Part of the joy of moving house is, of course, getting to know the new neighbours, and so today, I took myself to the local cafe (not the one where Piglet previously disgraced himself by kicking a table over. We’re lying low from that one for a while) in an attempt to do just that.
Well, actually it was more of an attempt to distract Piglet from opening all the cupboards in Granny’s death-trap kitchen and extracting the contents (so far today I have had to prise ceramic oven dishes, washing powder caps and a bottle of Tabasco sauce from his little hands).
Anyway, off we went to the cafe, and I almost immediately found myself in conversation with a local. This particular individual was well over eighty, and was presumably suffering from some sort of age-related macular degeneration, as when I happened to mention that I was looking for a place to live, she suggested the flats where she lives.
These flats are known as “Homes for the Aged.”
Now I know I am suffering a daily increase in the number of grey hairs on my 35 year old head, but I hadn’t considered that this aged me twenty years, but presumably it must do as you have to be over 55 to live in these flats.
OH GOD I AM ONLY TWENTY YEARS AWAY FROM BEING OFFICIALLY AN OAP.
AND APPARENTLY I ALREADY LOOK LIKE ONE.
Luckily at that point it started raining and the cafe was overrun with middle class mothers and their offspring, who had been in the park outside, sheltering from the rain. Aha, I thought, these are my peeps. Here is my opportunity to make some new, local friends.
I mean, I am a Middle Class Mother, right? I have a Bugaboo. We go to swimming lessons. Hell, I even wore a Breton top yesterday.
“Look!” I cried gleefully at Piglet, “look! Other babies! Maybe you should invite them to your birthday party tomorrow!”
Piglet examined the other babies with interest. The other babies sat in their pushchairs and ignored him. The Mothers came in and ordered lattes in paper cups (I drink lattes! I am a Middle Class Mother, right?) They were all wearing sensible hiking jackets and flat shoes. I was wearing these leggings.
And I looked 55 years old. In THESE LEGGINGS. Just let that sink in for a moment. After five minutes, the Middle Class Mothers departed, once all their babies had started crying, and I was left thinking two things.
1.) This area must have undergone a degree of gentrification since the 1980s, when my dad once had to lead a local boy home by his ear after he karate kicked me in the street, and
2.) Are those really my peeps?
I mean, those women almost certainly have husbands. And they almost certainly have cars, and don’t have to take the bus everywhere. And those women almost certainly never wear Black Milk leggings. This is possibly because Black Milk leggings are designed for teenagers and not 55 year old women like me, but I am convinced that I will not be welcomed into the Middle Class Mother fold unless I wear sensible shoes and hiking jackets AT ALL TIMES.
I will continue in my efforts to find some friends. For Piglet’s sake, at least.