Best of Elf
Dad and me were invited back for dinner so instead of finding a local restaurant we piled into the bus and Dad headed us via a slightly more scenic route back towards Wuppertal and beyond the extra mile or two to Mettmann.
"Dinner will be about an hour," Angela told us, "take a walk or something."
"'Kay mum," Ron replied, "come on Drew, I need to change."
So here's the thing, me boy, she girl, well officially like and she just drags me up to her bedroom.
"Ron, I'll wait downstairs."
"Whatever for, I thought you might want to put something other than that manky tracksuit on."
"It's not manky!"
"You know what I mean. I've got a nice dress you can borrow."
"Ro-nn." I moaned as she peeled off in front of me.
"What? Come on shake a leg,” she admonished.
I'm never gonna win this one, it's like having Mad around again, at least I've got clean undies on.
"Ooh nice BH*."
"It's only a sports bra."
"Well it's still nice, here you go." She passed a diaphanous cloud of material to me.
Oh boy, not only is it a dress but it's a sexy dress, not your LBD but something much worse, a truly filmy bit of romantic gauze.
"I can't go out in this!"
"It's, it's er a bit girly."
"And your point?"
I've lost these arguments before and well my chief objection really isn't the garment itself but how I look when I'm wearing it.
"Whatever." I sighed.
I ended up borrowing some sandals as well, the frock just wasn't right with trainers - so I'm told. I ended up looking like one of those Pre-Raphaelite girls; my hair was out of its usual ponytail and tied back with a strip of thin ribbon, boy, talk about feeling a lemon. For her part, Ron had gone for a long floaty skirt and silk like camisole thing, I guess we both looked quite erm girly.
"So erm, where are we going?"
It's one thing to end up in a dress, quite another to go trawling the streets dressed thus.
We walked along to the Aldi ä at the end of the road; I waited outside while Ron fetched some frozen milk.
"Here you go."
"Cheers." I allowed taking the Cornetto from her.
"You brush up well you know."
"Um?" I got out around the ice cream.
"When you dress properly like."
"I always dress properly."
"You know what I mean."
"Nope." I was concentrating on stopping the melting ice cream dripping.
"I just wondered, well what you'd look like when you're in like full girl mode, you've always been sort of tomboyish when I've seen you in skirts an' stuff before."
I knew it! She's as bad as my cousin!
"So this whole going for a walk thing was just a ploy?" I huffed.
"Kinda, sorry Drew, it's just that I couldn't actually visualise you all girly."
"When I'm in girl mode, it's Gaby."
"I guess I need to get used to that then."
I shrugged, "'spose. This isn't me you know, the hair and dresses, in girl terms I usually dress pretty butch."
"Dr- Gaby you just cannot do butch!"
"Wotcha mean? Course I can."
"Gaby Bond, they could dress you in a sack and drop you into Miss World and you'd win. Its just not gonna happen."
Pull the punches why don't you?
We walked on in silence, the need to finish the ice cream before it melted a high priority.
“Are you like alright with this, you know, me going like full time girl?”
“I'm here aren't I? You're still the same person right? As I see it nothing's really changed, oh I know that like they'll be changing your plumbing a bit but otherwise…” she shrugged and continued licking her Eis.
“Thanks , Ron, I'm worried though.”
“Worried? Who wouldn't be, I'd be peeing myself, anything in particular?”
“Racing, I don't know whether I'll be able to compete at this level next year.”
“Well hormones and stuff?”
“Now look here Gaby Bond, being a girl doesn't stop you racing hard, I've been a girl longer than you and I'm doing okay and your Mum, well she makes some of the blokes look like fairies ! I can't believe what I'm hearing.”
That's told me and what she says is true but it still frightens me.
“Hi Anne Marie, where's Drew , Roni?” Angela enquired.
Ron cleared her throat, “Mum!”
“Oh sorry Drew, I thought you were Anne Marie.” She apologised with a bit of a blush.
“Who's Anne Marie?”
“A friend from college, she looks a bit like you I guess.” Roni noted.
