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Showing posts from September, 2011

Lipstick

We're standing in a line and she walks up and down. Her face is inscrutable, by which I mean it's on its default setting of pissed off, and we're wondering which of us is for the chop. I say which of us, but I know I'm safe, though some of the others are definitely not leaving on time tonight.

"Kate Simpson, Hannah Jones, you two stay behind. You've not even made an attempt to hide the fact you're caked in blusher".

She then gets a cotton wool pad, dips it in toner and begins wiping down our lashes - looking for that tell-tale black smear that denotes Rimmel's finest. Some girls are ahead of the game though - as well as the wondrous White Musk perfume, the Body Shop sells a clear gel mascara to foil such fascist tactics. Granted, its gluey formula makes them look like startled kittens with conjunctivitis, but it's guaranteed not to leave an inky trace.

As we wait our turn, it doesn't seem to occur to any of us that this is, if not an infringe…

Absence

"I need to go to the US again".

My husband says this quietly, as he knows the reaction he will get. It used to be melodramatic - I'd mope and I'd wail that he'd forsaken me, and he'd fix me with a look and say,

"I don't like it either. Do you want me to quit my job? I'd do it tomorrow if you asked me."

And I'd sulk and say, no, I like having a house and money to go on holidays and all that kind of stuff.

These days, I stick out my bottom lip a little and I say, "When?".

And then we get out our Blackberries and we look at our work calendars and we try to be practical, to co-ordinate when would be best for him to be away, but inside I feel empty and sad, although I know it has to be done.

The night before he goes away, I pass him a plug adaptor to put in his suitcase and I say to him,

"I once read that Paul McCartney and Linda McCartney only spent one week apart during their whole life together".

And he looks at me and he says,

Phlegm

[Housekeeping - I've decided to write a bit more about stuff other than food. I will still be writing about food though. Please do not be alarmed]

I walk home on autopilot, as I do every day, past the myriad shops that barely make a dent on my consciousness. The school outfitters where my parents are forced to buy every purple piece of uniform that makes us the laughing-stock of the other pupils in the area, the newsagents that sells huge bags of broken sweets for 50p but take an eternity to serve, the chippy surrounded by a stifling haze of rancid fat - all of these blur as I quicken my step.

And as I walk, I slowly replay the day's events in my head. I think about my urge to stick my hand up, even as I feel everyone's eyes burn into the back of my neck. It doesn't matter how often they call me "bod", or "swot", or "teacher's pet" - it's like I have some kind of smart-alec Tourette's. And I sigh and I think at least the teachers…