Thursday, November 13, 2008

Why courtesans never get caught out

Ever noticed that when you have all our make-up on, are feeling slim, are wearing something a bit slinky and are working some fantastic heels you won't see a soul you know? You'll clickety clack round town looking hot and all you'll see is a couple of pensioners and a few kids on bikes. But go out with a just got out of bed hairdo that channels 'Eraserhead', stained grey tracksuit bottoms on that you wore to clean the loo, a bobbly cardy that makes you look like you just escaped from an institution and spit-webbed teeth and you are bound to meet not only every bugger you know but also the man of your dreams. You'll be standing there in the queue at the shops, trying to lick the dried on breakfast off your face while in front of you smoulders the most gorgeous man you've ever seen buying a lottery ticket for tonight's draw. Believe me it's happened to me.

Of course there is considerable schadenfreude to be gained from meeting someone you've always thought was glamorous in this condition. To think that even the impossibly well-groomed sometimes try to slip out for a paper with the pyjamas under their coat and get caught out. But the well-groomed tend to not even put out their washing without first having a facial and slipping on a pair of Manolo's before picking up their Kath Kidston laundry basket.

My worst slip up was deciding to wear some extremely horrid thermal knickers under my outfit when in the chorus of 'La Traviata' playing some French floozy. I'm not even sure now that they weren't thermal underpants complete with Y Front! I'd completely forgotten that I would have to strip off in the 'dressing room', not only in front of all the ladies in the chorus but also all the men! It didn't matter how low cut my dress was and commensurately impressive my heaving enbonpoint, nobody would be able to forget my big, greying thermal knickers and I knew it. It was very difficult to enter the mind and body of a 19th century courtesan at that point although they may well have worn thermal knickers to protect themselves against the harsh Parisian winters. It's more likely however that they wore none at all under their crinolines, like the infamous Victorian London courtesan Skittles who's riding habit was nearly sprayed on in order to show off her wonderful curves.

The solution? Invest in a big coat and a hat to hide your hair. And make sure you've wiped the breakfast off your face. You never know who you might meet.

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