Drugs, sex and roll ‘n’ roll – dinner party conversation

Posted on: 15 September 2010 by Susi Rogol

The dinner party conversation topics remain the same, it’s just that the drugs we talk about now are statins, we bemoan the lack of sex and debate whether we’ve left rock’n’roll behind or vice versa.

Dinner party conversation

“Have you seen her pupils?” whispered Sandra, nodding her head in the direction of Jane. Jane had once been a teacher. But it wasn’t those pupils that Sandra meant.

Jane had turned up late, looking pale, her hair less than sleek, her shirt more crumpled than is acceptable even for the very best linen. Her partner Derek, a retired army medic, arrived first. “The drugs are not doing their job,” he announced before she got there.

We were having dinner. A group of old friends. Well, apart from Jack’s thirty-something companion, the latest in a longish line. His wife of as many years had left him for a chap with ambitions to lead a life of self-sufficiency in a field in Spain.

Now at the mention of drugs – especially prescription ones – you have an instant audience.

There followed a discussion on statins: Can you eat whatever you want, pop a statin and be guaranteed a healthy cholesterol count? It moved on to sleeping pills: what’s better, a couple of tabs or a Scotch before bed? Then it was the value of an aspirin a day: should we all be doing it? Followed by once-a-week bone strengtheners: our local NHS hospital has a year’s waiting list for aspirin a day. And, of course, there was sympathy all round for Jane (at least from the women present), whose hot flush-combaters were failing to perform, leaving her miserable - and damp - with a rapidly-receding interest in sex and a constant headache that affected her eyes and necessitated liberal doses of Nurofen.

All this, accompanied by roasted red pepper salad, grilled salmon with wilted spinach, summer pudding, and Wagner (thank heavens for diminishing hearing).

As newly-weds some decades ago, our dinner party conversations covered who’d been smoking marijuana? Who had a supply of appetite depressants? Who had bedded whom of our single friends (and sometimes the married ones, too)? Who had been to what rock concert and would the t-shirts be worth something one day?

As babies arrived so did a whole new line in chat. Did a spot of brandy on the gums really ease teething troubles? Would ex-lax help shed the last 20lbs of baby-weight? Did Dave thingie really do it with the au pair? And grandparents – the ones who took over and babysat and burped (the babies) and read stories and, if you were truly lucky, did the washing and ironing for you – they were the rock that allowed life to roll on.

What has changed? Not a lot, really. Our drugs are on prescription (and free) rather than of choice (and expensive).

Other people’s sex lives still seem infinitely more interesting than our own. And as for music…. our children listen to the Stones and we don’t understand what they hear in it.

One thing, though. I’d love, just once, to indulge in the dinner party food of yesteryear. A helping of Chicken Kiev, deep fried and oozing with garlicky butter, followed by a big slice of Black Forest gateau. Bad for the body, yes, but does wonders for the soul. Especially when accompanied by footsie under the table and Cliff on the record player.

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