Tell me mirrors lie. Please. Mine are being most unpleasant at the moment, showing a baggy saggy wrinkly lined old harridan that I really don’t recognise at all. Who is this person? In my mind’s eye I am still she of the taut jaw, the smooth cheek, the unfurrowed forehead. I also think I have reverse body dysmorphia – whereas most people think they are fatter than they really are, I am convinced I am thinner. I look at clothes and imagine myself in them and then try them on and am shocked and horrified when a) they don’t fit and b) they look atrocious.
Last Christmas I had this idea that I would invest in a slim black trouser suit – I would wear it to parties with killer heels livened up by a shimmer of a glittery gold or silver vest. In my head I looked a stunner – Cate Blanchett at the very least. In the changing rooms of Marks & Spencer cruel reality struck. I tugged on the vest, all shiny squares of glittery gold and spun round in horror. I was the living embodiment of The Only Gay in the Village, squeezed into gold lame, a tubby bauble of a woman. I couldn’t help myself – a small scream came out totally involuntarily. Several women in other cubicles called out ‘Are you OK?’
‘Yup, fine, just er……got my finger caught in the zip.’
‘Do you want a hand?’ chirruped the sales assistant.
‘Nooooooo,’ I yelled, ‘I’m fine, all sorted!’ in a sort of bright merry voice.
Much huffing and puffing ensued to wriggle out of it. Another fine vision wrecked.
Now the same thing is happening all over again, in this the season of parties and balls. When I lived in London it was so easy. All my friends were artists or musicians or in the media and one could be iconoclastic (indeed it was expected) – anything went as long as it was imaginative and dramatic. But here in the country, strict dress codes prevail. I have been badgered to go to a fund-raising ball (I’ve never been to a ball!) and given the strict advice that dresses are worn, long dresses, proper pukka evening dresses. I spent hours trying things on and have come to the realisation that it simply isn’t going to happen. Unless I lose three stone in two weeks, this Cinderella will not go to the ball.
Sleep deprivation does not help my mood. Last night was my fourth bad night….this time not helped by the wind rattling the frames and a frond of wisteria tapping at the window. I need the Duvet Diet – apparently lack of sleep can cause weight gain (now that diet just HAD to come from a woman!)…so the only answer is more sleep. Yes, yes, yes! However, before I can crawl back into bed, I need to write a feature on Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – hardly a cheery topic. I also have to visit my mother, who is not in good shape. Hey ho. Isn’t getting older fabulous?