Rosie Posie’s Big Night Out

I was never terribly good with lipstick.

Actually, that isn’t me. Had you guessed? And I’m not exactly a Rosie, or indeed a Posie, except for blogging, but we’ve dealt with that in other posts.

Actually, it was more like a small afternoon out followed by a medium-sized evening.

I very rarely go out nowadays. I am a hermit. The cats and I are fellow hermits. But every once in a while my friends invite me back to my old town and we Go For An Indian. We do like Indian food. Yummy!

Except – answer me this – why does a single mint leaf coated in white chocolate not taste anything like an After Eight? After Eights are wafer-thin chocolate mints that you get with your thick, gooey coffee at the end of the meal. Almost the best bit. I did try the chocolate mint leaf, having been instructed by my friends (and the waiter) that I was supposed to eat it. (I wondered if you were just supposed to suck the chocolate off?) But – oh no. It reminded me of Nan’s Sunday lamb roast dinners, with chocolate. Those are just two tastes – or maybe a texture and a taste – that shouldn’t go together.

We were celebrating one of my friends’ engagement. She has a nice, twisty engagement ring. I never got an engagement ring. Even after I was married. How strange it all is.

The small afternoon was a visit to the bank to order a new chequebook (yes, I know how to live it up) followed by a visit to the florist’s to get my friend some flowers to go with her card and engagement present-proper. I got tulips (I am suspicious of mingled bunches – I like things all the same) but the woman didn’t – as I had imagined when rehearsing the scene in the flower shop on the way down – encase the tulip stems in one of those plastic bags full of water. So I took the tulips back to the car. Then I visited the charity shop and found a little blue jar or bowl for £1.50 (it will do to keep my keys in). Then I went back to the car, emptied some water from my water-bottle into the little blue jar or bowl and propped the tulips up in it, inside the plastic box that holds the 99 half-empty de-icer cans, in the back of the car. Sorted.

It was windy. And damp. I dangled my twinkly scarf (the one I used to trick my worn-out black ‘sale’ dress with the strange flower-pattern into believing it might be an evening dress) underneath my coat. I wrapped my thick, sensible scarf around the outside of my coat. I went back into town again, to the hairdressers.

My hair was cut by a girl called Poppy, who had dyed her hair to match her name, which I thought was rather clever as normally hairdressers’ names and faces tend to elude one, but Poppy with the violent-coloured hair is now permanently engraved. Poppy was nice but had little spots underneath thick brown makeup. I looked in the mirror and hoped she wasn’t inspecting my pasty complexion and crows-feet with the same interest as I was examining her acne. She said I had nice thick hair. Actually it’s ordinary fine hair – there’s just a fair quantity of it (still). For a moment I had a strange vision of myself, covered in fine, silky hair like one of those wolf-children.

And so (as Pepys would say) to Tesco’s to pass the hour before I was due collect my friend and her nice new twisty engagement ring. I read the Radio Times and listened to pop music on the radio. I wondered whether to put lipstick on but couldn’t be bothered. My earrings hurt. I have two piercings in each ear, but forget to put the earrings in for months on end at home, in my hermitage. Then when I do put them in, my ears tend to swell up and itch.

At the Indian restaurant we ordered, and the waiter brought me a tonic water with lime; a slice of lime adrift. My friends had wine. That’s the trouble with living forty-five miles away. You have to drive home. The restaurant had pop music exactly the same as I’d been listening to in the car – same station, I suspect. Less crackly. I quite enjoyed it – I tend to know all the words and bellow along out of tune – in the car. The day I start doing that in restaurants will be the day they Take Me Away.

But wondered what happened to all that soothing tinkly ethnic stuff. I used to rather like that. I rather liked the cardboard minarets and tiger wall-hangings over flock wallpaper too. Where has all the unsophistication gone? (long time passing) Where has poorly-lit and smelling of spices gone? (long time ago).

Where have drunken nights in another town, still being young, still being married and hubby playing the spoons on the tablecloth gone? (gone for a burton every one.)

Oh when will they ever learn?

Oh when will they ever learn?

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