I’m writing this on the bus, thanks to the wonders of modern technology and the wonders of my husband’s inability to ever put things back where he found them. I am locked out of the house, on my way to his office to collect his keys, while mine will be found later in his coat pocket. And in a spectacular addition to the fun of this outing, I have just come from the gym, so I’m feeling really excited to be heading into normally-clothed-professional-land with trainers and sweaty hair.
Actually, aside from the trainers shame, my main emotion right now is fear. Of myself. Until a few moments ago, I was literally beside myself with anger that my keys weren’t in my bag. And I mean body-shaking anger. How could anyone be so stupid as to borrow keys and not replace them? How can a just world exist if I am on the outside of my front door unable to open it? My anger, and the breathtaking pace of its appearance, was shocking. I think I might be deeply troubled.
I have more evidence than just the keys. Recently I bought a dress and I bought a size too big. You’d assume this would be quite a pleasant experience, but sadly when I went to exchange it they didn’t have a size smaller, even after some lengthy stock-room rummaging. So, even though I'd actually worn the dress so was very much in the wrong on both size and ethics, when she very politely offered me a credit note I was so incensed and irritable with the shop assistant that even my four-year-old son turned away in shame.
Then, after sulking for too long in the changing rooms trying to find something half as nice, I was late back to the car park and discovered I’d fallen just five minutes into the stay-all-night price, which was about double the price of the dress I didn’t now have. It’s hard to describe the exact emotions that surged, but darkness was all around as I stared with pure hatred at the lovely man doing his job behind the glass. But in fact, and unfortunately in terms of any important learning process, he was explaining that he’d let me off the extra charge, and put back the clock with a cheery smile. I magically transformed back into the kind, polite woman my mother brought me up to be – instantly. Deeply troubled and possibly possessed.
I met a friend’s wife for the first time last week and it threw me into a bit of a decline over the whole snappy, angry personality thing. Sitting next to her in my black dress (in fact, aforementioned dress in wrong size, nice symmetry) over my black jeans with my black and white Converse I realised that I had become a sort of stay-at-home widow by mistake. Understated cool I was not – colourful, stylish and seriously interesting looking she was. My wardrobe is sartorial embodiment of my bi-polar personality: deceptively comfy and wearable but with an almost clean sweep of black and grey and all a bit irritably ill fitting.
However, while a complete colour-palette transformation of my wardrobe is a bit out of the pre-Christmas budget, off-loading some of my anger concerns has made me feel a hundred times better and calmer. So it’s win, win. No longer need I be angry that I’ve got nothing but mummy nonsense to write about – who needs to be clever when you can just psycho-analyse in public.