Friday, October 06, 2006

Take that paper bag off your head before you talk to me!

There are days, and this is one of them, when the thought of venturing out of the house would be so much less daunting if I could throw a paper bag over my head. Peeping out of two, roughly cut, eye holes I would feel protected, comforted and hidden by my anonymity. Much as I imagine celebrities feel when adorned with base ball hats and sunglasses. Some days you just cannot face the world, nor do you feel that it should be subjected to facing you. On days such as this a paper bag would do nicely.

There is something about wearing a crumpled piece of brown paper on your head which is not yet socially acceptable in this country. I yearn for the day when our society is integrated and open minded enough to enable me to walk, head held high, adorned with my chosen headgear without fear of rotten apple throwing, name calling or taunting.

The etiquette of head garment wearing is steeped in history. Hats to a wedding, but not to eat in. Many a time I have munched my way through a five course dinner, chit chatting politely to strangers, with a deep red welt across my forehead and an indented ridge around my crisply ironed hair. Hiding the hat beneath my chair, only to be tripped over by fumbling waiters, I puzzle over the logic. Do your hair, ruin it with hat, remove hat to expose disastrous hair for all to see. It is at this point I long to reach for the brown paper bag.

There is a side of me which has always thought that a burkha was a damn fine substite for a head covering bag. What a relief it must be to wake up with your bad face on and to engulf your body with a piece of black cloth. I think everyone should have a burkha wearing day in their life.

The problem arises, however, when you wake up feeling great and want to proclaim this to the passing world. You plough through every garment in your wardrobe, trying to find the ultimate combination of clothes and accessories with which to accentuate your best and hide your worst. Successfully having achieved this goal, you strut your stuff in front of a full length mirror admiring your handiwork and applying various coloured substances to your face. It all comes together in a vision of confidence and style, you feel like a million dollars. You pick out a co ordinating coat, the finishing touch, grab your keys and prepare to rock the world with your morning vision. As you open the front door, smell the breeze in the air, your husband’s hand descends upon your shoulder. ‘Don’t forget your paper bag’ he says and shatters your world.