Tuesday, February 10, 2009

And that's that

I was in a shoe store on the weekend and the only other customer in there was a woman buying flat open-toed sandals, and we kind of got chatting. She was trying them on with black tights, and there was some discussion about the size.

I was sorely tempted to point out that her big toe was protruding far too much out of that opening for the sake of public decency, but I managed to hold my tongue. I have something close to a phobia when being faced with people's toes looking as though they are about to clamber over and out of their shoes. Too small people! Too small. Can't you see it? Your toes are supposed to stay within the perimeter of the edge of the shoe, within it I say. Not extend beyond it.

Anyway, I digress. I did however ask her if she planned on wearing the shoes with tights, because that might affect her choice. "Hell yes," she responded, "I don't plan on shaving my legs until spring!"

An interesting if somewhat unexpected reply, not to mention the accompanying unpleasant graphic image it conjured.

Then one of the young shop assistants enthusiastically chimed in, "I agree! My legs are in a real mess. My boyfriend looks at me as if to say, "Please do something about that hair?!', and I'm like, 'Don't you give me that look!' "

Big toed woman heartily agreed and said her husband wouldn't even notice if she shaved her legs or not.

Then the conversation moved to pajamas versus lingerie etc. I know right? The things women talk about when they are buying shoes.

I decided to put in my two cents worth :

Me: But don't you believe in keeping things fresh?
Her: Fresh? Are you being serious? (She asked me this as though what I had said was genuinely alien.)
Her, again: You keep things fresh? (Same incredulous expression.)
Me: Well, yes, I try to. I mean, it's good to right? You plan on staying with someone for the rest of your life, you've got to mix things up, look after yourself, and keep the person interested right?
Her: How long have you been together?
Me: Coming up for 6 years.
Her: Ah, well, I've been married for 16 years.

She said this last thing as though it explained everything, and as though I had a lot to learn about marriage. I had a brief mental image of myself 10 years on; Botox maybe, perhaps a double chin or two. Hopefully a summer rental in the South of France. But certainly not hairy legs and ill-fitting shoes, regardless of whether or not Roberto had stopped noticing. I mean, one has to have standards right?

The sales woman was trying to sell me on a pair of dangerously high shoes for my sisters wedding. And admittedly, they were beautiful, but unfortunately I couldn't actually take more than about 2 steps in them without falling over. And this was without my daughter on my hip, where she will mostly likely be for a large part of the day. Not to mention all the embarassing dance moves I will inflict on the other guests a bit later on in the evening. Those definitely require some steady footwear.

The sales person asured me that all I needed was practice. I assured her that while that may be true, what I did not need were any injuries incurred while doing said practice.

So I had my birthday yesterday. Another year older. I don't have anything profound to say I'm afraid, so so much for being a year wiser. I do hope in this coming year the economy improves, Obama manages to mend some of the damage Bush did so that the world becomes a safer place to move around in, and that I can pull my finger out and get some writing done and actually send it off. I need to start getting those rejection letters in before I can genuinely call myself an aspiring writer. PS: If anyone knows any good literary agents, please drop me a line.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Before you order

It’s not every day that as you peruse the menu in a restaurant, a man at a nearby table starts being violently ill into what looks like the restaurant’s floor cleaning bucket. Yes, a charming way to start a meal. People at tables that were even closer to his than ours looked as though they had been caught in a gust of strong wind – all leaning away in almost identical awkward angles.


With my germ phobia and the fact that we are ill ourselves, although at the (hopefully) tail end of a virus, you can imagine how uncomfortable this made me. I know, not nearly as uncomfortable as the poor soul that was being sick was certainly.


When I inquired as to the man’s health, our impossibly pretty eastern European waitress assured us that the man and his family had not even ordered their food yet, and that he was ill from something else, NOT, she emphasised, the restaurant’s food.


The next minute the man was gone, his family had switched tables, and they were all heartily tucking into their lunch. A disgruntled looking manageress was cleaning up what hadn’t landed in the bucket. A couple at the table next to us (who had moved from the table next to his), told us the man had been put into a mysterious-sounding ‘back room’ of the restaurant.


Now I don’t know about you, but if I was that sick, and believe me when I say this man, a tiny and ancient-looking Indian man, was seriously ill, I would want to go home straight away, or, even better, the nearest hospital. But there he was probably hugging his knees to his stomach in some strange room with a ladder and bucket in it, while his family ate burgers. Had that been my family they would be struck off my Christmas present list, pronto.


I think I may be coming towards the end of my virus, at least I hope so. We’ve been ill since our holiday in France. Not as ill as Julia got, but then we are a lot larger than her with a lot more antibodies, so we were able to fight it off better than she was. She is still coughing but a lot better. Also, she doesn’t know about self pity, so unlike us she’s carrying on like business as usual.


She had some shots yesterday. It’s amazing that even at the age of 14 months, she has a good little memory on her. The minute we walked into our pediatrician’s office she took one look at him and started to cry. Fortunately the whole businesses didn’t take too long and as soon as we got home she was laughing and running around again.


This shots business is an awful necessary evil that comes around every few months or so. The doctors always tell you that your child suffering from measles, mumps or meningitis is far far worse than the occasional needle in their thigh, but you still feel bad taking them and then watching their expressions as they look at you as if to say, ‘You betrayed me!!! How could you let this man hurt me like this?!?’

To which I always reply, 'Yes I know my darling, it was your father's idea.'

On a seperate note a HUGE congratulations to our friends Anna and Elliot on the birth of their baby boy yesterday.