Women and parking

22 January

“Look at us both, we’re like a couple of teenagers!” I nudge Mr Young, realising that we are side by side on the sofa, both engrossed in staring at the screens on our phones.

“Hardly,” he says, but not even bothering to look up. “I’m looking at Fairisle slipper-socks on Amazon. Why, what are you doing?”

“I'm reading an interesting article about cooking with quinoa on the Guardian app,” I say.

“There you are then. Not exactly down with the kids, are we?” he scoffs.

He does have a point; but now I’m too concerned about these slipper-socks.

“You can’t buy slipper socks,” I tell him. “They’ll have those sticky things on the soles. They’ll pick up dog hairs and get all disgusting.”

“No, they’ll be cosy and lovely. You’ll see. You’ll be jealous. I’m going to get them.”

I tell him he can’t. No way. It’s out of the question.

He sulks. And starts looking at gadgets on Amazon instead.

I find an interesting article about men’s midlife crises on the Guardian app.

I suppose we're not really like teenagers at all. At least, one of us isn't.

23 January

My new blog website is proving to be extremely popular; my readership has almost reached double figures, and book sales of The Housewife’s Guide to Homicide on Amazon, my first best-selling novel (if Trump can have alternative facts, so can I) are soaring; I have just received another royalty cheque, which I intend to splurge on a new 100% plastic guitar pick for Mr Young.

Life in the fast lane is a heady ride, let me tell you!

However, I’ve been doing some research, and apparently LinkedIn is another way in which I can increase my readership, and so this week I have been struggling with technology to get this all set up. Naturally, it’s all gone hopelessly wrong, and I’ve had emails from two very thoughtful new contacts to tell me that all my posts have completely disappeared, although my stupid fat smirking face is still at the top, with the paragraph next to it promising so much, but with just a blank page below.

If that isn’t a metaphor for my life at the moment, I don’t know what is.

I think it’s all sorted out now, but I do hope that I will be told again if things aren’t working, in the same way the occasional kind stranger will tap you on the shoulder and tell you your skirt's tucked into your knickers five minutes after you’ve left the ladies’ loo.

25 January

A huge box arrives for Mr Young from Amazon. After we've pulled out all the unnecessary paper packaging, it turns out to be the slipper-socks, which is surprising, because I expressly forbade him from buying them, of which fact I remind him. He doesn’t look guilty or ashamed in the slightest, though.

I think I am losing my touch.

This is very worrying.

26 January

I am forced to spend the day in bed with a migraine. Ruby is therefore forced to spend the day in bed next to me, keeping guard against…I’m not quite sure, but am grateful for the company.

Mr Young brings me tea and toast, because he is a kind and thoughtful husband, and later I am recovered enough to get dressed and come downstairs for supper.

“Why don’t you put on my slipper-socks?” he says.

The man is obsessed. I wonder if he has bought shares in the company, but am too weak to protest.

They are far too big and the ends flop about like clown shoes, but Mr Young seems very pleased with the ‘cosy’ look as he calls it.

Later, I point out all the dog hairs that have collected on the sticky soles. Just as I had predicted. He airily dismisses this.

He definitely has shares in the company. I just hope other people are buying the wretched things, because we won’t be getting rich just from my book sales…

28 January

Lunch with my father today. He has made cottage pie from the joint of beef he cooked yesterday, and has also made two extra portions to freeze for himself. For pudding, we have some of his homemade French apple tart, with his homemade vanilla ice-cream, and then some of his homemade raspberry sorbet.

He shows me the dining chair he’s currently making from scratch from a piece of mahogany, a replica of an antique chair, which involves some very intricate wood-turning. It’s quite beautiful.

We do the polygon in the Times, which he does every day, along with the Sudoku, and he beats me at Rummikub.

Over coffee, he tells me that he’s hosting a lunch party for some friends this week.

He’s in his eighties.

This week, I’ve had to throw out two saucepans because I let them boil dry, I've left the iron on by mistake and I've also shut Ruby out in the garden in the rain for an unknown length of time because I’d forgotten I’d let her out in the first place.

I’m in my fifties.

29 January

Joe at www.joedesira.co.uk (working on that commission…) has found a car to replace my Fiat 500… it is a Fiat 500L Trekking which, I know, I know, sounds as if it might be only a tiny bit different but is in fact completely different! Am test driving it today, which will be fine as long as I don’t have to reverse park it because this is the Kryptonite to my Superwoman driving powers. My spatial awareness skills are so poor that I usually only leave my car somewhere if I can find a space in the middle of two empty spaces and even then I have to get out and check that I’ve managed to position it in between the two white lines.

But I’ve checked whether there is an actual reason for this and...there is. There really is! It’s obscure, and pretty well hidden away on the internet, but it’s to do with oestrogen; men are better at spatial awareness because they’ve got lots of testosterone and are designed to sit around scanning the landscape for predatory dinosaurs*or tasty prey which they can then navigate their way to through the jungle and chase down for supper.

Women aren’t so great because we have lots of oestrogen instead so that we can knit twigs and leaves into nests for our cave babies and brew up mud cappuccinos for our coffee mornings.

And – this is the best bit – the more oestrogen you have, the more feminine you are. Ergo, the worse you are at parking, the more delightfully womanly you are!

So that’s me, Mr Young, remember that every time you shake your head indulgently at my pathetic attempt to manoeuvre my tiny car into what you claim to be a very reasonably-sized rectangle.

A very womanly woman.

So just bugger off and scan the horizon for a sabre-toothed tiger while I pick the dog hairs off your slipper-socks.

*Yes, yes, of course I know they were extinct