I had just moved house and was feeling bereft. I missed my old friends, my old town, my old life. With a tiny baby, I needed friends and I needed to get out of the house.
I got talking to Layla, a woman at the baby weigh-in clinic. Layla was outspoken and swore a bit, had twinkly eyes and the air of someone who could be properly mischievous, given half a chance. I liked her instantly.
I guess I mentioned my sadness and loneliness. I didn’t mean to, it just slipped out. Without hesitation, Layla told me she was having a Tupperware party at her house the following night and I simply had to come. A Tupperware party! Do they still exist in the post-1970s world? Apparently so!
I turned up at the house feeling very brave and secretly wishing I was at home in bed. As I left, lipstick on, my husband had said goodbye with a funny look in his eye; was he pleased that I was trying to make friends, worried that I might fall flat on my face, or just feeling unsettled because I was going out with a load of people he had never met? People I had never met either.
I arrived at Layla’s house, clutching a bottle of wine. She was as fabulous as I had expected her to be – the hostess with the mostest. She had been concocting nibbles all week and I am not talking cocktail sausages and carrot sticks – this was a mouth-wateringly awesome hand-crafted organic canape explosion.
The booze was flowing, well, like wine. A hit- squad of expert mothers, who know their Tequila from their Kahlua, were whipping up and dishing out cocktails like tomorrow’s children and hangovers were off the radar.
The Tupperware presentation started. We collectively ooohed at the storage box that expands according to its contents. We aaahed at the microwave jug that doesn’t get a hot handle. The small crowd oozed its approval as it saw just how magnificently that happy chopper can chop.
Some of the Mums concentrated on the products and carefully studied their catalogues; others sneakily exchanged subversive glances and sniggered into their Vodka Tonics.
It was drizzling, but the small crowd stayed outside in the wet air with the candles and ice-buckets loaded with pink fizz. Alpha Mums swaggered and laughed the loudest. Cuddly mums smiled at each other and swapped stories about their children. The atmosphere was warm and funny, and I found some friendly people to talk to.
It got dark and chilly, so I went home. I was glad I went – it helped me see that if made an effort I could have friends here too.
By Jennifer Allen