“Well now that you two are back you can set the table.”
I could tell that Dad was a bit distracted; no make that a lot distracted by my appearance and to be honest so was I. It's not a look, a style I would've picked myself but to be honest I quite like it, maybe not for me of course, it's not that practical after all. Even so I felt a bit sad to change back into my shorts and trackie top to go home when we left the Grönberg's pad just after six.
“You alright , kiddo?” Dad asked as we headed down from the Three towards Köln.
“I guess so,” I paused, “Roni let me win today you know.”
“I'm not blind, Drew, she did what she thought was right.”
“But she could've easily won it herself, she didn't have to drag me to the line.”
“True enough, it's a lesson worth remembering kiddo,” Dad noted, “she rode for the team, if she'd gone it alone she might have won but by taking you up she doubled the chances of an Apollinaris win.”
“But why'd she let me take the win?”
“You'd have to ask her that but I'm guessing she thought you deserved it after being out front on your own for so long. I'd take it in the spirit it was given, one day you'll get the chance to return the favour.”
I heard what he said and I guess he's right – it doesn't make it sit any better with me but I guess another win on my palmares won't go amiss.
‘Morgen, Kinder, wird's was geben,
Morgen werden wir uns freu'n!
Welch ein Jubel, welch ein Leben
Wird in unsrem Hause sein!
Einmal werden wir noch wach,
Heisa, dann ist Weinachtstag!
Wie wird dann die Stube glänzen
Von der großen Lichterzahl!
Schöner als bei frohen Tänzen
Ein geputzter Kronensaal!
Wißt ihr noch, wie voriges Jahr
Es am heil'gen Abend war?
Wißt ihr noch die Spiele, Bücher
Und das schöne Schaukelpferd,
Schöne Kleider, woll'ne Tücher,
Morgen strahlt der Kerzen Schein,
Morgen werden wir uns freu'n!'
We finished our rendition of ‘ Morgen, Kinder wird's was geben'** with a flourish.
“Gott, I hate my voice.” Anna moaned.
“Well compared to Gabs, we all sound like Bavarians!” Steff giggled.
“Hey, I don't even know the words.” I observed.
“Nobody knows the words Gab, that's why we have the carol books.” Brid mentioned.
This was the last of the carols in our repertoire, and considering none of us are exactly choristers I didn't think it had gone too badly .
“Are we all set then?”
“Everything on the list is covered.” Con told us.
“Great,” I enthused, “I just hope it's not too hot on Saturday.”
“That's what we forgot!” Nena blurted.
“What? We've got everything on the list.” I pointed out.
“Yeah but what're we gonna wear?”
“She's right Drew,” Pia put in, “we can't exactly wear shorts and sandals can we?”
We can't be perfect all the time.
“So what do we wear?” Steff asked.
“We should wear something Christmassy.” Con suggested.
“Some help you are.” I blew her a raspberry.
“We should wear hats and coats for the singing at least.” Anna opined.
“Uh huh.” I agreed, “Maybe we could wear jumpers and ear muffs or something.”
“What about those antlers from last Christmas?” Brid suggested.
Suddenly all eyes turned my way.
“No way! Ut uh not again.”
“Not even for Claudia?” Pia was pushing the right buttons.
“Why can't someone else wear it?”
“Because the costume's too small for everyone else.” Anna pointed out.
“But guys!” I complained.
“Man up Gab, it's only for a couple of hours tops.” Con insisted.
Man up, I wish!
“Hey we could get Dad to be Santa.” Pia giggled.
“We could have a grotto, Gab could be Santa's little helper.” Brid enthused.
“Oh go on Gab.” Steff persisted.
I've hardly got a choice have I?
“Alright then I'll wear it.”
That's my street cred gone again, roll up, roll up, see Drew Bond dressed as a Christmas Elf!
* BH – shorthand for Bustenhalter which is of course a bra!
** Translates as Tomorrow, children, just wait! English lyrics can be found at http://german.about.com/library/blmus_morgenkinder.htm
to be continued....
© Maddy Bell 19.11.2011