by the minute. Poor baby.
But the most interesting thing about this is how many people have written back and said, “There but for the grace of God go I.....” (All quotations are unattributed, by the way, to protect the innocent... or rather, as my sister pointed out, to protect the “not-yet-caught”. As Martha said, “If a person has driven while over the limit, but hasn’t been caught, it doesn’t make her a more virtuous person than the person who has been arrested. It simply means she hasn’t been caught. Yet. That’s all.”)
Or others who said, ”Thanks for the wake-up call, E. We’ve all done it. You were just so unlucky. So thanks for your honesty in sharing the story! We all needed to hear it!”
Or “That happened to me in 1995...”, “in 1989....”, “in 2000....” Who knew? Thank goodness we don’t all have to wear scarlet letters for our failings. Frankly, my bosom isn’t big enough to hold letters for all the sins I’ve probably committed. (That’s the problem with being flat-chested, you always have to have the letters made so damn small.)
But the very best response, because it made me laugh so hard, was from Ana, who said, “I was surfing the web, and came up with this support group for you just, follow the link. www.incarcerateddrunkexpatwomenunite.com.
Yeah, sometimes all you can do is laugh. It’s so much better than the alternative, a bathtub full of tears.