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Saturday, 24 March 2007

Life Experience

Ana our sweet au pair was weeping last night. Viktor has not been returning her texts. I try to guide and advise darling Ana in the manner of an older trusted sister, as she is so far from home. Although, it must be acknowledged that I am in fact older than her mother.

"Don't take life so seriously", I have advised. "You should be in no hurry to settle down at nineteen years old, you really should not marry before you are at least thirty".

When I was a girl, myself and my three sisters went to a terribly upmarket girls boarding school. There were very few "day girls" and there was a huge stigma attached to that, as the day girls were always local girls with scholarships who's parents could not afford the fees.

Many of the wealthy girls in my class took multiple foreign holidays each year. One girl had a father who was a diplomat, and arrived at the beginning of each term in an enormous stretch diplomatic car with darkened windows - the height of sophistication in the 80's when Dallas was the only show to watch on TV.

Another girl - Paulette James, had parents who were terribly cultured and took their children cycling around France on tandem bicycles each summer, when no-one had ever seen a tandem bicycle before. All the girls had amazing clothes and the newest LP's and most amazing make-up. Doesn't that all sound so dated now?

I was not grateful for the opportunity to attend the school at the time. I was simply conscious that I didn't belong with those girls. My uniform was not even second hand, it was forth hand, passed down to me and worn by all three sisters before it reached me.

I had a good sense of humour though, and so the boarders sometimes let me join in with their antics, but basically, it was worth their while to keep me on their side. I could go to the shops each evening on my way home from school and buy them their cigarettes. I didn't dare not to. I was never quite good enough to really belong as far as they were concerned.

Paulette had a hair cut like one of the girls from The Human League. She was very beautiful and took an amazing tan. I was terrified of her, she could destroy your entire social life with one killer look, and took great pleasure exercising in the power that she had...

Paulette had a handsome boyfriend with blonde streaked hair who looked like George Michael. Darren loved Depeche Mode before Wham! - but he had forgotten about them by the time us girls were doing our A levels.

Paulette's parents hated Darren. He was from a local council estate and worked painting the fences on Epsom race course. Darren always had money in his pocket and a can of beer in his hand. He drove an old mark 3 Cortina with all manner of spoilers and accessories. Paulette would not listen to her parents or the teachers, and was always sneaking off to see him.

I met Paulette about five years ago at the wedding of a mutual friend. Hilda insisted that myself and James were to be seated on the same table as Paulette and on the morning of the wedding, I almost had a panic attack I was so fearful. James held my hand tightly and assured me that I was not a little girl any more.

What a wonderful experience that wedding turned out to be! Paulette had actually married Darren! Paulette was simply enormous, and Darren is completely bald with no front teeth. He still paints fences at Epsom race course. On Darren's knuckles he still has that home made tattoo 'Depec Mode'... OHMYGOD!!!

I had forgotten about that! He had tattooed his knuckles himself when he was sixteen, and not realised he had not got enough fingers on his right hand to spell the word Depeche in full before he started, ...bless.

I waited a long time to see the school bully Paulette and her smiling husband look inadequate, but it was worth it.

Ana I said, "don't marry or settle down too young. Don't end up with a man with badly spelled tattoo's and no teeth, men can age so very badly."

She thinks I am crazy, perhaps I am. But I know I am right!


Babysteps said...

OMG, you are so right. I think of the boy I swore I wanted to spend my life with when I was 13, and I just want to vomit.

There is no greater satisfaction in the world than seeing someone who used to make you feel inadequate looking rotten and married to a total knob. I don't care if it's catty, it's true. I live for those moments.

dulwichmum said...

Dear Babysteps,

I know it was an enormous post, and it took some stamina to make it to the end, but it just had to be said. Hind sight is a wonderful thing.

Anonymous said...

Your blog is a spoof, right? If so, it's hilarious and very accurate. If not...I'm sorry. Mostly for your children.