Thursday, 27 September 2012

H & M

Could we have a photo of you, your husband and your kids? asks the email from the Daily Mail. They want it to go with an article. 

Um, I think for a second. No. The article is about sex, how to have some when you have teenagers, not that I know the answer to this, which is why I pitched the idea. Husband says I should ask around and get tips.

Sorry, I reply, could you use a library photo, or one just of me perhaps? If you must.

Apparently they must because the next thing I know I have an email from the picture desk. I must not wear jeans, or black; a dress is best. 

A dress! Do they read my blog? (They don’t, of course, but really they should, they should feature it in Femail, mental note: I will suggest this). If they did they would know I'm dress mad, it's a problem, I have a thousand. I've thought about blogging about them, a different one each time, I reckon it could keep me in material for a year. What did Nora Ephron say? Everything is copy? Damn right. Even my sex life. 

Now the picture editor wants to know my dress size, they might bring clothes. 

Eight, I type, sometimes ten if it’s jeans from Top Shop, which are made for anorexic teenagers, obviously, not forty-something mums with increasingly curvy curves, (must get back on the rower again this week). Then I think, why am I telling him this? I'll just wear one of my many dresses, of course, I'm over-sharing again. (I didn't tell him the bit about the rowing machine. I do over-share, but not that much.) 

I email back, then I get a call sheet (a call sheet!) confirming the time on Saturday, the photographer and another name with the initials H & M next to it. H & M? Hennes? So they will be sending clothes. How odd. 

So, now I am in flat spin, staggering to the end of busy week - late night cinema, boozy book group, tennis and tutor run, evening 6th form meeting, all-day-shop-till-you- drop-fest at Westfield, not to mention a bit of work. I'm knackered. I look in the mirror, it's just as I suspected: awful. AND THEY ARE SENDING A PHOTOGRAPHER. What on earth can I do in just 48 hours to shave off ten years? I text lovely hairdresser: Help! Can he squeeze me in for blow-dry? He can. He is lifesaver. But he only has 9.30. He will open the salon for me. It's a bit early and will complicate sports runs/husband’s training for marathon/my rowing, but beggars can’t be choosers. I take it.

I hardly sleep on Friday night, upon waking I look straight in the mirror, it's even worse, the under-eye bags have their own bags now and poor husband, who is the house alarm clock because he always wakes so early, has been cleaning the slimy green fish tank since dawn, just in case it’s in the back of the shot, like that time when the Guardian photographer came, so he is very grumpy and, much more importantly, has forgotten to wake Youngest. 

Mad panic to get Youngest dressed, breakfasted and out of the house in time for fencing club and me to the hairdresser, and there's a fish tank in the bath, which makes showering tricky.

Husband drops me off, I have life-saving blow-dry, I walk all the way home, which is a mile at least, because the car is needed for more sports runs. I haven’t had breakfast. I am even more knackered than before, it's only 10.30, I'm going to a hen night later, which starts at 4.00, in the afternoon.

I run round the house tidying. They might go in the living room/kitchen/downstairs loo/bedroom to look at my clothes (they do). I can’t sit down. I feel jittery. I look in the mirror: still worse. But the hair is nice, as it should be for £25. Twenty-five quid! There's a phone call, the photographer will be with you a bit after 12, hair and make-up are arriving in a minute. 

Hair and make-up? H & M. Damn it. I am an idiot. A tired, old-looking idiot. With very expensive hair.

And then they don't use a photo with the article anyway, but I got them to send me one... for my mum, of course.

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