Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Vanity, thy name is woman

I may have mentioned before that I'm not massively girlie and anyone that knows me will attest that I really don't worry too much about my appearance. A night out calls for the full works, but on a day-to-day basis, provided my skirt isn't tucked into my knickers or my lunch isn't lurking on my chin for later, I don't have too many hang-ups. I am the epitome of low-maintenance.

It might be time to re-evaluate this.

I went for a coffee in the bottom-slapping supermarket in Runcorn on the way home today. Ever seen Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps? Runcorn really is that weird. And the customers in the coffee shop (in reality a bit of left-over space tucked behind a till) would fit right in down at the Archers.

Anyway, I was quietly minding my own business, sipping a pretend latte and flicking through the Radio Times to plan how much videotape I needed for CSI, Law & Order, etc. next week, when a slightly unkempt man across the way noticed the portrait of the Queen on the front cover. (William Dargie, 1954, as seen in the photo)

"Ooh," he said, "That's different from the one we've got, isn't it?" looking at the woman who was with him. Now, what I should have done was nod in agreement and leave there and then, but no. I took no notice of the grubby clothes, assortment of mismatched carrier bags, straggly hair and slightly wide-eyed stare and pointed out that RT had four different covers this week, to celebrate HM's upcoming 80th birthday. The chap then proceeded to test my royalist credentials, in the following manner:

Him: She ascended the throne in...?
Me: (humouring him)1952
Him: And was crowned in...?
Me: (warming to the theme) 1953
Him: Now she was 25 when she came to the throne, but 27 at the Coronation. How was that?
Me: (triumphantly) Because she ascended the throne February 6th,1952, but was crowned at the beginning of June 1953. Since her birthday is 21st April, she had celebrated 2 birthdays between these dates!

Now, if I could have left at that point, it would have been fine. I could have walked away feeling like I had passed the time of day pleasantly with a fellow human being (bear in mind A is away and I was expecting a frosty reception from the cat) and that would have been that.

But that wasn't that.

I was too slow leaving the table.

The killer blow came from the woman, completely unexpectedly.

"So how old were you at the Coronation?"


I was born in 1970.

Maybe it's time for the anti-ageing cream...

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