A stereotypical ten year old girl has lots of pretty dresses and dives into her mum’s make up bag to start experimenting with different shades of lipstick, or something cliched like that, right? Not me. I was dragging my blind sister up trees, pretending my bike was a horse while jumping over broom handles, and having absolutely no clue whatsoever about clothes.
I did have a yearning to be girly - it just wasn’t satisfied by my father, who was in charge of bringing me up. Once, a friend at primary school gave me some little heels she’d grown out of. I was pleased as punch, tottered around in those bad boys until my toes bled. And my sister handed me down her bridesmaid dress, circa 1987, much to my utter delight. I wore it until I burst out of it a few years later, like The Hulk in a floral dress. So I did want to be a princess, I just wasn’t one.
Dad ran a school, and as a result, there was a lot of lost property. That’s where most of my wardrobe came from. When I went to see Mum at weekends, she’d take pity on me, dressed like a ragamuffin, bedraggled and wearing clothes that belonged to other children. So she’d buy me a lovely new dress. The next time she saw me, I’d still be wearing the lovely new dress, only now I’d have it on back to front, possibly inside out, and with an ill-fitting T-shirt on underneath.
Suffice to say when I grew up, my knowledge of what went with what did not flourish. I stuck to black corduroy flares, baggy T-shirts, trainers. I never really embraced being a woman. As you can see from Exhibit A. Before: baggy t-shirt OVER a hoodie. After: Oo, hello sailor!
So when I met Gareth, I was a bit of a mess, sartorially. Gareth's a photographer and has a great eye for fashion and what looks good. He slowly started morphing my wardrobe into one that looked pretty bloody fantastic, if I may say so myself. I soon had heels, dresses, a blazer (staple wardrobe essential, I totes now know) skinny jeans, and all in other colours than black.
The only problem was, his advice was so gratefully received, I began to depend on it. I found myself sending him picture texts from shop changing rooms, then hanging around car parks waiting for his response. A yes, and I’d rush back in and purchase. A no and I’d thank my lucky credit card that I’d been saved from the fashion doldrums.
Gok, or Gareth, whatever you care to call him, is my super style saviour. But it’s a curse, being my super style saviour. My ASOS addiction is his flooded inbox. Dozens of emails full of links to potential dresses. Let’s not forget the poor guy is just a bloke. He doesn’t actually care about these things. The novelty wore off for Gok about the same time I started asking his advice on every little purchase, and by every little purchase, I mean tablecloths. What man has an opinion of tablecloths? Not this one. Not even the real Gok, I’ll bet.
We did need a tablecloth though, to hide the permanent dirt on our grubby kitchen table. I found Zara Home had rather a splendid selection. But which to get? I didn’t want to get the wrong one - the decisions I make without Gareth are disastrous. Case in point - our sofa broke. Gareth turned down the surely irresistible opportunity to follow the little arrows around the maze that is Ikea. So I picked a sofa. It looked alright. But it isn’t. It has no arm rests. Incredibly vital for comfort, it turns out. Every time Gareth sits down, he laments my choice, wiggling his bottom around trying to find comfort on what is, we’ve dubbed, our ‘shit sofa.’ Well, I remind him - this is what happens when I make decisions alone.
So I did the usual - picked my fave tablecloths and emailed the links over.
‘Kimbo, I think this is a decision you can make yourself,’ he said, a little bit weary. ‘You’re taking my advice too far.’
He created this beast. This indecisive, but fashion forward and fabulous, beast. Now he must forever more dress her, buy the furniture and choose the tablecloths. I’ll just sit back and look good, by default.
"The composition of my soul is made, too great for servile, avaricious trade.
When raving in the lunacy of ink, I catch my pen and publish what I think."
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