I have written before about how much your social life changes when you get divorced and how you don’t get invited to dinner parties any more. Well, last night I had a dinner party. In a way it wasn’t really my party. I was holding it for my friend Sarah’s birthday. But I realised that whilst I have had various friends over for supper, I’ve never had more than two guests at once.
I worried that I wouldn’t even remember how to cook for a group of people! And to do it by myself, to have to juggle pouring drinks, cooking and answering the door with no one to help, suddenly made me feel vulnerable and hopeless. Bizarrely, despite having had so many parties over the years, the two year interval since I last held any kind of party, has left me feeling a bit lost.
It was therefore a huge relief to me that our mutual friend David, who is a great cook, had offered to help me. And so it was all planned.
Having done most of my cooking and set the table, as agreed, I left a list of ‘last minute things’ on the table for David, threw my house keys through his door, and rushed off on the school run.
The traffic was very heavy, so the ‘ex’ was later than expected to collect the kids. I raced back home, collecting Sarah en route and had the surreal experience of having to knock on my own front door to get in!
David, as ever, had been a star. Drinks were at the ready, all final preparations had been seamlessly done, music on and nothing more for me to do until everyone else arrived.
I don’t think I’ve ever been more relaxed when people have arrived at my house. It was marvellous!
Everyone seemed to have a good time. And David wouldn’t leave until everything had been cleared up. I really appreciated his help. But it left me feeling sad that I have experienced more consideration and kindness from David (who by the way is happily married, his wife just couldn’t make it!) than I did in almost 20 years with my ex-husband.
But the best bit of all is that it’s left me feeling I’m really growing in confidence. All the fears I had when I first left my ex-husband, about my ability to cope by myself, are slowly melting away. It’s not a fear of being incapable of doing things. It’s a fear of doing them alone. And there’s the irony. I realise that despite being married, I had pretty much been alone for years.
And now I’m getting back on track, and it feels great.