Well, technically, it was this morning. I was giving a small dinner party (that means not many guests, not a tiny plate with a single baked bean on it) for three middle-aged women. Monkey Woman took exception to this.
How riotous can four Women of a Certain Age be?
Mind you, a few years ago a group of us took a friend to Barcelona for the weekend as a surprise 40th birthday celebration. (It was a surprise because she thought she was only 27). There were 12 women in total, and we encountered all sorts of problems trying to book a hotel that would accommodate the entire party. It wasn't a lack of available rooms, it was a prejudice against a giggle (rather than a gaggle) of 40-something females.
Eventually we found an establishment that agreed to take the risk, and oh! What a total liability we were! We visited the tourist sites, we spent money in the local shops, we ate out in nice restaurants. We watched beautiful young people dance the tango on Las Ramblas, we took the tourist bus, we said por favor and gracias a few hundred times a day. Shame on us.
Anyway, back to Monkey Woman. I think she was trying to get over to me that it's acceptable behaviour around these parts to watch VERY VERY LOUD sci-fi movies at one in the morning, with attendant SCREECHING FX and EARDRUM-BURSTING DIALOGUE, but it's a complete non-non to chat to your (three) guests - unaccompanied by any background music or one teensy little plasma blaster - in your own living room, which doesn't even share any walls at all with her cage. Hmm. Interesting concept. Must ponder on that one.
Someone I forgot to mention the other day, in my post about the neighbours, is the woman in the apartment immediately above mine. She appears to be President of the Nice Women's Shouting and Stamping Society, in which role she is required, once a month, to host an evening during which assorted females all shout over each other for two hours before suddenly breaking into song (it's a bit like the Sound of Music, you're thinking), whilst accompanying themselves with out-of-time clapping and heavy clog stamping (it IS the Sound of Music!) rounded off with loud cheers in self-appreciation of their fine achievements. This gaggle (and it IS a gaggle) generally dissipates around two in the morning (So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, piss off...) at which point the host's 8 year-old daughter runs around the un-carpeted floors in her mother's stilettos, whilst her mother is filling and running the dishwasher. On the longest cycle.
Meanwhile, in the street it's carnival time. Our apartment block is situated on a crossroads. Many of the tourist guides to the French Riviera have somehow forgotten to include information about the nightly competition to see whose in-car stereo can wake up the most people whilst sitting at traffic lights at 4.00am.
Surprisingly, I don't see Monkey Woman taking issue either with Maria and the Von Trapps upstairs, or with these (entirely male) motoring enthusiasts.
Anyway, last night I endeavoured to interest her in the notion that turning the volume up to OVERLOAD when watching Demolition Man meets Robocop in your bedroom at one in the morning, when the person next door is sleeping, is perhaps not the best way to endear yourself to les voisins. I then thanked her for her interest and wished her a safe passage back to her own front door. Only being a writer, I managed to condense all of these sentiments into just two succinct words.
See what I told you? A sense of entitlement. Don't-you-know-who-I-am mentality. And an appalling taste in movies.
(And yes, MW, your bum does look big in that tasteless dressing gown.)