The lady on stilts and the hobo

I took on a new old job (temporarily) in a pub and needed some shoes. As most people who have done this kind of work know: shoes attract beer. No matter how superfly your pouring skills are, at the end of the night you will ALWAYS have at least one shoe soaked in lager (oh the evil Tennents smell), Guinness,  and/or  vodka cranberry.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALong story short: I needed me some cheap black, shitty shoes, so I went to New Look. I found a pair (canvas, rubber sole, 7 GBP, basically slippers) which were perfect. Now, I combed my hair that morning, had some mascara on, put on a clean pair of trousers…  and sat down next to a princess. She smelled of musk and plastic flowers, had spider legs for eye lashes and no visible skin under the cake display of powder on her cheeks. She was trying on a pair of black glossy stilts, walked (wobbled) around in them a bit, I think decided they were perfect and grabbed her golden glittery purse for her credit card. Her hair did not move, and I believe, could not move, yet is was perfectly shaped into a fluffy bun on the top of her head. She was thin with well pushed up breasts and a teeny tiny bum, squeezed into faux (not fake) leather leggings.

And there I sat next to her, with, in all honesty, pretty uncombed hair, which I might have washed and straightened 2 days before, but in my opinion did not need to go through that 20 minute process again just yet. There I sat in my ebay gathered outfit of slightly worn burgundy jeans, slightly tatty boots and a purple tartan coat I picked up from Primark 3 years ago, with two of the buttons dangling on its last threads. There I sat with slightly runny mascara, skin looking blotchy and flushed from the cold, smelling of nothing but the soap I had washed my hands with, trying on a pair of the ugliest shoes I’ve every owned. And I felt less of a woman than her. I looked at the mirror opposite us and realised that compared to her, I looked like a hobo.

I’ve told Steve once that I don’t really get that intimidated by dolled up girls, but I do get intimidated by how they smell. They smell of chemicals, flirty intentions and confidence. They smell like they are looking down on me for not smelling ‘nice’, but instead just smelling like a human being. They smell like they have spent hours on how they look before they walk out the door and think I’m a lazy fuck for not doing so. They smell like I should try a little harder. Or a lot harder actually.

And then I come home after a long day at work and a short walk through a Scottish gale and Steve tells me I have beautiful eyes, which is so much better than ‘your make-up really makes you look pretty’. He’ll hug me and smell my neck and say ‘ah, you smell of you’, and I realise that’s heaps better than ‘your perfume smells nice  (consisting of musk (‘glandular secretions from animals such as the musk deer’-wiki) and plastic flowers)’.

The princess next to me probably didn’t even notice me. And I’m sure I am too lazy to spend so much time on myself as a beauty project, instead of as a professional/emotional project. I hope it makes her feel as confident as I perceive her to be. I hope that she doesn’t break her bloody ankles with the stilts that she bought. And I hope I smell like me again tonight, even though I look pretty shabby.

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  1. Fab post, as always. I wouldn’t worry too much about how much time you spend on your looks every morning, it’s all about being you and being comfortable. I don’t think you would be comfortable with a big fluffy bun on your head and a gold glittery handbag, and this by definition would make you less attractive/sympathetic because one can tell that that’s just not you.

    Maybe I’m a bit biased though, because I don’t generally brush my hair in the morning or put on make-up 😉

  2. I totally agree, and at the same time I wonder whether these heavily made up girls feel like they are really themselves or acting in character. If stripping them of all the things they wear (fake hair, lashes, make up, hair spray, perfume) makes them basically unrecognisable, which of the two (stripped or dolled up) is then the closest expression of their (true or adapted) character. I don’t know, maybe it is the dolled up lady with the glitter handbag? Maybe the man-made extravagance, which costs hours of (dare I say) creativity is what makes them closest to who they are. Maybe it just makes them feel closest to who they want to be. I don’t know…

    Interesting is the smell thing though. It really gets me every time. A strong smelling woman makes me feel like being shouted at. I am left with no choice but to smell her presence and her (tailored) character. It screams ‘I am a posh cosmo lady who loves pink!’ or ‘I’m a cool heroin chic girl who doesn’t give a shit’ or something… It’s loud, obnoxious and… intimidating in the way that loud confident women can be a bit intimidating.

    I have no intention of being like the princess, beside thinking that it is not a particularly attractive sight, it would be too much effort for… feeling uncomfortable I think. I don’ think this is very true to my character (lazy and shabby ;)), nor would it make me feel any more of a woman. If anything, it would make me feel insecure and fake. meh, no, don’t worry 😉


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