Sunday, September 10, 2006

I Could Have Danced All Night

Clicking on my Favourites and checking out the wonderful Petite Anglaise's post today strikes a chord. Yes, freedom does come at a price. Always, I think. Somedays it's worth it; somedays it's not. Take today.

I am allowed off out for the day. A whole day of freedom on the Bim's orders. He takes Anna-mouse off to the playground, then Kent Town, then brings her home to decorate gingerbread men with saccharine-sweet coloured icing pens and I am told to stay out until I have bought something that will cure me of the cry 'I'm not moaning, but I reeeallly have nothing to wear...'

This is no small order. Lately, we've been thinking twice before buying a can of baked beans we've been that broke. So my guilt button is pressed twice before I even get out the door: I've been given carte blanche with time and money. Not easy for a worrier, and the person who knows what state the finances are really in.

I get over it. Off I go, James Blunt doing that quivery thing he does with the high notes all the way down the dual carriageway. I'm going to the shopping capital of the garden of England. I'm all excited. Hope it won't be one of those demoralising trips where the first visit to the changing room leaves me weeping into my coffee in Starbucks for the rest of the afternoon.

It isn't. I sail through the day. I return on a high, confused only for a moment by Anna-mouse opening each bag I've brought home and exclaiming 'Oh, thank you Mummy!' at each one. I fully intend to go to my newly-discovered beloved Salsa class at 8. I act as if for hours. I really think I'm going to go. The time nears, and I'm having more and more moments of doubt as I watch the Bim cook supper, clean up and take Anna-mouse for her bath. He reminds me to set the video for 'The West Wing' before I go out.

I go for a shower, look out my dancing clothes. And find myself putting my pyjamas on instead. I can't do it. I can't go. I discover this caged bird can't leave the cage, though the door is open. For my night of freedom, after my day of freedom, I would be trading a night in with Martin Sheen and the Bim, and a couple of hours spent here, trying to keep my blog alive while I try to keep my eyes open. My old self has a longing to dance. My new self knows that I have more need to embrace my chosen love, and my chosen life, than to salsa with a stranger.

For tonight, at least, the guilt dogs are at bay.

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