Part 108: Looking Fabulous, Regardless

Ugh.

Ugh. The past few days have been totally shitty.

I’ve got what we in South-East London call ‘the right fucking hump.’

The sunshine has withdrawn himself from the atmosphere and been replaced by howling winds and plipping plopping raindrops. The clocks have gone back. The people have turned grey-faced and sour and dressed themselves in terrible lumpen autumn-wear – a collective look that in no way contributes to a culture of sexy. Yes, I’ll concede that the leaves, having dropped off the trees – as is their wont in late October – add a pleasant splash of colour to an otherwise bleak, post-industrial landscape, but those raindrops have turned the fallen foliage to a sludge that I have to wade through to make my way home, in the dark.

Shall I go on?

Yes, I think I shall:

My bank account has finally imploded on itself. The washing machine broke, mid cycle. The fridge is empty. After finally reaching a place where I could envisage bestowing kindness upon another human being my potential for altruism has been impeded, yet again, by the bullshitters and cads and bores who clog up my social networks, virtual and real. My thesis sits on my desk, unfinished and incomprehensible – along with mouldering crockery and half-formed lesson plans. I’ve got a chronic pain in my left leg that might turn out to be a terminal illness. To top it all off, there is no one I can legitimately punch in the face, so I have accrued bad karma by wishing divorce and bankruptcy on my frenemies instead.

And I still can’t get a single man to take me for a drink, despite the fact that, since the despair arrived, I’ve started looking like fembot.

Which is the silver lining to all this – if you consider the fact that one can be the most fabulous person in any given room and manage to leave without a date or any phone numbers a silver lining.

Luckily, I do.

Here is what I have learnt, after many years of back-to-back disappointments and the resultant mental health crises they have induced: one must look fabulous, regardless. As a single white female looking fabulous is the only thing that stands between you and other people’s pity. And looking fabulous is very easy to do if you are blessed with a perfect breast-waist-buttock ratio and you own a pair of Dr. Martens, a skin-tight black dress, mascara, liquid eye-liner and Laura Mercier’s stickgloss lipstick in the shade ‘poppy’.

Of course, inner peace is, obviously, preferable to skin-deep perfection. But one can’t have everything, particularly when one is trying to write a PhD and, in any event, one cannot afford to leave the house. At least looking like what Robyn once termed a ‘scientifically advanced hot mumma’ will help you regain momentary optimism when you glance at your reflection and think: the shit can’t last forever.

Maintaining a fine balance as you oscillate between despair and optimism takes guts. It takes resilience and courage and hairspray. Looking fabulous, regardless is what you learn as a single woman; it’s a lesson that will prepare you for life’s hardships – in way that regular sex with a man (who will, almost definitely, sleep with someone else as soon as he gets the chance) will not.

And I promise that if you do take my advice and make sure you look fabulous, regardless, it will eventually pull you out of your funk. This is because you’ll be able to take selfies where you look like a Vermeer, and post them on the internet.

Like this:

Vermeer

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