Question: When is the ideal time to bump into an old college friend that you haven’t seen for the thick end of 10 years?
Is it when you are unshowered, unshaven (chin hairs protruding), unmade up without a scrap of make up and totally uninterested in anything that’s happening around you because you are concentrating on picking up your dog’s poo that is far from solid on a public footpath?
Is it when you are sporting unflattering see through black leggings and therefore showing off your wild hairy beaver because in the absence of knickers the little hairs are poking through in the same way they do when you are abroad on holiday in your bikini and you’ve trimmed with the nail scissors in a feeble attempt at being well groomed?
Lets say , just for fun, that the friend in question is tall, slim, unimaginably glamorous and clad from head to foot in designer wear. More impressively (to me) clean freshly washed designer wear, including a shiny pair of Hunter wellies with matching socks.
It would appear that although none of the above are textbook perfect situations, you don’t get to choose so it’s tough shit when all of them come true at once on a family dog walk on a Sunday morning. My mum doesn’t even go to the petrol station for a pint of milk without a dash of lippy and a bucket full of style, making her look like she has marched straight off the front cover of Vogue, just on the off chance she ever crosses paths with her neighbours’ brothers’ wifes’ cousins’ cat, so if she knew that I’d been caught out in cheap leggings, a dirty coat and the 10 year olds beanie hat she would be mortified.
It was a beautiful frosty morning, the field at the back of the house was white over and begging to be explored with excited kids and boisterous dogs in tow. In reality Husband and I had no other choice but to threaten the children in order to make them move out of their bedrooms and cooperate in joining in on family dog walking fun, something we try to make a habit of each Sunday morning. Amongst cries of ‘’I’m not coming, you can’t make me’’ and ‘’I hate the outside, stop ruining my weekend’’ we managed to shoo them both up the drive and into the white field. We had decided to walk across the field at the front of our house, up the public footpath, passed the farm and back around the country lane to the back of our house. I do this walk with the dogs a few times a week.
Husband never ever picks up dog poos, it makes him gip so I get lumbered with the job every single time. We had made it roughly half a mile from our house and I was already carrying 3 full dog poo bags so when our big old American Bulldog squatted for the fourth time I had to negotiate 3 other bags, a crazy Frenchie and two of those stupid extendable leads that you could easily hang yourself on. Husband and the kids had knobbed off up front to do ‘grannie slides ‘ (WTF a grannie slide is I don’t know but it’s what Husband calls them) on the ice leaving me to struggle alone. Imagine my sheer overwhelming delight when bent over mid poo grab a voice bellowed ‘’ OMG I thought it was you!!’’
Spinning around crap in hand, I came face to face with my best pal from college. Her looking like a glamorous celebrity not a day over 21 and me looking like a middle aged homeless prostitute in a hand knitted beanie brandishing a dog poo like it was a weapon.
Despite generally not giving a flying fook about what people think about me, all I could think about was how horrendous I looked in comparison to this goddess standing in front of me. After what seemed like an eternity of pleasantries including an introduction to her new husband I managed to excuse myself and escape.
Once again alone with Husband, the ankle biters and the dogs. I breathe a sigh of relief.
I hitch up my mucky leggings, wipe my nose on the back of my hand and look lovingly at Husband, grateful he’s not judging me like I was just judging myself when he says with a huge smile ‘’So that’s what it’s like to have a wife who looks after themselves’’