“On that note, I’m going to bed.”
The publishing director, editor-in-chief, and the freelance journalist looked at me through their Baileys and brandy haze, sweetly oblivious that they had actually witnessed a small miracle.
For I had uttered the three mortal words, “No thank you!” when asked if I would like another drink and I was not the very last person stumbling to bed.
I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.
I finally had will power!
At last my voice had formed no thank you sounds. And I was not wobbling from the bar in an undignified fashion, leaving behind a trail of lost or broken bag/purse/camera/mobile/keys.
So this is how it feels to be sensible, I thought smugly to myself, thinking about the hotel bed waiting for me with biscuits and bottled water.
I whistled a little tune as I pressed number 4 inside the lift, triumphant in the knowledge I still had my hotel key, I could remember where my room was situated, and I was not suffering a massive panic attack as I had only just noticed the time and worked out what little sleep I would be faced with.
Oh it felt good to breeze along the hotel corridors with a fairly clear head, realising the unfamiliar feeling was a full memory of the night’s events.
I could remember I’d eaten sea bass, followed by duck and vegetables, and an ice cream and banana dessert.
I could count on one hand how many drinks I had sipped not guzzled.
I could recall the comedian who had introduced the awards evening, the gags he’d told, and the nominations and categories the magazine industry had voted for.
I even remembered admiring the sparkly dresses worn by the ladies, and talking to the rep at our mailing house who was wearing a fetching kilt.
Yep, myself, my belongings, and my memory were in tact.
I was not cringing when I replayed a conversation, or a body action.
I was not full to the brim of dread for the next day, the sleepy, painful head.
I even praised myself for remembering to order breakfast room service and arrange to work from our swish London offices the day after, the offices which were an approximate 3 minute walk from the hotel.
I was glad I did not have another embarrassing story to add to my endless list. A list which had been partly exposed to the designer on the train journey and in the taxi ride to the function. Oh how we laughed as we swapped stories of disastrous award ceremonies and office parties. I admitted to him there was a time my colleague jumped towards me, expecting me to catch her, but I failed to and we both fell tumbling on the dance floor, arms and legs all over the place and causing quite a kafuffle. He confessed to being so tipsy one evening that every taxi which passed him refused to take him home and he had to walk the whole distance. I was nearly crippled with fear when I thought about this possibility, and prayed that I would never ever allow this to happen to myself.
I opened the door to my hotel room, smiling merrily, and not because of the Pinot Grigio, kicked off my shoes, and carefully removed my make up.
A girl could get used to this sensible life.
It had been a successful night.
Okay, so we didn’t win a single award, after being nominated for four.
But you can’t have everything in this life, can you.