Tonight I am having a midweek dinner party. What? I know. This is me living on the edge.
In reality my guests are limited with time and this is the only chance so I’m rolling with it, though I will miss Farmer Wants a Wife but they are worth it.
I love cooking when I’m well. One of my indicators that’s I’m not feeling great is when I don’t want to cook. I have an uncanny sense of smell that I tells me when something is ready. When this sense goes and my food burns, then I know I’m not feeling myself.
There is a smugness about a midweek dinner party. Shopkeepers make assumptions. The butcher, when I ordered the leg of lamb smiled at me, ‘Having a little dinner party are we?’
‘We?’ I wanted to answer. ‘You’re not invited. I’m having a dinner, yes.’
Instead I just nodded, not bothering to say I haven’t had a dinner party since the Winter of 2009.
When I asked for raspberries at the fruit shop, the man in the apron laughed as though I asked for ground unicorn horns.
‘Not in season love. What do you need them for?’
‘A pavlova,’ I answered.
‘That’s nice, somebodies birthday? A dinner?’ He asked.
I left with the strawberries and cloaked in people’s assumptions that I swan about, idling my time away with dinners to cover the silence in my life, Mrs Dalloway style.
It irked me for some reason. I wanted to shake the leg of lamb at them and yell, ‘Don’t assume that this dinner business is normal. I don’t go to yoga, have a bookclub and drink wine every night while staring in a hand mirror, looking for the wrinkle to botox. I am not that woman. This is rare, so piss off!’
And then I realised it didn’t matter. Why do I care of people think I am some middle class stereotype? I am what I am.
But I will admit, I did buy the flowers myself. Mrs Dalloway would be proud.
Illustration by Raquel Costa