I have often wondered throughout all this, when people say their mental health is suffering, when they say “we’re all going mad” or “I’m going mad” I wonder what they mean. What does is look like – how is this “madness” manifesting itself?
I haven’t felt very mad. I get up on time and go to bed on time. All domestic things are taken care of, we all have clean clothes. Kitty stays in her pyjamas a lot, but the pyjamas get cleaned and she gets dressed when she goes out. We are eating our vegetables and reading books, we are not swearing and hitting each other. Well, we’re not hitting each other.
So where does the madness lie, then? I wonder. I think it lay possibly in the heavy evening boozing, which saw a bottle of wine between two finished as early as 6.45pm (we put a stop to it). It still lies, though, in the forgetfulness, the inability to finish a sentence, a distinctly short attention span.
With me, now, it lies in a powerful compulsion to online shop. No, wait – not actually to shop. What I do is browse online, fill my virtual trolley and then leave it there. Sometimes when I go back to a shop I have visited the day – or days – before I find things in my trolley and fall about laughing. What was I thinking? I must be… mad.
I filled a trolley at Net A Porter with khaki trousers and jeans, one at Next with sleeveless white blouses, more khaki trousers at H&M, the preposterous “Jourdan” dress at Reformation, fresh crew neck sweaters from Uniqlo, t-shirts at Hush, a linen beach dress at Trilogy, all manner of crap at Cult Beauty, a cropped cardigan at Other Stories and a porcelain parrot with a gold beak at Anthropologie.
What I did actually buy, because I am on the eternal hunt for the perfect non-wired bra, was two things from Closely-Official – this lace bralette and the T-shirt bra. They ought to arrive any day now but I’m not holding my breath, they won’t be any good. Bras never are. I have been recommended by about 15 different people bras by Rossell England, for example, and I eagerly anticipated the arrival of my Holy Grail Bra only to find that although it was the right size it was as clunky and weird with great seams everywhere, looking like something run up on a nursery craft table.
But what I do want to say is that, as we will not be allowed to try clothes on in-store probably for months and months to come yet: get yourself a tailor’s tape. By that I mean a flexible fabric tape (as opposed to a stiff metal one) as used by tailors. You’ve probably already got one. I got mine from a Londis and it really cuts down the guesswork involved in buying things online. It’s positively essential for unscrambling unfathomable children’s clothing sizes. For example, what the hell is a Gap Kids XL? Your tailor’s tape, plus the size guide, will reveal all.
How about you? How is your madness manifesting itself? Or do you remain disappointingly sane.