Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday is Amish Day

Friday. The end of the week and the beginning of the weekend. After 5 days of writing inane radio jingles, direct mailers disguised as exotic drinks from the Tiki Bar and television commercials that involve mannequins coming to life I am tired. My mind that was fully functioning at the start of the week has slowly degenerated in to semi-comatose entity that hardly knows what it’s telling the rest of my body to do.

As you can all imagine this has many fallouts. I begin to use words like ‘sparkly’ and ‘fabulous’ with reckless abandon. I find myself watching Project Catwalk and tearing up when the winner is announced. But nowhere else are the repercussions felt more than in the wardrobe department. Yes, by Friday I have become a sartorially challenged wreck who would make Trinny and Susannah rub their posh, breast grabbing hands in glee.

Now I’m no fashion plate. I don’t take to every word printed by Vogue as The Truth (if you ask me leggings and knickerbockers should have left behind in the 80’s along with perms and Rick Astley). But I do consider myself well dressed and make some effort in deciding what to wear (without being obsessive and ‘visualising’ outfits as the wonderfully trashy Victoria Beckham suggests).

It’s not like I wake up Friday morning and decide to look ugly. No it’s a gradual process that starts on Wednesday around tea time and kicks in to full gear by Friday morning. On Friday morning everything seems pointless and a waste of time.

Why bother with hair soufflĂ©s? (Children please don’t try eating them. Even the ones that say they’re Banana flavoured.) After all your hair just ends up looking like a bird’s nest thanks to the gale 3 winds blowing outside. And not even a cool bird’s nest like those kids in Camden Lock sport. No, just a sad ‘I’m 25 and am pretending to be 15’ looking one whose only redeeming quality is that it smells of banana soufflĂ©. And I’m not even sure that’s a redeeming quality anymore.

On Friday morning I look at my mascara wand and think why bother? My eyelashes are notoriously clannish and insist of sticking together instead of spreading out in to long, elegant black whips. Eyeliner makes me look more Panda chic than exotic Indian and my lipstick seems to develop an inordinate fondness for my teeth.

But the worst thing on Friday is honestly what I wear. Let’s take what today’s outfit for example. For some strange reason I decided today was Amish Day. Long, frumpy denim skirt, starched white shirt and a blue sweater vest. (Don’t even ask my why I own as sweater vest) And to make matters worse I decided to slick my hair in to the most unprepossessing of buns. So not only do I look Amish, I look like an Amish School Marm.

The full extent of my fashion suicide is only apparent to me when I reach the train station. And then suddenly I’m surrounded by slick, put together women carrying Mulberry bags and draped in pashmina shawls. Their hair and make-up is perfect and I just know that underneath that tweed but not tweedy suit exist legs natural tans bestowed upon them by a Caribbean sun.

And they all look at me with pity. Wondering simultaneously when they started letting the Amish in to Britain. I usually use my newspaper as a defence. I hide behind the moral and intellectual superiority of The Independent trying to cast an
eye-rolling ‘oh-my-god’ you’re reading Heat? Which makes trying to cop a look at the Britney’s New Bump headline very difficult by the way.

And if getting to work is bad, then the journey home is even worse. Friday night revellers heading out to get smashed line the platforms like twinkling fairy lights. I try and skulk by them, hoping to draw as little attention to myself as possible. And then I catch it - that wry, sardonic eyebrow lift and lip curl from some nubile nineteen year old. I try not to have uncharitable thoughts or shout out ‘Bet you don’t know the GDP of Ukraine.’ But then neither do I so I skulk on to the farthest corner of the platform trying not to stare at the tonguing twelve year olds.

I’ve channelled a number of It’s Friday looks over the years. Immigrant cleaning lady. Garbage bag lady. Lady who looks like she lives alone with 10 cats. Lady who looks like she’s hiding one of those cats under her jumper.

So why don’t I buck up and make some effort on Fridays? Well in a few seasons some upstart fashion designer could be selling haute couture Amish School Marm dresses to an unprepared and unsuspecting public. And boy will I be ready for it.


shub said...


Subbu said... those standards, everyday is a friday fr me! As an aside, I enjoy your writing. Never fails to bring a smile on my face.

Anonymous said...

hehehhe.. I know what you mean. I was just walking past the large (reflective) doors at my work, and wondering why I always end up wearing flats on Fridays, even though my backbone loses its straightness (no, really, high heels help me stand straight), why I'm wearing these pants I actually once considered converting to pajamas to wear at home, why Im wearing this jacket with a HOOD!! (Though the hood is not actually up)

hehe. Dintknow it was a universal phenomenon :)

- Aparna

TomCruiseChellum said...

One way - and a sure one at that - to beat this problem for good is to go the Gandhian way.
No more than 2 or 3 sets of identical homespuns- khadi.
Now it is another thing that the Beris et all are trying to elevate Khadi to the catwalk

apu said...

"I try not to have uncharitable thoughts or shout out ‘Bet you don’t know the GDP of Ukraine.’ But then neither do I ...." - you killed me with that!!!

Prerona said...

lovely post and i loved the template - v nice :)

1$ Saint said...

how d hell do u think like this? or do u jus make it up? no seriously...u d script writer for my biography....lolz...

mumbaiwallah said...

Hi Shoefie

What's this writing course that you're taking? Is it an online/distance learning one?

shyam said...

Shoof, THIS is why I'm glad I live where I do, and not in London - no worries about any Prada-clad smarties around here ;)

anjali said...

hehehe.....i know what you mean...

on friday mornings, i try to think of my super hip, always perfectly dressed, 40-something french boss, and the frown on his face when he sees me walk into the office in a pair of jeans, hooded jacket and zero make-up. that can sometimes make me change my entire outfit multiple times!

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

Shub :)

Subbu - Thank you!

Anon - Hoodies! Ah! I wear them so the other hoodies in the 'hood (that's me being street by the way)
think i'm one of them and don't happy slap me

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

TCC - In this weather khadi would be more killer than couture

Apu - :D

Prerona - Thanks!

1$saint - Hey this is all true buddy!

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

Mumbaiwallah - It was an 8 week creative writing course conducted at Central St Martins in Holborn.

Shyam - what! no pressure to don Barbour and Burberry wellies?

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

Anjali - Bloody french and their casual chic. :(

s0ulasylum said...

Casual fridays can take a hike! lets bring on Amish fridays!! :)I have been readin ur posts for a while now, love 'em all..:).. my first time commenting tho..! must say..I love your new look.. complete with bright red hair n all!

MumbaiGirl said...

Every day is amish day for me :(

... said...

Last two weeks have been Amish weeks for me :-) Finally today I got out and got a facial and a pedicure in order to start afresh tomorrow.

LAK said...

Amish school marm,ha ha! Not presumig to suggest, but really wanted to know---is ethnic Indian wear not a option?

The ramblings of a shoe fiend said...

soul asylum - thanks! and if you saw the amish look you'd want to stick to friday casuals! trust me

mumabi girl - i find that very hard to believe! how's the sweater?

keya - :)

Lak - Indian ehtnic is great for the summer... not winter :)