I did a terrible terrible thing on Saturday. I double scheduled. Again. So shoot me.
It's Sarahs birthday party although her real birthday was the day before. That's my excuse for my mix up and I'm sticking to it because it's all I have.
After her friends arrive at 3pm I chat briefly to their mothers and go into the house with them to watch Sarah rip open her presents but all the time I keep an eye on the cars parked outside my house. It's 3.10 and I'm late already.
"Don't take your eyes off them" I warn Rod.
"I won't. Off you go then" says Rod
"I cant, two of the Mums are outside chatting. I can't very well let them see I'm leaving now can I?" I say glancing out the window
"Help them do those fake tattoos and give them the bubbles to play with till I get back. I won't be long." I instruct him and immediately fall in love with him all over again because he never says things like WHAT A COMPLETE MORON YOU ARE TO GET YOUR DATES CONFUSED LIKE THIS or never even sighs deeply like I know I would because I'm not as nice as him. Simple.
At 3.15pm I see the cars pull away. Great. I count to ten, they should be gone, and I walk out of the house across the main road and up the curved driveway of a large house who's front door is wide open.
3.17pm Inside I see R*, the man who commissioned me to paint the portrait of his father in his Irish Guards Uniform. There are about 15 people standing around the large lounge holding glasses of wine and I find one thrust into my hand.
"Excuse me everybody. Let me introduce you to the artist herself. Ellen McDermott" R* booms and everyone looks at me and you know how I feel about that?
NOT GOOD AT ALL.
I pretend to sip my wine because I'll be driving later but deep, deep down what I really want is a very large whiskey on the rocks.
R* tells the photographer to take a shot of the two General Majors standing either side of the portrait and I realise as I check out the General Majors and their smart, smart clothing that taking off my three quarter length jeans and keds was a good idea after all.
There were more photographs with Commandants and such, all centering around the portrait, and then comes the group photograph of everyone and I slip across to the other side of the room but R* booms again.
"Ellen come over here and join us for Gods sake"
So I do.............
Click. Click. Click and it's all over.
I am talking to the Major Generals wife when he comes over to us and tells me how he used to get paint on his pyjamas and suits and shirts when he painted years ago and he asks his wife if he's telling a lie.
No he isn't she confirms and that's when I spot R* heading out of the room.
I make my excuses to the General Major and his wife and follow R* out.
"I've got to go R*. Have a wonderful evening." I say looking at my watch. 3.23pm
"Are you sure you won't go with us to the Hotel for the meal?" he asks
"Thanks but I can't."
I slip out the door and walk back into my house at 3.25pm.
And put back on my three quarter length jeans and keds and join the kids.
I wonder if I can pull this off again when I double schedule except for longer next time. Like say a week?