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 opportunity..you’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?