12.08 P.M. I am stood in the ‘Hair and Beauty’ aisle of the supermarket, happily filling up my basket with various products for my unexpected trip to Greece, to rescue Maggie, my wild cousin.
Uncle Bob has already transferred my travel expenses to my bank account. I have many weaknesses in life and my inability to leave money untouched has to be one of my biggest. I have to be doing something with money, like spending it on hair and beauty products.
Looking my best on a beach towel in Greece is currently more important to me than eating out there. After consulting my bathroom scales this morning and screaming in fright at what they told me about my weight I think having little money for food could be a good thing.
12.10 P.M. I am just trying to decide whether I will need the normal sized tube of Female Hair Removal Cream or whether I should opt for the bumper sized version. In light of the amount of personal pruning that I am going to have to do for this holiday I think it’s a safer bet to upgrade.
“Hello Roxy” says a familiar voice, making me whirl around.
“Oh Marcus” I say giving him an awkward smile. My eyes scan his basket of men’s shower gel, deodorant and washing powder. His eyes scan the ginormous tube of hair removal cream in my hand and then my basket containing a new baby pink lipstick, a pack of headache tablets and a box of Tampax,
His eyes return to the bumper sized hair removal cream tube and I know what’s going through his head “how hairy is she?”
I mumble something about desperately needing a large baguette and scurry away.
12.15 P.M. The fake tan section of the supermarket catches my hair as I race away from Marcus.
Ooooh there is a female shop assistant wandering about. I think I will ask her advice on fake tanning products seeing as my last tanning sessions have ended in orange stripe legs. I am refusing to believe that this might be due to me drinking half a bottle of wine before hand.
In my head I have a price that I am willing to pay for a new fake tanning product. I think its good to go in with a budget and act thrifty.
I am just explaining in detail that the last one I used sent me an odd yellow / tangerine shade.
The shop assistant has just informed me that it’s because I am using a cheap brand and that the most expensive brand will give me a stunning golden colouring which will go well with my red hair.
Chuck fake tan budget out and go for the most expensive brand. Spend time in the queue for the till daydreaming about looking golden on a beach.
12.35 P.M. It is now time to go look for a new swimming costume. I am tottering at speed out of the supermarket and into the shopping centre.
Ooooh what’s that? I am distracted by a poster of model in a trendy new string bikini in a new clothes shop.
I was thinking a sensible one piece swimming costume but this poster has caught my eye. The model looks trendy and fun on the beach in her string bikini.
Visually place my head on model’s shoulders and imagine myself on a Greek beach looking trendy and fun. Yes that is how I want to look! But what about my bathroom scales and those wobbly bits on my thighs? Reassure myself with the fact that my bathroom scales have been faulty for months and there will be worse sights on a Greek beach.
Charge into shop, grab a string bikini in my size and take it to the fitting room booth.
The young trendy assistant takes one look at the bikini and then at me. She smiles and says “this will look amazing on you!”
“Do you think so?”I ask.
“Oh yea, they are so bang on trend. Everyone in Ibiza is wearing string bikinis!”
For the first time in my life feel like I am part of the young and trendy crowd who go to Ibiza.
I wrestling with a string bikini in stuffy shop fitting room. Oh my god I am sweating like crazy.
Ok so I have finally got it on.
Let me just consider whether this trendy string bikini (tiny triangular bits of flimsy cloth held together by some string) look is suitable for a 30 something mother of three with an ample bosom and some wobbly bits.
I need a second opinion. Hang on . Let me take a series of selfies of me in this so I can send them onto Shaz; otherwise known as the ‘bikini’ queen. I will never forget our Spanish holiday where she rocked a leopard print bikini. It gave her a dream holiday romance with a lifeguard who couldn’t take his eyes off her. I recall feeling old and frumpy in my sensible one piece swimming costume, ignoring the advances of an overweight car salesman from Birmingham.
12.52 P.M. Exit fitting room clutching my new bikini and I am ushered to the till.
A shop assistant who looks like she spends her weekends abroad partying puts my purchase through the till.
How much did she say it cost? OMG my heart has stopped beating!
“But it’s just some bits of cloth tied with string” I croak seeing the price dance in front of my eyes.
“Everyone is buying them. We are close to selling out.” she informs me.
Purchase string bikini after assistant lectured me on the following points:
1. I am only going to live once.
2. No fun can be had in a sensible one piece swimming costumes.
3. I look like I need to have some fun.
4. Not eating for a week will make me look like a stick!
5. Uncle Bob’s travel expenses are taking a retail beating, not my money.
1.35 P.M. I am back at work worrying about my string bikini purchase. It didn’t feel comfortable on in the fitting room. The words ‘cheese wire’ spring to mind. Still, Great Aunt Vera always says that you have to endure pain to be beautiful.
I am going to consult Shaz. Just searching for my phone. I need her opinion ASAP on my bikini selfies. The great thing about having a best friend like Shaz is that she will give me her honest opinion.
“Roxy do you have the invoices folder?” asks Martin as I attempt to multi-task. Answer Martin’s question whilst texting the bikini selfies to Shaz – front, sideways and rear shots.
“Here you go!” I say handing Martin the folder and then gasping in horror. I have accidentally pressed ‘send to all phone contacts’.
1.42 P.M. My phone has gone into meltdown. Everyone in my entire phone book has reacted to receiving a series of photos of me and my wobbly bits in a string bikini.
Text responses back to me include:
• ‘You need to start dieting Roxy’ – Mother.
• ‘Do you want to get back together with me because I may reconsider if you wear that bikini around the house?’ – Rob – ex-partner.
• ‘OMG that is so wrong!’ – Matilda – teenage daughter.
• ‘Go girl!’ – Shaz – best friend.
• ‘This is not an appropriate text to send your new line manager Roxy’ – Martin, my new boss.
• ‘WOW!’ – Ken from the local pub.
• ‘Please don’t resort to selling yourself online Roxy’ – Brian, Landlord.
• ‘Yes I am interested – can we keep it a secret?’ – One of the (married) Dad’s from Harry’s football team.
1.56 P.M. Send out apology text to phone book and assure Martin that I am not making a pass at him.
2.06 P.M. Ask Martin to get me a strong coffee from the machine as I am feeling a bit faint. The string bikini photo episode has taken its toll on me.
2.17 P.M. Ask Martin if I can leave early as not feeling very well.
3.09 P.M. Lie on sofa with a cold flannel on my face, listening to whale music and imagine myself on Greek beach looking amazing.
3.12 P.M. Groan loudly as I remember that I am going to persuade Maggie to come home and marry Vince. I am not going to enjoy myself.
3.13 P.M. Tell myself that convincing Maggie to come home will take half an hour and a large cocktail.
From then on its ‘Roxy holiday time!’