Tuesday, 3 April 2012
Last week, whilst selling my homemade cupcake wares at down town Sneinton Urban Food Market; I was much struck by the approach of a kind faced older man who waltzed up to me, not to purchase the aforementioned cupcakes, nor to enquire about the wealth of possibilities in ordering a tea party service. No, my friends, he simply came up to me to comment on how pretty I was in vintage tea dress and flame-red victory rolls. I smiled sweetly and thanked him, but inside I was crying, devastated at being the victim of such old-fashioned charm.
Of course, as with all traumatic happenings, this brought back painful memories; admiring men-folk giving up their seats on the bus for you, a swift smile or a name on a guestlist, not to mention the hideous incident involving an old male friend of mine on a dinner date. My friend and I had taken a fancy to Japanese cuisine, so off we trotted to the incredible Michelin-starred Roka and caught up over sticky ribs and Merlot! Alas, upon my return from the little girls’ room, I was most horrified to learn that said male friend has PAID FOR THE WHOLE MEAL. He smiled, a calm gentlemanly smile before a slyly commenting on my dress and whisking me off to Marylebone for a late night tour of the sites; a gesture of kindness he must have thought, upon gazing at my outstanding beauty glimmering in the neon lights. I was fuming.
Then I woke up, realised I wasn’t Samantha Bloody Brick clearly talking out of her arse and got on with my most menial life as an avid non-reader of the Daily Mail.
Honestly, I felt compelled to write this (after spending my day fathoming furniture for my upcoming new abode with Mr J – we’ve bought a mattress together, guys this is serious), but it really is women like Mrs Brick who get my metaphorical goat (whose name would be Mabel, and who would have a gingham bow tied around her left ear, should she exist). Not to sound old fashioned, but I don’t think Emmeline Pankhurst and the like chained themselves to railings for women’s rights, only for one taller-than-average, pent up writer to get frustrated with unrequited attention and decide to rub the females of the British Isles noses in it with her First-World problems. An uttered exhaustion at constant come-ons by unwashed miscreants of the pub-crawling, club-brawling world is one thing (totally justifying myself here), but a page-long essay of how one’s beauty (sorry, did someone say nose like a pug? No? Must just be me!) has left her in the terrifying paths of evil predators who enjoy showering her with champagne, upgrades to first class and bunches of flowers. It’s not behaviour I condone, mostly because they’re probably twats, but it’s not condemnable either, surely?
I’m not a jealous person upon reading this eloquently written ‘plight’, as I am sure the hundred of other out-cryers are not either. Whilst not considering my position in the ‘beauty stakes’, I am the sort of person who takes pride in her somewhat abnormal sense of style and, admittedly, who is flattered if someone, stranger or otherwise, chooses to make a positive comment towards you. When I was single it was nothing but a confident boost to hear a polite compliment (not you, strange and ridiculously tall man at the chicken shop in April 2010, not you), now I bat for ‘Team Couple’, it’s still nice to think someone has noticed you, only if it is just a momentary brush off as you toddle off on your journey. And for the purpose of this exercise, I am speaking purely about compliments from the opposite sex, the odd smile on the work commute, a flirtatious conversation in the workplace; I’ve not been so ‘unlucky’ as Mrs Brick to have been adorned with such a fine lifestyle due to my being such a sight for sore eyes. Whilst she admits she is no Elle McPherson, her womanly powers simply leave men so weak at the knees they can’t help but reach for their wallets. Well done Mrs Brick, well done to you, I bet even Elle herself can’t vouch for that sort of adoration!
My advice to Samantha, should she wish to hear it, would mostly end with the word ‘off’. The more constructive backlasher in me, would suggest a literal dressing down of herself, a need to blend into the crowd, less of that make-up and very average hair-styling and more of a ‘head down’ attitude towards the cruel cruel men of the world; if indeed such a thing poses a problem for her in this recession-sodden, more-bad-news-than-good world that we live in. Day in day out there are people with money problems, hideous regimes going on in countries we don’t even like to think about and issues with stalking, paedophilia, murder and rape right on our doorsteps, but one can only imagine your daily anguish…MUST BE TOUGH! I might ask what her husband thought of these public displays of affection from near strangers (Mr J, should we ever be thrust into such a situation, would probably consider them to be figments of my imagination – just saying), and whether or not he had levelled up the possibilities of ADHD – but a posh version. I would probably finish with ‘who really f%$%(^ing cares’. But that’s just me, and nothing I write is going to be deemed important enough to publish in the Daily Mail. But perhaps Samantha, it’s really just time to put a brick in it.
I think that’s about enough from me, I’ve got the task of picking out a wedding outfit for my oldest friend’s reception next week, let’s hope it’s nothing too eye-catching, nobody wants the awkwardness of a free glass of wine at their table.