Lady of the (early) night

A couple of weeks ago, I went out - into the valley with grown-ups on a Saturday night. There are many interesting parts to that sentence, but something even more interesting happened on the way home.

It had been 38 degrees that day, and it wasn’t much cooler that night. I’d had fun with a bunch of excellent ladies, but I was ready to go by the time the clock ticked over to eleven pm, when everybody else was just getting started. I’d drunk numerous gin and tonics (mainly to savour the ice) and danced and sweated with strangers and pretended I was waiting for someone so I could stand under a fan in the thoroughfare of a club. The 149 bobby pins holding together my wilting hairdo had started to feel like tiny javelins needling my scalp. I’d done a lot of people-watching, like a tourist in a foreign country. I saw lots of young women out together and hoped they were looking after each other.

I felt fat and old and vaguely scandalised by the YOUTHS, but in a comfortable way, relieved that I could go home when I wanted to, that peer pressure can only work if you care what your peers think of you, that I knew my body was just the skin for the me and not an exhibit, and I still had tea in the pot that I could microwave when I got home (don’t judge me, it began when I had a baby and kept odd hours and was desperate for tea in all of them, we all make mistakes, leave me alone).

A nice lady called Tania picked me up from where I stood on a street corner amongst the hordes of wobbly, heat-struck revellers, and took me home. Her car smelt nice and it was air-conditioned and she drove while I rearranged my hair into its customary mum-bun (please see earlier post about not judging me for that either), and rolled my Spanx down to let my internal organs disentangle themselves and talked about my child, ad nauseum.

Tania was driving her own car, and we did not know each other. It was not an Uber, but a Shebah. Shebah is Uber but with female drivers, for female passengers. It makes so much sense that it seems crazy that it hasn’t been around forever. Tania was thoroughly pleasant, and told me about young female passengers she had driven who had Shebah accounts paid for by their parents. That way, they knew their daughters would always be able to get home safely. I told her that the equivalent when I was at school was the rich kids who had their own cars with fuel cards with accounts that their parents paid. We agreed that Shebah was better in every way.

When I got home and drank my radiated tea, I resolved that I had to tell every female I knew about Shebah, so that is what I’m doing. Share as you see fit.

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