The evening of our trip to the Vanilla Alternative was filled with excitement, apprehension, and a bit of a sense of disbelief. Were we really doing this? The list of unanswerable questions seemed endless. What to wear, what were the unwritten social rules? Would we make some awkward faux pas?
Courtney, of course, had a little black dress and heels that seemed to us like a good idea for most any occasion and she picked me out a pair of dark grey slacks and a textured red and black collard shirt. We thought that maybe since this was a club, then night club wear would work. But, when was the last time we’d been to a night club? Holy crap, were we too old for this?
The place opened at 8 pm and stayed open until 2 am. That seemed like plenty of time to make fools of ourselves. We figured that arriving on time would give us a chance to avoid a crush of folks arriving at the typical British weekend party starting time of 9 pm (lots of pubs open at 6 and folks go there first for a pint or two and then head to social events.) So, with all that in mind we hit the road at just about 7:30 pm for the drive with Courtney still working the last few bits of makeup.
The ride was quiet for the first bit as we each internalized just what we were doing. We’d left the teenage kids at home with a frozen lasagna and brushed off our friends’ questions about joining everyone at the pub by saying we were going to the cinema. Then, of course, we had to come up with which film we were going to see and make an excuse that we were leaving early for dinner and wouldn’t be able to take anyone else along! Getting out the door without explanation in a small village is nearly impossible!
The last half of the drive turned to discussion. We really had no idea of what went on at one of these places and were really just curious to see. We both agreed that actually “doing” anything was not part of the plan. That decided, we felt a lot more comfortable. We also realized we really needed to keep our communications much clearer and more open to avoid any confusion. We drove right past the place and had to turn around at the next junction. Still chatting away, we nearly missed it again.
We pulled into the parking lot off the A1M and were a bit surprised that there were already a quite a few cars. Most of the cars were newer and on the pricier end of the scale. For some reason that made us feel better, guess we had been worried about walking into a dive full of truckers and tradesman just getting off work and still in paint splattered overalls. Not that we have anything against tradesmen… just a bad cliché.
The car turned silent as the engine spooled down. Courtney blew out a breath and looked at me, she looked immaculate. In fact, this mid 40’s mother of multiple kids, was more than immaculate… she was freaking hot! What were we doing? Courtney was all I’ve ever wanted, and our lives were full and rich. Why tempt fate? Too late for second thoughts, she opened her car door and we were off on another adventure.