I'm not a public transport user, I live within 3 miles of anywhere I need to go on a day to day basis. If I don't walk it, we'll go in the car. Except him indoors can't drive at the moment. So - and this is perfectly timed - from bus outside my door at 09.19 am to bus back to my door 10.25 am, I make a trip in to Bangor, to the Post Office to pay a bill, to the Bank... oh and yes, for a Greggs pastie (Veg for me, Meat and Potato for him).
It's raining, and the chirpy, bearded, bird-whistling Big Issue seller is stood in his usual place by the old JJB on the corner. Seeing me coming, he walks into the centre of the road (pavement - but it's not pedestrianised until 10 or 10.30 am) and stops the traffic for me to cross. I thank him, and on my way back I go over to him to buy a copy.
Me: Well I suppose I'll take a Big Issue seeing as you were so kind as to help an old woman across the road.
Him: Oh, you're not old, don't be silly. Wait til you get to my age. What are you, 40 at the most?
Me: *Shoots him filthy look*
Me: THIRTY SEVEN!
(I'm not, I'm actually 36 but I was so... bloody gutted by this, I wasn't going to correct myself. It's only 9 months away).
I've always prided myself on looking pretty ok for my age. I've avoided the sun. I've never used a sunbed. Because I'm a miserable sod, not because it's the safest route. I've always been a Winter person. I have seen people the same age and younger than I who've been abroad and hammering the sunbeds, and I have thought (in the bloody past) 'Yeah Shell, not bad. Not bad at all for your age, love'.
I then think. Don't most men look at a woman and then grossly under exaggerate her age to make her feel good? I think to my husband's FLUKE of a Golden Rule when I met him. I asked him how old he was, he said guess - I said 29 - he was 37 but agreed with me that he was and LIED for the first 2 months of our relationship (Are you listening Mr G? A relationship built on LIES!). I asked him how old he thought I was and he said 23. He was right. I was. But as it emerged that was his token answer to any woman. If she's 18, she's all impressed thinking she looks older but not too old. If she's 40 then... says it all. Git.
So, bearing that in mind - for the Big Issue guy to say I was no older than 40 - just how bloody old did he think I really looked?
Anyway. The misery doesn't end there.
I get home and relay my tale of woe to the husband. Who, once he's stopped laughing has these words of wisdom for me.
Him: 'Babe, you don't look 40. I saw this one girl on Jeremy Kyle yesterday (?) and she was dressed smart and that but she looked older than you. Guess how old she was?
Me: Don't care. I'm hurting.
Me: Right. Did she have more than one tooth in her head?
Him: I know what the problem is with you.
Me: Oh, pray tell.
Him: You dress like a Mum.
Me: I am a Mum?
Him: You dress like your Mum. Should. Even she dresses better than you.
And there we have it, my double insult.
We won't even go into the German Xbox game nor 'What happened to Mrs Healy'. We'll save that misery for another day!
What a liberty.
You may direct your words of sympathy into the box below :-(