Hello my name is Kate, and I attended an Ann Summers party.
We’ve just moved house this summer to a new build estate. Because literally everyone is new, there is a real sense of camaraderie and a building sense of community. We came to an afternoon street party the week before we moved in and the community facebook page is very active with everyone happy to help people moving into the estate. In general nearly everyone is very keen to make the effort to make friends. So when I was invited in passing by a woman who lives on the estate to her Ann Summers party I thought nothing of it. I’ve been to a couple before and honestly completely forgot about the invite altogether until my husband came back from Beg’s play date at our neighbour’s house and said “You off out tonight are you?” My automatic response was I can’t really be arsed but I’d had a funny day where for various and sundry reasons I was feeling like I didn’t really fit in anywhere and ultimately I decided it might be a good excuse to get to know the neighbours a bit better. A lot better it turned out but then I guess an Ann Summers party is quite far removed from tea and scones with the vicar.
I made it an excuse to put some make up on and wash my hair. Husband is always very accomodating on these occasions (probably happens twice annually) and takes over ‘entertaining the baby’ without asking where anything is for half an hour. Beg gets very excited being the very girly type of little girl that she is and always has been -the mere mention of lip gloss gets her attention- so Rich will distract her for as long as possible but then she will make her way upstairs for a good nosy at what I’m wearing. Asking me hugely philosophical questions that she doesn’t even realise the weight of like “but why do you wear eyeliner mummy?” which makes me want to scrub my face, stop shaving my legs and live in a hessian sack.
Anyway, all going well so far then suddenly a strange and faraway thought began to form in my mind…’*Should* I even be going to an Ann Summers party now that I’m a C-H-R-I-S-T-I-A-N?’ Dun dun duhhhh! First of all I knew this was a stupid question because 1. Should I be anything-anything now I’m a Christian is just a really religious and oppressive way to conduct myself that I don’t wholly agree with; change should come on a fundamental level for good reason not superficially because I feel I need to live up to a set of religious standards. 2. Ask me should I do anything and just know I am certainly going to do it. Especially if there is an insinuation that I shouldn’t. It’s just the way I’m wired. My best friend could tell you about the time she watched me scale a bridge on the outside ledge aged 10, over a road because someone said I shouldn’t. Not big or clever but did she know I was gonna do it? Yeah she did.
So armed with my bottle of prosecco I went and called for my neighbour and another neighbour came and called for her straight after and we three merrily set off through the estate each carrying our bottle of plonk. The party was well underway when we got there and as is always the case with these things, the atmosphere got more and more relaxed as time went on. I really belly laughed a lot at some of the things that were said (what happens at an Ann Summers party stays at an Ann Summers party I’m afraid) and had a really nice time. It was a bunch of women letting loose at the end of the week, having a giggle, sharing snippets of our lives, and enjoying it. Also we all only bought nice underwear. Honest. 😉