So I get back from Asda today, with a box of cat food under one arm, 24 plastic clothes hangers squashed up against my torso and enough Hula Hoops to feed an army and stumble over the post on my door mat.
The post consists of the local free paper - you know the sort of paper that doesn't even have any news in it - just a bit of vague information about some local police advice for idiots like 'Police Warn: Lock your car at night' or 'ALERT! Don't go on holiday and leave your door open!' and then 324 adverts for massage parlours - like 'busty housewives Linda and Marie will help you unwind with a massage: have own shower' (which always makes me think as opposed to what? Having to knock on the neighbours and ask if you can borrow theirs because Linda went slightly OTT with the lube and you've got to go to your mothers for dinner?), some bank statements (which go in the pile 'of things I might open when I grow up) and a woman's clothing catalogue for a very upmarket 'chic' brand of clothing that contains phrases like 'urban style' and 'sport luxe'. I have never bought anything from it. Obviously.
Add a 'sport luxe' twist to any outfit it exclaims. Really? As far as I'm concerned 'sport luxe' means wearing matching socks that aren't those fluffy neon pink ones to the gym And a top which isn't actually part of your pyjamas.......
Plus I hate the word 'luxe'. Bleurgh.
Then there are the outfits which 'take you from day to evening'. The picture shows a beautifully cut figure hugging pencil dress which you can wear all day and then, once you've slicked on some lipstick and a higher pair of heels you can dash down to the latest bar/theatre/very swanky thing with all the other beautiful people that don't just want to go home, have a nice hot shower and watch Masterchef.
I can't help reflecting that the only 'day to evening' outfit that would work for me would be a large fluffy dressing gown. And that would mean a day lolling about and not doing anything and how marvellous that would be. If someone sent me catalogue which showed women reading a book under 4 layers of luxury ultra-soft velour with several cups of tea at hand and a large bag of tortilla chips - yeah baby - that's selling me the DREAM.
Because to be frank, much as I love clothes and all that stuff (and coats, especially coats, oh my god how much do I love coats? I couldn't live in a hot country because I'd actually be bereaved by the lack of coat wearing) with all the plate spinning that goes on round here I sometimes struggle to get myself dressed properly at all.
I woke up and found I had no pants. Now I own a LOT of pants - I don't know why, I just do. But they were ALL in the wash. I'd really gone to the very bottom of the draw. Even the pair the same colour as a prosthetic limb - worn and gone. And the pair with barely any elastic. And the strange felty pair left from University (wow - those there pants are OLD). And the the ones which feature some weird gold bell that reminds me of those Lindt Easter Bunnies and make me worry that every time I go to the loo I'll jingle all the way. Gone all worn and gone. Apart from the 'very last pair'.
The 'very last pair' had never been worn.
There was a reason for this (actually, having spent a day in them, there was several....).
They came as part of a set where I wanted the top half but had no need for the bottoms. They have a lot of sort of excess ruffles round the waist (handy for hiding that paunch!) and then from each corner of your body 2 long straps with bows on that you (theoretically) can attached stockings too. I was not attaching stockings to them. I was trying to stuff them under my work trousers. With great difficulty.
Every time I went to the toilet I looked down at my 8 swinging appendages and felt like some sort of giant squid.
I really did pray that, more so that usual, I didn't get hit by a car/collapse/etc because had anybody, for any reason, had to take my trousers off they would have probably called the Psych team because, lets face it - wearing all those ruffles and a plethora of bowed suspenders under a pair of utility work trousers teamed with fluffy ankle socks and special boots you can stand up in for 12 hours is not, erm, normal.
And of course they chafed. Oh boy did they chafe. I think they were 'car to bar' pants - not 'lets walk several miles' ones.
Half-way through the day a colleague pointed out she really liked my top. 'Thanks!' I said, feeling slightly better about the state of my wardrobe. 'But what's that?' she asked leaning forward to touch something on my waistband.
Oh my god I panicked - one of my ruffles must have escaped! I felt heat rush to my face.
Busted! Busted in the befrilled Octo-pants.
'Oh' she said 'Oh! How funny! It's your care label - errr you've got your top on inside out!'.
Is that all I sighed with relief.
It's not wrong you see - it's 'boho dishevelled day to evening luxe'. Come 5pm you can turn your top the right way out, clip your stockings on and go home to, err, cook fish fingers and waffles.