A Friend in Need . . . .

It is one of those beautiful early spring evenings that makes you glad to be alive, when the world feels both beautiful and full of possibility.

A slight sea breeze sets my hair dancing freely as my close friend Sarah and I walk downhill toward one of the best hotels around.

Tonight I’m wearing my well-worn navy tight fitting jeans.

I love these jeans.

Wearing them makes me feel rather slinky and rather hot, actually.

It is probably a bit sad to feel hot in tight fitting jeans.  However I don’t often feel hot, so fuck it, I’m just going to enjoy the feeling.

Sarah and I are both pumped for a huge night out.  Neither of us has anything in particular to celebrate, we are just celebrating the fact that we are alive and we can do whatever the hell we feel like doing.  Tonight our stars are aligned and we are both out to paint the town red.

There is a happy vibe at the hotel, and I’m also instantly in a good mood when I notice the large variety of freshly showered and muscled gentlemen present.

We head direct to the bar and order ourselves drinks.  Sarah orders a white wine and I order beer, having never been able to understand why people actually pay to drink something that tastes like its only a couple of days off vinegar.

Sarah is a steadfast and generous friend.  She is also a five foot two gorgeous and petite package, but is one of those people who doesn’t know exactly how gorgeous or petite she is.  Sarah is also equipped with an unexpectedly fowl mouth and a heart the size of Phar Lap, two qualities I love.  Personally I’m six foot and not especially attractive, however I feel rich beyond measure with the people that surround me so I don’t give a shit about this.  Sarah and I get along like a house on fire.

The beer tastes as marvellous as it normally does on a sunny spring evening.  Sarah and I always have plenty to talk and laugh about, and we also enjoy the abundance of male scenery as we drink.

Sarah is knocking back the drinks fairly quickly.  Her ability to handle copious amounts of alcohol is however well known, so I’m not concerned.  My capacity in this area is more limited, and as a result I always eat before I go out (actually I also just love food, so I like to eat whenever there’s an opportunity anyway).  However I do have to pace my drinks a little so that I can last the whole night.

Sarah asks me about a bloke I ended up having drinks with after rowing training the previous week.  This is absolutely huge news for me as my romantic life has been in palliative care for a number of years.  I can’t even remember the last time I had sex, or who I had it with for that matter.

Anyway the last time I went to rowing training a gentleman who turned out to be a member of my rowing club stayed back to have a few drinks with the female rowing team at the shed after he finished his own training.  We all enjoyed some light hearted conversation and I was completely satisfied with this as the end of a good day.  However somehow or other suddenly all my fellow rowers had disappeared and the gentleman (whose name is Dave) was still sitting there talking to me.  I was totally weirded out by the whole situation, as Dave happens to be rather gorgeous looking and I was also really enjoying  our conversation.  The fact that he was wearing nothing but a rowing singlet on his top half was an added bonus.

Anyway eventually I did head off home after one of the most unexpectedly amazing evenings of my life.  Dave even asked for my phone number and I gave it to him.  I hoped that my romantic life might at least be moved out of palliative care and back to the general ward.

Sarah loved hearing my story and is wonderfully positive about Dave, on the proviso that he doesn’t front up in singlets with under arm hair sprouting out everywhere all the time.  I tell her that his under arm hair doesn’t sprout out anyway, not that he would wear singlets on inappropriate occasions anyway.

Sarah is absolutely on fire tonight, so its not long before she has got us talking to a group of lawyers who are in for an extended after work drinks session.  None of the lawyers are my cup of tea, and I’m not theirs either.  However they are excellent company and we all enjoy some hysterically funny conversations.

After about an hour I notice that Sarah has slipped off to the ladies toilets.  I’m still having an entertaining conversation with a couple of lawyers, however notice that she seems to be taking longer than normal to go for a quick wiz on a big night out.  So after a while I excuse myself and head in to see how she is.

I find Sarah in the last toilet cubicle.  I am relieved to find that she is okay, however she is now sitting on the toilet seat with her head leaning on the wall of the hotel in an exhausted sleep.  She doesn’t look comfortable at all but she will not be awoken.  Her new jeans sit lonely around her ankles, as while she did manage to pull her underwear up after using the ablutions, she didn’t quite get to her jeans.

I decide to squat down to try and rouse her back into the current moment.  As I flex my knees in the limited space around the toilet bowl I hear an unavoidably swift and harsh tearing motion very close by.  I quickly realise that there is no getting away from it, the tearing motion has happened on my person.

I have split my pants.

Perhaps my well-worn tight fitting jeans were a little too tight and a little too well-worn.

My mortification is instantly displaced by swearing in disappointment because my beloved trusty jeans have let me down so terribly.

I then decide to count my blessings, and quickly feel relieved that at least this has happened while I was in the ladies toilets.

Unfortunately, my blessings run out all too soon.

I realise that it is summer and I don’t have a jacket that I can either wear or tie around my waste to conceal the split.  On top of this, I am wearing hot pink undies with white glow in the dark cookie monster faces all over them.

As I stand there in the toilet cubicle looking at my beautiful yet completely trashed friend and thinking about what to do next I wonder how such a great night could’ve turned into such a complete nightmare.

If I hadn’t already sobered up when it became obvious that I had a friend in need, I well and truly have now that I have split my trousers at a relatively classy hotel.

Sarah utters a few random words from her mooshed up face that is still moulded against the hotel wall.  I am encouraged by this, because if she’s starting to talk again it might be easier to man handle her out of the establishment and get both of us home.

