“A J.Lo, really?” I gasped, in amazement.
“Yes, but it’s too expensive. I’m just going to stick with the body lift!” said BF, explaining the procedure her cosmetic surgeon had in mind – her not-so-hushed tones causing the people on the table next to us to nearly choke on their tikka masala.
There was a very good reason why BF and I were so excited about her upcoming transformation, with or without a J.Lo butt. It would mark the end of a life-long journey for my friend, who, two years ago, underwent radical weight-loss surgery after battling obesity for as long as she could remember.
In the 48 months following her gastric bypass operation, BF more than halved in size. We called her the Incredible Shrinking Woman. She ate like a sparrow, and even came to Dubai to do all sorts of water activities that she would never have done before due to not wanting to be seen in a swimsuit.
While her weight loss has been nothing short of miraculous, the thing that’s been most wondrous to see is the way it’s ignited an interest in dating, something she didn’t have the confidence for when she was a larger lady. So, all of a sudden, in her 39th year, BF started seeing various men – it was like she was living her entire 20s, in the 12 months before turning 40.
This has all been quite illuminating, because when I had kids – and especially after moving into a compound in Dubai made up entirely of families – I became a fully paid-up member of the mummy mafia.
The advantages of membership include lovely DH, BB and LB, of course, a never-ending supply of neighbourhood playmates to distract the kids with and some great mummy friends to talk to while watching our off-spring play. I wouldn’t change a thing, but imagine my delight when I discovered I could re-live the thrill of dating via BF without actually being on the roller coaster myself.
Bloke1 came round to fix her computer a while ago and is still asking her out. Bloke 2 was in America so too far away. But it was Bloke 3 who stole her heart as they bonded over online Scrabble games. Until the despondent text message popped up on my phone.
“He’s dumped me,” it read, the let-down almost palpable.
It turned out he’d been to the dentist and the dental nurse had flirted with him, looked up his details on the computer and called him to ask him out (isn’t that unethical, not to mention rather forward, or am I really out of touch with this dating malarkey?)
We talked about kissing lots of frogs and BF drowned her sorrows – then made the most magnificent comeback.
“They say to get straight back on your horse,” she told me two days later. “I’ve got a date with a fireman on Friday.”
And now he’s Bloke number 4 and her new rough diamond (while Bloke 3, whose dental nurse proved to be no more than a fill-in, is back in touch wanting a rematch).
I’m so happy for her, I really am. She so deserves this. And I’ve also been reminded that, while things may feel a bit Desperate Housewives at times, I find the mummy mafia to be a far less bumpy ride.