Friday, 24 September 2010
Caught in Pyjamas
Do you ever have moments when you think: 'Shall I... shan't I.......shall I...shan't I...... ...shall I...shan't I.... shall I?.... put the bins out wearing head to toe red and white dotty pyjamas?
(Also, are you looking at the word 'shall' and thinking, 'Is "shall" actually a word? It looks weird to me.)
It was 7.50am, Jack was heading off to school and I was hoping to get dressed and go out to a cafe to write for 8am. I always ensure Jack is ready before I am; perhaps I should rise at 6am to shower and do my hair before he wakes up?
'You grab the brown bin,' I said, 'I'll get the grey one.'
Our house is in the middle of a never-ending row of terraces. We need to walk down quite a long alleyway in order to reach the street where the bins are lined up. Yet, for some reason, I thought we'd be the only ones dragging our bins down there at that time of day.
Then I heard a neighbour's gate click open. Oh bum -- hopefully it'll be the wife, I thought. Drats, it was the husband wearing a business suit, ready for work, and obviously they're not as slatternly as me.
'I don't usually wear my pyjamas outside,' I said. The neighbour laughed and carried on dragging his bin behind us. Then a trendy suited media-type-man with a trendy briefcase swung around the corner and headed our way. He looked confused when he saw me: girl, pyjamas, daylight, alleyway, in land of suits, avec un boy her height in prestigious school blazer, what is the situation here?
There was no avoiding my pyjamas situation, and it would have been rude to cut and run. So I pretended I wasn't wearing PJs at all, I imagined myself in jeans and T-shirt. My neighbour and I had a friendly chat about local medical centres, and recommended doctors. He asked how Jack is getting on at school. He said he'd drop the details of the medical centre over at the weekend. The man with the briefcase passed us again, and to the side of us the hip-young-professionals were making their way to work. It was then I remembered the toothpaste I smeared all over a huge spot on my chin when I went to bed last night. I really should get into the habit of checking my appearance in a mirror before I leave the house.
I could behave like this on the council estate where we used to live. Where bin wars took place. It was normal there to parade around in your PJs and flipflops with toothpaste on your spots.
But here, in the land of dentists, and doctors, and hip-YPs, it's not very cool.