I decide that at this point it might be a good idea to get Sarah a glass of water, as it might help expedite the sobering up process.  Even if she won’t drink it, fetching the water gives me something positive to do, and at this point doing anything is better than doing nothing.

Luckily the lights in the hotel were dimmed well before I headed off to the toilets in search of my friend, so I’m hoping I can duck quickly to the bar without too many comments about my cookie monster underwear.  If I clench my buttocks I might be able to counteract the glow in the dark aspect too.

I furtively open the Ladies Toilets door and after establishing the quickest route to the bar, I stride directly there.  Luckily I make it without anyone commenting on my cookie monsters, the rest of the crowd mercifully tied up in their own conversations.  There is a convenient space in between two groups, which I quickly claim as my own while trying to stand side on so that the gaping chasm that should be covered by my jeans is not on show.

While I wait for the bar maid I notice that the back side of a bloke in a group close to the dance floor looks a lot like Dave, and even his hair is cut the same way.  Must be just a strong resemblance I decide, and if we catch up again I’ll be able to tell him that I thought I saw him at a hotel the other night.

Predictably the crowd is now at its peak and it takes an eternity for the bar maid to serve me.  It takes that long that the gentleman with his back to me at the edge of the dance floor breaks from his group to buy a round of drinks.  I glance his way and immediately flatten my back against the bar as it is not a Dave look a like, it is in fact the real Dave and he is headed straight toward me.

My head is instantly pumping, so much so I can hear the blood pumping in the veins around my ears.  Unaware, Dave gives me a huge smile as soon as he sees me, saying how good it is to seem me.  He adds that he doesn’t normally come to this Pub but he’s on a buck’s night with some mates from work.  I try to remain relaxed as I reply that it’s great to see him, making room for him at the bar at the same time.  I no longer feel slinky or attractive in any way, and instead feel like a complete fraud.  As a result I find conversation much harder work than I normally do.  Luckily the bar maid swoops at this point, and I successfully secure a large water.  I immediately explain to him that I have a friend who is a little under the weather in the ladies toilets.  He is concerned, and tells me to come and grab him if I need a hand to get her home.  He then tells me that he really enjoyed our night the other week.  While he talks I notice that part of one of my breasts has popped out of my bra, probably due to my awkward side on position at the bar.  I try to loosen my shoulders to help it back in, however this is all to no avail.  It’s quickly obvious that I’m going to have to actually grab the cup and force the re-adjustment.  Luckily he’s passed that juvenile age that is characterised by staring at women’s breasts at the pub, and even more luckily he misses my quick grab while he pays for his drinks.  At this point I just decide that I better get away from him quickly, before I add any further faux paus to a wild and loose breast situation and split pants.

So before there is any chance of being drawn anywhere near to his friends I grab the glass of water and explain that I better head back to Sarah in her hour of need.  I tell him to enjoy his night and give him an enthusiastic great to see you as I shuffle awkwardly backwards away from him in the direction of the Ladies Toilets, trying to keep my buttocks clenched as I go.  He stands there with his group of pints at the bar as I complete my ridiculous reverse shuffle, watching me as I back all the way into the Ladies Toilet door.  I think this is because he wasn’t sure how to react to my odd exit, and decided that if someone performs such routine you are supposed to give them the benefit of watching the entire show.

When I am finally through the door of the toilets I have nearly coooked my engine, I’m that hot with embarrassment.  The stuffy toilets feel like they are heated at 90 degrees.  “Fuuuuuuuuccccckkkkk” I moan out loud to myself, “why here?”

Luckily my friend in the toilet starts making smacking noises with her mouth and I am drawn back into emergency mode again.  I ask her how she is and she responds with some other random words, but mercifully she drinks a few gulps of water.

I slide in next to the wall so that she is resting her head on me instead of the concrete wall and feed her occasional gulps of water as I listen to women pissing, laughing and drying their hands at the hand dryer.

I can’t believe how a night that started out so full of promise has finished with such complete disaster.

I doubt I’ll ever hear from him after my exceedingly odd farewell routine, and as a result it is highly unlikely that I’ll ever get the chance to explain that I actually had a split jeans emergency situation going on.

Apparently it turns out that all that looking hot business is totally all for nothing if your jeans are on the too well worn side of well worn.

While I feed Sarah more sips of water I silently pray that his buck’s night will take him safely away to some other establishment sooner rather than later.  There is no way that I’ll be able to man handle my drunk friend out of the hotel and manage to keep my back to the wall at all times as well.   I don’t mind anyone else’s comments on my cookie monsters, but I’d rather him not see this much of me so soon.

Luckily Sarah responds well to the water and after a while she is well enough to stand up and get her jeans back on.  I can then get my arm around her and we manage a rather off kilter shuffle together out of the toilet cubicle.

At the toilet door I brace myself for whatever pride I’m going to have to swallow to get my friend home.

To my immense relief I find that Dave and his mates have moved on to the next hotel.  After I realise this I quite happily laugh through a few cookie monster comments that are thrown my way in the process of getting my friend outside the hotel and then home again.

I’ve never forgotten this night, not a single detail of it.

Surprisingly Dave actually rang me too, so it turns out that sometimes the greatest of disasters aren’t that terrible after all.

All of the amazing photos included in this essay are taken from the awesome website pexels.com.

© Annemaree Jensen 2018