The Frumps


Enjoy this beautiful sunset in lieu of a photo of beautiful party-goers.

I’ve been hiding. Offline and quiet. Usually this is behaviour that signals a rapid change of direction, or a new revelation. But this time it’s been the tank has been empty.

Even when we had a party to head out to I still felt afflicted. By the Frumps.

I spent precisely fifteen minutes trying to get dressed for the party on Saturday with my Englishman impatiently twitching and twiddling his thumbs  on the couch. Fifteen minutes getting dressed, four days and five hours trying to figure out how to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.

No guesses which I am.

My first problem was that I have a limited wardrobe with most of my things still coming from England. By the time they arrive they’ll be retro fashion.

My second problem was that I appear to have gained enough weight to be easily seven months preggers. I’m not. I’m not Mary Mother of Jesus, this isn’t an immaculate conception. I’ve dived out of that particular gene pool.

My third problem was that I was overwhelmed with the Frumps, AND we were headed to a party that would be littered with beautiful young things, whose brief lives have not been troubled by the messy trouble of divorce or mental health problems or money problems or even the roller coaster ride that is shepherding your own teenagers through the tough terrain of life.

And, they had not one grey hair on their pretty little heads. (Let alone their chins!)

I delved into the depths of my dressing room cupboard and found a pair of work trousers, perfect for summer, not so much the ticket for an evening soiree on the shortest day of the year. Too bad. I snuck some tights on underneath and grabbed the el-cheapo Op shop special shoes. Then I frantically searched for a full body corset that would accentuate my waist and push up the  ‘girls’ who are succumbing to the lamentable forces of gravity.

Sadly, my full body corset was not available and there wasn’t time for liposuction. Damn.

I grabbed the silver Jasper Conran top that I’d snafffled in a sale at Debenhams about three years ago, and checked my appearance in the mirror.

Bugger! I did not look like Rachel Weiss. Maybe a short black bolero jacket would help? Black is a frump’s best friend. I still couldn’t see any difference for the better, so I forlornly wondered out into the lounge to see if my Englishman could shed any light on the dilemma.

“Jacket on, or not?”

He tried to hide his sheer exasperation. He tried.

I demonstrated with the aplomb of a prisoner pirouetting before the executioner – ‘head on or off?’

“I don’t know. They both look OK.”



Obviously I looked dreadful. Obviously I should immediately search my wardrobe for appropriate attire – a sack, a burqha..

But instead I picked up my bag and we left for the party. And try as I might in all the stream of consciousness chatter in my head during the forty minute drive I could not think of one uplifting, encouraging thing to say to myself. Not one.

Let alone any suggestions of what my Englishman could have said to me mid-the Frumps!

The party came and went and this morning my first telephone call was to reply to a recruiter who had left me a message on Friday about a role he thought I’d be perfect for. I was reluctant to call him back as the last time he suggested a role he also suggested that the work culture was too young for me. Obviously I’m on the scrap heap at 45! Sucker for punishment that I am I called him and hey, guess what he said..

‘…it’s a great’re a strong candidate..need to get your CV to them today….culture is very young… not really Mumsy…..’

It wasn’t a very long phone call.  Anglo-Saxon may have been uttered.

What do you tell yourself (or your partner) when they become similarly afflicted by the Frumps! Is it just a girl thing, or do blokes suffer too? 



'The Frumps' has 10 comments

  1. June 24, 2013 @ 2:16 am uniquenique01

    I keep glorious luxurious well fitting underwear for just such occasions – no one else might see it but I know it is there and it makes me feel sexy and confident then it doesn’t really matter to me what goes on over that. As to husbands I think they shut down in fear when we start pulling out umpteen outfits and asking opinions 🙂 Also recruiters who don’t know talent when they see it and base their decisions on age have their heads up their a** best not to waste any energy on them


    • June 24, 2013 @ 8:28 am vegemitevix

      Brilliant idea! Poor husbands…they have that ‘possum in the headlights’ look when you ask the fateful question ‘Does this look nice?’ And what is it with those words OK? Why do they always sound exactly the opposite of OK?


      • June 24, 2013 @ 1:27 pm uniquenique01

        yes I have not yet worked out why OK never actually feels like OK personally I think that word should be banned in relationships too much room for misinterpretation


        • June 24, 2013 @ 10:53 pm vegemitevix

          Do you think it’s a body language thing? Or is it that we need the words – nice, beautiful, lovely, splendid….instead?


          • June 24, 2013 @ 11:06 pm uniquenique01

            I think it could be because OK to us is acceptable or good enough or just passing muster and when said by a man over how you look it is normally not accompanied by attention paying body language – it just doesn’t have the same impact as gorgeous, beautiful, lovely, sexy, or splendid when they cannot take their eyes off of you type of body language. So to answer the question I suppose it is a combination of both the word and the body language that normally accompanies it.

  2. June 24, 2013 @ 7:42 am Catherine

    a bit of lipstick always saves the day when I’m feeling blah

    you can count on it if I’m wearing a full face of makeup it’s my happy mask

    oh and gorgeous lingere is always helpful


    • June 24, 2013 @ 8:27 am vegemitevix

      Yes I think it’s time for a lingere update. I love beautiful lingerie, and I collect lipsticks where other women might collect shoes. I think we’re on the same page.


  3. June 24, 2013 @ 10:15 am MidlifeSinglemum

    There are times when I can turn it around – like I wrote about in my blog today when I was meeting a male friend for lunch who I hadn’t seen for 30 years. Other times it makes me so miserable that it scares me into being ‘good’ for a week or so. If things were so bad as to scare me into action i can lose up to 5lbs in a week. Then I feel so good that I stop bothering and put it all back on again. It’s a vicious cycle but it seems I need the panic, misery and disgust to motivate me into action. So how do I sustain a negative feeling that makes me wretched – which I don’t want to be? It sounds mad but there is no satisfactory answer that I can see.


    • June 24, 2013 @ 11:51 am vegemitevix

      Wish I knew the answer. One thing’s for certain I think you do reach a certain age and it all becomes quite challenging. Ah well tomorrow is another day maybe I’ll wake up feeling brighter….and lighter?


  4. June 25, 2013 @ 8:09 pm Bright Side of Life

    Oh shite, I am always having frump days and I really dread being asked to parties. I have nothing to wear and my middle looks like a spare tire. Pssst, did you have to let the cat out the bag re the chin whiskers!!! 😉
    Hope you no longer have the frumps. x


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