Monday, 23 July 2007

Does My Bum Look Big in This?

We have these little rituals. I think it’s what happens when you’ve been married to the same person for 150 years. For a week or two before any important social event, I start whingeing that I’ve got nothing to wear. I go on a crash diet in order to lose those vital 2lbs which will, of course, make absolutely no difference to anything except what’s going on in my head. I have my hair done (“spikey like Lulu’s please”). I might have a manicure and a pedicure. I might even have a rejuvenating facial (always the optimist, me). My better half calls this procedure “putting up the scaffolding” prior to the immense rebuilding task ahead of me. Believe me, Windsor Castle was restored with less attention to detail.

Then, having gone as far as I can to whip the undisciplined bag of tripe that is my body into shape with Magic Knickers (from neck to ankle), found a suitable outfit from the sad array of rags I laughingly call my wardrobe (or more likely bought something new), buffed, plucked, polished and preened – then, and only then am I ready to face the world. Or at least give the husband a quick reminder of what he first liked about me all those aeons ago.

"What do you think?” says I, striking a pose.

“You look bloody fantastic” says he, not looking up from the computer screen.

“No, really. Do I look OK?”

“Yes, you look really, really lovely.” This time he has a proper look.

“You sure?”

“I’ve told you once already, you look absolutely great.”

Hmm…….is he saying that to shut me up, or is he taking the ….?

“You’re not just saying that are you, to shut me up or something?”


“You’re not just…..”

“No, of course not, you look OK”

“Only OK?”

“Oh, for f*ck’s sake, I already said you look great, what more can I say?

I pull a face at him “No need to be arsey.”

So this time off we go, me done up like a dog’s dinner and husband looking the dog’s bollocks, suave and handsome in something he pulled out of his wardrobe in about five seconds flat after his rigorous grooming routine which lasted, oh, maybe all of three minutes. Shower, shave, shampoo. But somehow he looks brilliant (Bryan Ferry eat your heart out) and I feel OK(ish).

In the car I have one last go at finding the confidence I need to face the evening ahead.

“You sure I don’t look fat in this?”

This time, he just looks at me and says absolutely nothing. I know that look so well – it’s the “you are seriously pissing me off now” look. Best not mention it again.

So anyway, in we go, hello, hello, hi, how are you? Mwah, mwah (I HATE that bloody double kissing, so boring and time consuming when all you really want is a gin). Polite conversation. Check out the room. Look for anyone I know. Aha, with relief I spot my close friend Julie. Over she comes.

“Hi Julie, you look lovely” I gush.

“So do you honey, but what’s with the shoes? Brave choice if I may say so.”

I look down. I am wearing my lime green gardening flip-flops instead of the sparkly Kurt Geigers I’d bought especially to go with my outfit. Not wanting to mess them up, I’d quickly slipped them off and put on the flip-flops to fetch a bit of washing in from the garden just before we left and then had obviously forgotten to change back again. The lime green flip-flops came free with a magazine last year and cost nothing. The KGs came from Selfridges last week and cost more than my first car. They are currently on the mat in the kichen. Bugger.

I glare over at my husband. He is talking to a stick-thin blonde woman with fabulous shoes. The bitch.

He smiles at me encouragingly, totally oblivious to the full horror of it all.

I smile back through gritted teeth with a look which says “boy oh boy, you are SO in trouble when we get home.”

It is, of course, all his fault.


The Grocer said...

I am disappointed you could have at least posted an image of your feet.
Those conversations must run in a thousand households at any given moment, perhaps they are so frequent as to be passed down genetically these days.

Gena said...

Oh but flip flops can look very boho chic? I sympathise, really I do, I once went to work with two odd shoes on in my haste! well somebody had to keep the troops amused!

Swearing Mother said...

Hi Grocer,

I too am disappointed because I don't know how to post an image of anything, let alone my feet, and as none of my family know about my blogging secret I can't ask anyone either. Boo hiss. I am suffering from blog-jealousy as everyone's is more intesting than mine :(

Hi Gena - I have drawn comfort from your boho comment and thank you for it. Maybe some people thought it was a style statement - I can but hope.

laurie said...

a) that dialogue rings so damn true. doug simply won't answer any of my "how do i look?" questions anymore. he just says, "i'm not going to get sucked into that" and keeps reading his book.

b) green flipflops are very very hot here. though i can imagine your chagrin.

c) my favorite line in your post: (I HATE that bloody double kissing, so boring and time consuming when all you really want is a gin).

d) if you want to email me (email on my profile) i can tell you step-by-step how to upload a picture. it's well worth it.

e) i love your blog!

Rainbow said...

Absolutely - men always automatically answer 'You look great, darling' even when they haven't looked up from the newspaper.

And why is it that a man can look great after 5 minutes preparation, just by putting a suit on? Or that men with grey hair look even dishier, while us women just look older? Definitely not fair!

ginger witch said...

It all sounds so achingly familiar but much funnier obviously than at the time!! My husband made me cry the other day jokingly saying, yes, i did look a bit fat! I blamed my hormones for being crap and crying!

beachfreak said...

Blog jealousy? You really shouldn't worry, it looks great.

And I really mean that, I'm looking up from my book and everything.

Swearing Mother said...

Hi Laurie, Thanks SO much for the offer. I've been making a bit of progress on the technical stuff but will be in touch if I get stuck. Thanks very much for your lovely comments.

Hi Beachfreak,

Looking up from your book! I am honoured! Many thanks.

Hi Rainbow,

It's just not fair, I agree!

Hi Ginger Witch,

Using the F word, even in a joke, is just not funny when applied to a hormonal new wife.

Best wishes.

Flowerpot said...

Of course it's his fault - it always is. We don't have that problem as Going Out here means the pub, or meal with friends, neither of which means Dressing Up. Just as well given that Himself has never owned a suit!

Swearing Mother said...

Sounds fantastic to me Flowerpot! My two favourite things, going to the pub and eating at other people's houses.

Motheratlarge said...

I stumbled on your lovely blog through WITN! What a delight. I'm so glad you wrote about shoe trauma. I can really identify with this. When I went to a particularly scary mums and babies group last year I was so freaked out by this tribe of posh girl yummy mummies I tried to leave without any shoes on at at all, and had to creep back in to retrieve my footwear, feeling rather mortified. And the time, some years ago now, I discovered my ex-boyfriend was seeing someone new I left the house in a pair of someone else's slippers. Bah - it's enough to make me stay at home for good.

Swearing Mother said...

Motheratlarge, I know just how you feel about posh yummy mummies. I tried to be one once but it was too much of a strain.

Thanks so much for visiting.

Pig in the Kitchen said...

nooooo, i was with you every getting ready step of the way! I think I might have had to call a taxi or insist my husband drive me home.
I felt your pain swearingmother!

Swearing Mother said...

PITK: It was close, I can tell you. Needed several gins to dull the pain!