The Jumpsuit of Panic and Dismay

I’m at the airport writing this. And am officially a visitor as I just did the souq then airport drop off trip. I’m full of shish tawook and fattoush and I’ve got henna peeling off my arm every time I take my rucksack on and off. The fine hairs on my arm are loving it.
I’ve had an amazing holiday. It’s been like coming home. Everything really is same same but different. I have caught up with friends and enjoyed the sunshine and delighted in the crazy driving. The ‘texting or just being a generally rubbish driver’ question when a car is weaving between lanes remains a firm favourite car game.

Got lost in the souq, ate Cheesecake Factory for the first time. Trip round IKEA (IKEA! Wedding!) Got a friend ‘lost’ by sending them to the wrong hotel for brunch, ‘well when I realised, I laughed all the way to the Emir’s Palace!’ Filing that under phrases you just don’t expect to hear.
On that subject, had a lovely brunch at Crowne Plaza (the West Bay one, obviously, don’t know why anyone would go anywhere else…)
However. Did have a mishap in the bathrooms. We’ve all been there, don’t tell me you haven’t. You’ve tried on that top/dress/’inspirational’ pair of jeans from Primark or Dottie P’s – and you suddenly realise, well, this is the outfit I’m going to die in. Or should I say die half in, half out of. Because it’s never coming off. You can’t get out of it properly, and you’re struggling to get back in it too. Honestly, I’ve never been so glad to be sober or it would have been even more of conundrum.
I managed to squeeze halfway out of it before my predicament became apparent. I was so focused on the task at hand, I was suddenly surprised to find I’d only succeeded in pinning my arms to my sides. Like a kid pretending to be a penguin. A penguin that really needs a wee.
So, of course, I had to do *the stop*. That very specific stop you do in this situation ladies. I’m saying ladies because I just don’t think men get themselves into the same kind of contraptions situations. The one where you have to take a breath and quell the rising panic. Because getting hot and sweaty is in no way going to help you now. Just calm down, remind yourself you will survive and you probably won’t actually have to waddle out into the restaurant to get someone to help prise you out of your humiliation. Probably.
So I wriggled back into the outfit, or jumpsuit of panic and dismay as I’m now referring to it in my mind. Used the trusty lean back and jump to get my shoulder back in. Then started again.
One shoulder out, drag the sleeve down and get it as far as mid bicep. It’s gone tight across the front but that’s ok, you’ve got this. Roll the shoulder forward (partially dislocate if needs be), bend the elbow, keeping the hand close to your side chicken wing style. Easy now. Breathe out as much as you can to give your ribs some room and slowly, slowly, inch the arm up. Do the lean forward and wiggle, and with a weird crack from your wrist you’re free! Kind of. Use that free arm that you never fully appreciated until right now to wrench the other sleeve down. Stand in victorious satisfaction with your beautiful outfit rolled round your waist, taking deep breaths and wondering how you ever took your freedom for granted.

Remember you do actually need a wee.
Anyway, I’ve totally digressed. I’ve just said goodbye to my lovely tolerant friend – who’s it’s taken this long of our friendship to realise she needs to doctor the leaving time she tells me so I’ll actually be ready – and I’m a bit sad. It will now be next Summer at least before I see her again. We will talk and Skype and send memes, but there has been something brilliant about a week of pretty uninterrupted time to catch up and relax. Not cramming news into 24-48 hour stop overs. Real life hugs. I appreciate the friends I have here even more than I did, and I’m glad it still feels like home. Hold your loved ones close, even when they’re far way.
Enough now, got a plane to catch.

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