Dolled up, mascara'd and perfumed, I hit the town with the husband this week. Now, this primping and preening is not my normal modus operandi, and the posh pub at which we found ourselves is not my natural habitat. However, I tried my darndest to look good and behave myself "for the children". The reason for this aberrant nocturnal outing was our daughter's school drinks party. You know the sort: a get-together of like-minded individuals at a relaxed venue with a comforting sense of mutual conviviality.
Well, the trouble started early. As I sidled into the front bar, trying to look suave and devil-may-care, I was confronted by the infantry - the female variety. It appears that at these types of events one does not wear flat shoes. Despite the invitation assuring a 'casual' gathering, there appeared to be little of it in evidence. Not only were the heels not flat, they were sky-high. The type that any self-respecting chiropodist would have snatched from the offender's hoof and decapitated in one fell swoop.
My angst continued unabated. Taking a straw poll, I selected a few of the female guests and gave them the "Down, Up, Down" (a technique generally favoured by lascivious men who look you in the eye then let their glance move south and then north again to take in the full spectrum of you-ness).
The Down, Up, Down confirmed my suspicions. These women had left no detail to chance. Joh Bailey and his tonsorial team would have been hard-pressed to have pumped out this many blow-dried beauties in a week, let alone a Thursday evening. Brushing my own mane of mange back with alacrity, I made my way into the throng.
Now at close proximity, I was hit by the next in a relentless bank of crushing waves. These women were coutured. Unlike myself, who was sporting some old tat I'd picked up in a hurry from Sportsgirl or the like about five years ago, these women were wearing "names, Darling, NAMES".
The final inglorious assault on my selfhood (which had rapidly turned into Devil-Might-Care-Just-A-Little-Bit) was when some complete tosser, of the male species, approached me (resplendent in the uniform of these types: double-breasted navy jacket with gold buttons, white-collared pinstripe shirt and jeans with loafers) and spoke these words: "Excuse me, this is a private function. Do we know you?"
Three words entered my head, something along the lines of, "You little f***wit" (my quick calculations had him pegged at 5'6"). However, I remained calm, drew myself up to full height, looked down at his beautifully coiffured piece, pulled out my poshest English accent and said, "No you don’t. But who are you, dear boy?" That silenced the nasty weasel who, retreating to his gaggle of similarly height-challenged men friends, turned his back and huddled down into the safety of a scrum of Ralph Lauren polo shirts.
My work done, I retired to the bar for a nice glass of chardonnay with the words of Mark Twain in my head. “In Paris they simply stared when I spoke to them in French; I never did succeed in making those idiots understand their own language.”