On Sunday morning I felt like a superhero. Not because I’d done anything heroic or extraordinary, but just because I was back in normal clothes. I was schlepping along to the Co-op for bacon and croissants at the time. It occurred to me that right then, walking along in the cold February sunshine with last night’s mascara no doubt still partially crusting my eyes (I didn’t check the mirror before I went out and I’m not very patient with removing make up at stupid o clock in the morning), chunky glasses on, slouchy jeans and trainers, that I was while not totally unrecognisable from the night before, I looked like my own nerdy twin.
Saturday night I was the girl on fire. I was wearing a halter neck cherry red dress, gorgeous silver earrings I got in Bruges, and the shoes I wore to graduation ball. I felt like the cape in the paso doble. I felt like Baby doing the Sheldrake Hotel routine with Johnny Castle. It was the best I’ve felt about my body for a long time and hopefully it showed. Two ladies complimented me on my dress which was nice.
I had to stop myself from grinning as I went into the Co-op, because I was so pleased with myself. It was like I was still wearing the other me like an invisible shell over everyday me. We are the same person, obviously, but The Other Girl doesn’t come out too often. Maybe it was the red. I know the classic is the Little Black Dress but for me red is the way to go. So to all these other Sunday morning patrons I was just the person in front of them. They had no idea about The Other Girl. I was a black winter jacket, orange juice buying, middle class woman. Gone was the harlot.
I wish I could live my life in harlot red all the time. It could be my thing. A lot of my clothes are blue. I’m very much a blue person. Sea colours. But also autumn colours. A friend told me that my “season” colour palette thing, for him, was the cusp of winter to spring. Budding. Potential. The unexpected. Flashes of brilliance. Clear skies and new leaves. Clean lines.
We all have an alter ego. We all wear different selves like phone covers or Facebook profile pictures. They are shells and skins. They can change with the weather or a good day, a bad day, a drink, a random smile from a stranger on the bus. I shed my skin at least four times every day. My mood swings are perhaps a little worrying.
This Valentine’s Day, I hope you have someone who sees the you under the mask. Being Wonder Woman all the time is too exhausting. We need someone to be with that can take the full whack of costume changes in one. I’m sort of lucky in that I have a best friend who can take all my weirdness because we came through our teens together. He can take one look at me and know exactly what’s right or wrong. And I can do the same for him. I found him at fifteen. But we don’t work as a couple and he’s now married. So lightning can strike twice, eh?