Wow, people! I HAVE A SOCIAL LIFE!
OK, I had to endure the hideous ordeal of going to the local "Olympic-size" swimming pool with D and the girls this afternoon first, but the reward was well worth it.
Why do I hate the swimming pool so much, let me count the ways...
1. I swim about as well as a brick. A very heavy brick. Technically, I can "swim", but in reality, I loathe getting splashes on my face, freak out if I'm out of my depth and probably analyse what I'm actually doing so much that I start to sink.
2. I have serious body image issues. In the last 12 months or so, I have put on more weight than I care to admit (OK, about 7 kg) and now feel fat and blimpy and pig ugly most of the time. And even the observation today at the pool that I seem to be slimmer than many of the women (the ones my age, I mean) there, proving my point that French women are NOT all skinny and chic and what have you, didn't help. At least I did my legs last night and didn't look like an albino gorilla.
3. D adores swimming, as in, really swimming - multiple lengths, serious stuff. So, the typical scenario is that he goes to the big pool and does his stuff for a while, and I go to the "fun" pool with the girls. And have to watch over them like a hawk as they can't do the same things and are rarely in the same place. So (1) is virtually a moot point as I don't actually need to get wet, I can do this part sitting on a chair round the edge.
4. If, however, I do end up getting wet, I then very quickly turn from ashen white (my usual "healthy" skin colour) to bright, Smurf blue with ever-so-attractive violent orange blotches because of the gut-wrenching cold. This, of course, does nothing to help (2).
5. As I have two girls, I get the fun and games of going into a tiny cubicle with them both, getting changed, helping L into her costume, bla, bla, and then, on the way out (even better), getting them both showered, dried, and dressed. Such a hassle.
6. Swimming hats are now obligatory and not only are they hideously ugly (see (2)), but they also make my head claustrophobic. I loathe them!
That said, today's trip wasn't as bad as the last one. For one thing, I managed to stay dry (got my feet wet in the footwash thing, that's it) and thus reasonably not cold (and not blue, then). Second, D came to help quite quickly and third, L is getting a little more adventurous and so spent more time with C than on her own.
It still took about an hour longer than I would have liked, though, but never mind. I feel that I've done my duty.
And my reward? A night "out" with two friends. Actually, "out" means at the (fabulous, elegant, chic) house of one of them, but it was "out" for me. Both have kids at the same school as C and L - the hostess' daughter is in L's class, and the other has one son the same age as C.
We chatted - and not only about our kids! - and had a lovely dinner (homemade pizza and salad, fruit salad and clafoutis, coffee, wine) and felt grown-up. Well, I did, anyway. And we're planning on doing it again.
D may frequently say that I'm hopelessly antisocial (which isn't entirely untrue, I have to admit), but let's be honest: of the two of us, I'm the one making contacts for me, I'm the one going out with friends. I'm giving it my best shot!
I feel a little exhilarated, a little sick (nothing to do with dinner, all to do with the chocolate I ate when I came home, see "7 kg" remark above), and a lot exhausted. It's the school half-term break here (already) and I have a shitload of work to do, which is proving tough.
But I'll be on holiday myself on Sunday and we're going to England to see my two best friends and I'm really excited!