I laughed at Them, and then I Became Them!
When I was in my teens I was pretty certain about the kind of woman I would become. I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, that I was going to stay fashionable, healthy, fun, adventurous and career-minded. I knew it. I was still going to be me, after all, so there was no way that I would turn into them – those really pathetic nearly-40 year olds.
But then, quicker than I ever thought imaginable, I turned into 15 women I never thought I would become.
- The one with too many cushions.
Yep, I became that woman who has decorative cushions on her bed that match the curtains and that no other bugger sees all day except for her husband who throws them on the floor every night. Why do I do it? Why do I want my bedroom to look like a hotel when I’m the only one at home in the day? And the bloody things don’t serve any purpose anyway! Same with the sofa, 6 cushions don’t fit on my small couch, but there they stay… pissing everyone off and taking up space.
- The one that screams in public.
I hated it when I saw mothers shouting at their kids in the supermarket. Did they have no shame? Couldn’t it wait until they got home? Does that old bag not care what others think of her, everyone is looking! But now it’s me shouting at my kids in the store. And no, I don’t care. Because the older I get the less shame factor I have, and the less patience, and the more irritating my kids get.
- The one that takes the rubbish out in her PJs.
No one knows I don’t have a bra on – I tell myself. No one knows these are my pyjamas, they look like yoga pants – I tell myself. No one cares that my hair is a mess and I’m wearing flip flops in winter – I tell myself. Except they do, there are small children pointing out of windows shouting ‘there she goes again, the mad woman in her pyjamas.’ Yep, I judge mums at the school gates in their PJs, but roaming the streets in my nightwear with a bin bag in hand is just fine.
- The one that doesn’t wear a bikini.
I have tan lines that start half-way up my thighs and end above my chest. I look like I am wearing a white cozzie from the 1930’s and why? Three reasons:
a) I don’t like my saggy tummy
b) I can’t be arsed to wax my bikini line
c) No one sees my tan lines as all my clothes cover up my midriff at all times.
So yep, I’ll write about wearing bikinis whatever your figure and being body confident, then I will sunbathe in shorts and a strapless top because I’m a wimp.
- The one that lines things up.
I’m not officially OCD. But I like things in a line, or positioned symmetrically. I go to the extent of following the cleaner around the house re-positioning each ornament and picture frame at the correct angle. I bet she loves that. I’m so much fun to have around.
- The one that dresses her kids in matching clothes.
I bloody hated it when my mum did this. Why!? I didn’t want to look like my sister, and my sister didn’t want to look like me. And we wanted to choose our own outfits. But now I do it, given the chance, because it’s so cute! And it means I only have to remember one outfit to describe if I lose my children…
- The one that has a thing about running water and lights being on.
My mum did it all the time when I was a kid. LIGHTS! She would yell if I stepped out of the loo without switching the light off. LIGHTS! She would yell if I had the bedside lamp on as well as the overhead light. She would even turn lights off when we were still in the room, just for the sheer fun of it. And it was the same with the water. And now it’s me! I lie in bed in the mornings listening to my husband run the shower far too long before stepping in; the tap on cascade mode when brushing his teeth, the kitchen tap running minutes after filling up the kettle and my heart is thumping and I’m biting my tongue but I can’t help it. WATER!
- The one that talks to the cat. And herself.
I love a chat, and having nobody there to listen to me is no obstacle. I go into proper writer mode when I’m alone, jabbering away at the cat, reading out excerpts of my thrilling prose out loud, acting out the conversations between my characters, asking myself why I went into the kitchen, telling the cat off for scratching the sofa. The cat doesn’t mind, she’ll put up with any old loony as long as she gets her biscuits in the morning.
- The one that gets too excited about going out.
In my twenties it was rare to have a night in. I would ring my boyfriend and say ‘you in tonight?’ and if we were both home on the same evening it was a treat. Now my nights out are on the calendar months ahead. In red. With big circles around them. I’m not only out, I’m out out. And can I play it cool? Can I fuck! No glass of wine for me, I’ll have a fishbowl cocktail please. No idle chit chat, it’s all karaoke and dancing on the tables. Can I get home sober and at a reasonable time? Hahaha, nope. Because who knows when I will be out out again? And after a double rum and coke I think I’m twenty years old again, so I act like a desperate middle aged mum to prove it.
- The one that gets more excited about dressing tables than dresses.
Once you get over a certain age, and a certain size, going clothes shopping is a depressing thing. It’s not just a matter of whether you can afford it or whether it’s ‘in’… it’s whether it actually fits. And after squeezing the third skirt over your arse and proclaiming ‘I am NOT getting a bigger size’ then you give up, buy leggings and go to Zara Home. Because dressing your home is a pleasure and furniture always fits. Well, unless you buy as much crap as I do.
- The one that looks forward to days of no bra or make-up.
Yes, I love going out and getting my face done up and putting a flattering outfit on. But my favourite days are ‘no bra and make up days’. You know why? Because it’s comfortable. And you know what else? Come 8pm when the kids are in bed and you want to put your PJs on you get a mini thrill realising you have saved four minutes of your evening not having to take make up off. Yay!
- The one that likes cancelled plans
I have a full diary. It’s a thrill, a buzz. Look how important and busy and special I am. Every day is list list list of very urgent things I just have to do. Then someone cancels and it’s all ‘YES!!!’ because your busy day is now empty and it’s full of endless possibilities. Or if it’s an evening out that is cancelled, even better… because although 357 evenings of the year are spent in your night clothes watching TV, as soon as your night out is cancelled you think ‘ooooh, Netflix and chill’. As if you haven’t already been doing that for eternity.
- The one that pokes the fruit.
I’m not sure if it’s the Spanish in me or my age. But I can’t help it. Give me a market or the supermarket fruit and veg aisle and I’m all poke poke, dig dig, squeeze squeeze. No fruit gets past me without a little grope. Is it ripe enough? Is it too far gone? Is it bruised? Well, yeah, it is now.
- The one that loves silence.
For someone who loves to chat as much as I do all day, I do love a bit of silence. I never thought I’d be that person that wanted to walk alone in the countryside, or have a nice quiet sit down, or just be… even meditate… clear her head. But I am. I can thank the kids for that; they are yet to appreciate just how golden silence really is.
- The one that said ‘trendy’.
I did, I said that word yesterday. Then I died a little bit because I sounded like that woman who is old but is talking to someone young so she uses words that will make her sound younger… but just make her sound like a knob. An old knob. Trendy? Fucking Trendy! What next? Jazzy, super, cool… GROOVY?!!