Take Friday morning for instance, when I smashed a glass all over my foot, the floor and the dog. In itself it wasn’t all that unusual - most days my body has absolutely no idea where it is, so smashing things is par for the course at my house. But I was going to have to squeeze that foot into a shiny new pair of shoes later that night, which would be hard to do if it was all bandaged and bleeding.
The new shoes were in anticipation of the charity ball that we’d been invited to as a thank you gift for writing this book. I was excited... well, kind of. Dinner? I like. Dancing? I love. People? Not so much. Not you of course. Everyone else.
Social stuff is really stressful for me, especially noisy social stuff with people I don't know. Some people know this about me but most probably don’t. Even though I end up having fun, getting there is really hard work for me. In fact it’s exhausting. So it’s something that I usually avoid with the intensity of someone outrunning the plague (I’d happily take the plague out for dinner and dancing, because by the end of the night I'd drop dead and never have to do it again).
But on this occasion the opportunity to have a swanky date night with my hubby was too good to pass up, and I was grateful for the invitation. So I laughed off my bleeding foot and picked all the glass shards out of the dog before jumping in the car for the four hour drive to the city. It was a little harder to ignore the storm that was raging outside though. You know what’s fun? Driving through a forest in gale force winds. It’s like Frogger, with trees. It was an exhausting drive, and by the time I reached the hotel I had to pry my white-knuckled fingers from the steering wheel.
Luckily I’d still have plenty of time for a relaxing shower before hopping into my shiny new shoes and schmancy new dress... which was hanging four hours away in my closet back home. Yep, I am that stupid. Not only did I leave my dress behind but my overnight bag too. All that I had was the clothes I was wearing and the new shoes, which had been delivered in the mail that day and were sitting in my husband’s car.
My husband, by the way, is pure awesome. He skipped out of work early and came to get me from the hotel. He wasn’t stressed, didn’t even laugh at me for being such an idiot, he just drove me to the store through the wind and rain to help me find a new dress. Love that man. He’s the eye to my storm.
We made it back to the hotel with minutes to spare, got showered and fancified and ready to walk out the door in my new stilettos. Yay, Cinderella was going to make it to the ball! Except I couldn’t walk out the door. I couldn’t even take a step, because my fricken shiny new shoes were too fricken big. And my brain is too fricken small that it didn’t even contemplate the possibility that shoes ordered online one size smaller than you usually take could ever be seven zillion sizes too big. Fuuuuuuuuuck. The ball was already in full swing just one floor away! I jumped into MacGyver mode and tried to find something, anything to shove into my shoes to make them fit. But nothing worked.
It was about this point that my brain snapped. Hey fool, (my brain is Mr T) the shoes don’t fit. When are you ever going to accept that you’re not Cinderella, you’re never going to *be* Cinderella, so just give it up already and wallow in that super comfy looking bed over there. But my husband was all “Hell no, we didn’t come this far to stop now!” He threw me in a cab and before I knew it we were running through the rain towards the same store I’d just left a few hours earlier. Sheer insanity.
And so it was that Not Cinderella arrived at the ball only two hours late, in shoes that fit and dress #2, just as dinner was ending. It’s a great way to slip in unnoticed. The people at our table were so incredibly gracious about it, asking the waiter to bring us some food and pouring much-needed glasses of wine. Of which I sculled two in quick succession. On an empty stomach. Not Cinderella is so classy.
A few people started to say things like “Oh you’re Bec who wrote the book!” So many people in fact that I had to double-check my place-card to see if WhoWroteTheBook was my new surname. It turns out that in my absence there’d been speeches referencing both me and the book, making the entire room painfully aware of my vacant seat. Nice one, me.
But I wasn’t done yet. Another glass of wine later and the Chairperson of the Board came over to introduce me to someone. Not just someone, the Minister for Disability Services. The senior politician in charge of deciding where and how much money would be spent on providing for kids like mine. In all the time I spent campaigning for better autism services I would’ve killed for face-time with the person who runs the whole shebang, and now here I was suddenly standing before her. And not only that, she just said “I have your book sitting on my desk”. What an opportunity! I’m sure I made the most of it. There’s no way I would’ve said “Really? That’s nice.” followed by an incredibly awkward silence. No, that didn’t happen at all.
I can say for sure that Hubs and I tore up that dance floor (along with my hamstring). This in spite of the questionable music choices made by the band. Boys of Summer? Really? How drunk must we have been that we stayed on the dancefloor for that.
My nephew is getting married next month, so stay tuned for pics of me face planting into the wedding cake.