Sunday, 20 March 2011

The Slap / Notes on Beauty

A few weeks ago I went for a photoshoot. This involved tons of 'slap' as we call it here in Blighty: layer upon layer of polyfilla style make up. This slang term is said to have come from 19th century actors who crudely applied make up to their faces and thus 'slapped it on'.

It happens to be my sister's 30th birthday on the day we go for our shoot and afterwards, still covered in slap, we go to buy booze from her local supermarket which smells like a open sewer.

I pick up a bottle of rum and some doughnuts while she grabs three bottles of wine. When I get to the till the woman asks for I.D.

Initially I laugh although I am not flattered. I think she is joking and I tell her so. I inform her that I do not drive, nor do I carry around my passport. I tell her that I am thirty-four. I also tell her that I have two children. I continue to ask her if she is joking.

But she is not joking. This palaver continues for a few more minutes until I start to get really pissed off.

"Look at my face!" I scream leaning over the checkout. "Look at the lines on my face!! I'm thirty-four!!" Momentarily I think about pulling up my shirt to show her the stretch marks on my stomach. (Although how this identifies me as being over twenty-five and thus old enough to buy booze did not cross my mind at the time.)

My sister cuts in.

"Well I don't have any I.D either" she says pointing to her stash of Pinot Grigio.

The small Chinese checkout lady looks my sister up and down.

"You are O.K" she says.

My sister's eyes widen momentarily. Things are going from bad to worse. Not only does it look like I am leaving this stinking hell hole without rum but now this woman has added insult to injury and affronted my sister on a particularly challenging birthday.

"But she's my younger sister!!!" I start screaming at the woman.

All of this is to no avail and eventually we leave with nothing. The bitch won't even let my sister buy the booze for me. I tell her to keep her doughnuts and walk off complaining loudly.

"I'm wearing a full length Jaeger camel cape! How many fucking underage drinkers wear JAEGER CAMEL CAPES FOR FUCKS SAKE!!!!

It's fair to say that alcohol is important to me. I don't want to be flattered. I want a drink.

My make-up continued to rule my day. Not only did the slap knocked TEN years off my real age but it also almost got me married off to a twenty-five year old Turkish hairdresser with his own business (all thanks to the Turkish gentleman's Dad whom I met in a supermarket.) When I told him that I was happily co-habiting with a man and our two children he exclaimed "Unbelievable! Unbelievable!"

The moral of this story is: Beauty will get you everywhere and nowhere all at the same time.

Beauty has been a continuing theme of recent weeks. When I first started blogging I wrote a post called The MILF and I had cause to regret it recently.

I made it a Troutie rule when I started blogging that I wouldn't slag anyone off. Maybe I should qualify that statement by saying that I would never slag anyone off that I knew. But when my best friend Cupcake held her daughter's second birthday party, I was introduced to the woman I had dubbed 'Vanity Fair'. This left me with an awkward feeling because I had unwittingly broken my Troutie rule. I now knew the woman who I had dedicated an entire blog post to.

'Vanity Fair' was indeed a slim, dark-haired, beauty queen with fistfuls of dollars but she was also a shy, somewhat socially awkward creature, teetering on her heels and playing nervously with her hair.

I found myself studying every inch of her face and noting every flaw. I studied the way she spoke, I carefully looked over her clothing, the way she walked, what she ate, how she interacted with others and weighed it all up against my expectations and imaginings.

Afterwards I hated myself for it.  During the debrief after the party Cupcake and I discussed her at length.

"I felt sorry for her" I said to Cupcake "it must be really hard being rich and beautiful."

I wasn't being flippant. Afterwards I spent a long time thinking about beauty and ended with this thought.

One of the hardest things about being a feminist is not the battles we have with men; but resisting the battles we think we have with other women.

The moral of this story is: There is no competition.

And talking of competitions some of you winners, not mentioning any names, (Cathy B and Motherhood the Final Frontier) have failed to give me your details so that I can send you your prizes! I'm giving it until  Thursday 24th for you to come forward otherwise I have picked two more lucky ladies to honour instead. I'll be posting the porn out across the globe next Friday.

Come back later this week when I will have been out on strike and when I'll be making preparations for my very own Royal Wedding Extravaganza.

Confession: If this post is a little unusual its because I'M SLIGHTLY DRUNK. (Whoops! Accidental caps lock...) My son has a fever, my daughter has been a pain in the tits and I had to have two brandy and cokes (heavy self-medicating home measures) to get over it all. Thanks. Sorry. Have I ever told you how much I love you? Goodbye.


  1. I need some of that make up!

    How flattering, but yet annoying. At least here in the US we always carry our ID, though it has been a long time since anyone asked me for mine.

  2. Bloody hell I need some of that slap...anything that makes me look too young to buy alcohol thereby preventing me from drinking it and ending up looking like a haggard old bag can only be a good thing...

  3. I love you too. And you are so right about the competition. Not good.

  4. Put me on the list for that make-up too, please. Then, if I lose 10 years at least I'll be the age you supposedly are!

  5. I think you should have kissed her. And then bought your sister a shot!

  6. I always think there is no way you can top (ie make me laugh really hard) your last post, but you did it again. You are so funny. I wished you lived in my neighborhood because you would shake things up (in a good way).

    I thought the drinking age in the UK is 16? At least it was when I lived there. Or maybe I never went to a pub/store that had someone who actually checked ID.

    Keep writing because your posts put a smile on my face.

    Oh, and you are right about the whole women vs. women thing. We are our own worst enemy against ourselves and other women. Until we realize and understand AND change that way of thinking, we will never be equal.