Bearded feminists and other Near Year bugbears

I hear resolutions have gone out of fashion, so very early Noughties. Suddenly we’re all resolving not to resolve. Admittedly there is something a tad trite, predictable and paradoxically indulgent about them. According to Elle Macpherson, gracing Red magazine like the kale-juicing goddess she is (hello, my name is January and I’m a middle-aged foregone conclusion) one should eschew resolutions all together, swapping them instead for new year ‘solutions’ and finding ‘co-dreamers’ to build one’s very own new-age, mindful, sirtfood-spiralising, beetroot pureeing enterprise. Thanks for the tip Elle, but giving it some thought, I have a nagging suspicion it’s a bit easier sourcing co-dreamers when possessing a 40 inch inseam and the likes of Anna Wintour on speed dial. In fact, I expect these are pre-requisites.

Short a few co-dreamers, still it’s the time of year– dull, cold, miserable and debt-riddled as it is to try to better oneself and make a change, however small.  (Really. Small.) Me? I’m impatient and increasingly intolerant of well, lots. Whether a sign of age, kids, or both I notice becoming more aware and irritated from life’s little bugbears. The most anodyne offences provoke disproportionate ire, matters so utterly inconsequential, mundane and banal yet which still manage to get under my skin and itch. So before snowballing into something all together more sinister, my ‘solution’ will be to chill, lengthen the fuse– get over myself. I know. Reach for the stars.

To help me I thought it useful to catalogue a small sample of said irritants, collectively embrace them, and release. (Work with me.) Here are just a few.

I’ll start with the panini. I’m talking to you, Starbucks. I appreciate the effort to personalise my coffee without a hint of irony; might we take such service a step further and cut the panini? I can SEE the bread knife behind you, so when I ask my sandwich be cut, this does not translate into ‘please hand me a not-fit-for-purpose plastic knife’. Just CUT. THE. PANINI. Please, don’t deny me that first tasty bite in the middle.

Hand dryers. Naff, ineffective and tantrum inducing. (Parents of toddlers, you feel me?) Either blowing insipid cold air, or blistering palms with the deafening force of an F-16 Fighter. Both are inexcusable and leave me longing ear plugs and a touch of terry. Here’s a thought, if you offer either a children’s menu or white table cloths, stick to the paper. I’m all for saving the Amazon, but there’s got to be a better way. Make it STOP.

Wire hangers. Slap some rouge on me and call me Joan. NO MORE WIRE HANGERS!!

Sticking with the sartorial– hanger loops in garments. Slinking down sleeves or else throttling me, there’s no need, people. I appreciate the consideration, but please, it’s viscose poly-blend made in Bangladesh and bought for a tenner from Primark. Let’s not be under any illusions this will end up anything other than rolled away into the nether regions of my sock drawer. Snip, snip.

The elusive pebble in the shoe. Lingering between the toes, digging into the ball or bouncing around the hollow of my arch, there’s no elegant way to get rid of it. Yep, that’s me, teetering on one leg, fluorescent holed sock on display, shaking my boot like a demented fool.




Bearded feminists.

I could go on. Oh, how I could go on. Silly, right? But there’s something cathartic about this. Here you were under the illusion kids were meant to imbue patience. Rubbish. They suck it out of you leaving precious little reserve for anything else.

But in a good way.

Time to not sweat the small stuff and hopefully make way for the big. Kale juice not included.

Happy new year!


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