As young girls we are teased, that someday we will be, ‘Just as bad as her‘. Or we are told, ‘You’ll be like that one day’, but I never truly believed it, or particularly feared it.
And then it happened.
One day I opened a Weight Watchers ready meal, as you do when you cant be bothered with all that cooking nonsense (marinade? what?) but you’re also semi health conscious (other low fat ‘ready meals’ are available). But I found the meal to be dry and just a bit… yucky. A normal person at this point would eat the meal and put the dissatisfaction down to their own ‘too lazy to buy and cook real food’ attitude.
Not me and most importantly not my Mother.
Standing up in outrage I re-packaged the half demolished, unspecified meal, fished out the receipt (which of course I had saved for just such an emergency) and embarked upon a disgruntled trip to the supermarket from which it came. However not before popping two slices of bread into the toaster, spreading thick with peanut butter, and scoffing down greedily (lazy to the core ladies and gentlemen!).
At said undisclosed supermarket I proceeded to put together an argument to get my money back!
Now of course, a lifetime of following my Mother into many a supermarket and department store, armed with receipts and arguably faulty goods, had prepared me to win my case. And so, I won back the glorious sum of £2.65 (the ‘ready meal’ had of course been on sale!) and the slightly bewildered customer service girl took on the responsibility for my ‘disgustingly dry’ half eaten dinner.
In hindsight, which is unfortunately the place in which most of our sanity lurks, the cost of my petrol and the time spent returning the meal was possibly not reimbursed by my £2.65 refund. However as I made the 20 minute trip back home I felt the swell of victory.
Which I imagine is how my Mother felt the time she bought a dress worth around the same amount as my rent for a whole month, and planned to wear it two weddings happening over the same bank holiday weekend.
To the first wedding she decided to ‘test drive’ the outfit and simply ‘tuck the tag’, a trick that none of us are proud of, but, come on girls we’ve all done it. Haven’t we?
To the second wedding my Mother decided that once was probably enough and she would take on full responsibility for her purchase. She cut the cords and accepted the dress as her own.
After the reception at wedding round two fate took it's course that my Mother would argue with my Stepdad. Then hastily in a fit of ‘passion’, and this is the part that I try not to focus upon, asked her heavy handed husband to unzip her.
And the story goes that it just… ripped!
I imagine that Mum was soon over her loss when she said to the shop assistant.
“No, I think I’ll just have my money back, thank you. “
I’ve long been of the opinion that the concept of something for nothing, which is largely accepted amongst today’s tax paying society, is merely seen as a challenge to my Mother.
Open the fridge in my parents kitchen too briskly and out will pour a collection sachets of condiments and individual packets of butter. In every sock and underwear drawer since I was very young I could expect to find a soap, to “Make ‘em smell nice” taken from a variety of hotels. Up until the age of 10 I thought that everyone used miniature shampoo and conditioners, bottled with labels which read Ramada Inn or Marriot.
I’m convinced that the library must be my Mother's favourite place. Not only are all the books free, but in two weeks time she has to take them back!
It’s a scary world out there, and the concept of facing it as an eternally late, hopelessly messy, yet convincingly glamorous, overly energetic scatterbrain, with the sense of humor of a teenager, is scarier still.
But something happened the other day. Something which made me write all of this down.
I had made my boyfriend lunch.
A lovely packed lunch, and to brighten his day I wrote him the following poem on a napkin:
"There once was a boy named Jason, whose sandwiches were stuffed with bacon. They had extra cream cheese upon bread with seeds... and when his girlfriend had orgasms she faked them."
I giggled to myself for quite a while before realising I had made us both late for work whilst I wrote my hilarious secret limericks.
When I was little I never made it to school on time, but my sandwiches were always cut into boats or castles, or once I even ate a ham and cheese dog!
No sexually explicit limericks though.
P.S Clearly Jason and I are no longer together.