The outside world is protected from my inner-bitch by a fairly durable elastic-band-type resistance thingy that when too much pressure is applied, snaps. It usually takes quite a bit of pushing and prodding - and usually more than one source is required to see said resistance snap, but, yesterday meek little manager at Large Toiletry Selling Shop did it.
I woke with a sinus headache so intense I'd have used a chainsaw to remove offending head parts if I'd had one handy. Said headache was not made more pleasant by a) actual drilling of worker men in house, b) The Daughter's desire to turn day into musical in very high pitch or c) the inability to give up on day and return to bed in darkened room to bond with eyelids as though they were long lost childhood friends.
Instead, The Daughter had ballet (for which I had to hand-sew securing elastic onto 'character shoes'). Plus I had arranged coffee date with newly pregnant Mom of Ballet Friend during which she gushed for three quarters of an hour over cervixes, dilation, labour pains, cracked nipples and incontinence. While I ordinarily would have coped with such speak, on this day it served to heighten my growing feeling of nausea while reminding me of my very own barrenness. Brilliant.
But then. It happened. I ducked into Large Toiletry Selling Shop after a quick once around Over-Priced Children's Clothing Store.
The Daughter: Please can we go to Over-Priced Children's Clothing Store?
The Pant: Yes. But listen very carefully to me: I am not buying anything in there, okay?
After a quick once over, and the realisation that my outside-the-shop-door sentiments belonged to a much stronger-willed woman, we headed to the check-out.
The Pant: I'm going to give you my card, just ring it through, I do not want to know how much I've spent.
Check-out Girl: Don't worry - I get that a lot. No problem.
Check-out Girl was one of those very young un-wrinkled types, with false eyelashes, too much make-up and pictures of ballet shoes on her shirt and earrings. I, comparatively, looked like I felt - one with progressed raging man-flu, a few degrees short of full-blown pneumonia, with swollen cracked lips, red glassy eyes and an outfit I did not remember dressing myself in.
COG: I'm just going to put everything in this packet that says 'sale' on it even though nothing's on sale because it's the biggest bag we've got. (Flutter false eyelashes, fake smile, crack orange-hued base.)
TP: (under breath) whore.
And then Large Toiletry Selling Shop happened. The Daughter needed mousse for ballet because, to be entirely honest, I'd used gel that morning, and by the time she emerged from her two-hour dance class, it looked like I'd used the expulsion from boyfriend/girlfriend (or boyfriend/boyfriend, but not girlfriend/girlfriend) interactions to slick her hair back - the sight of which not only made me gag, but one which would not, I felt, go down well with other ballet mums.
Large Toiletry Selling Shop, like Overpriced Children's Clothing Store, is one of those shops that one walks into with the intention of buying one thing and exits with two very expensive packets. But I had need for mousse, and was fairly swift in selecting a well-priced (R22,96) fancy-looking mousse - strong-hold too. So I waited in the god-awful long queue and was eventually met by what could have been a tranny it had so much blue eyeshadow on and, again, false eyelashes so long I had to step back to prevent said eyelashes from wiping thick streaks of cheap mascara over my own face.
Tranny: That'll be R45.95, Ma'am.
(I was, as I'm sure you can gather, not in the finest mood - the veins in my forehead were throbbing like a stubbed toe.)
The Pant: No, lovey (could I have been more condescending?). It'll be R22.96
TP: On the shelf it says R22.96, so that is what I'll be paying.
TP: I beg your pardon, young ... person?
Tranny: I'm calling the manager.
TP: Ah, very sophisticated in-store communication system you've got going here.
TP: Lovey, if you scream a little louder, I'm sure you will succeed in causing my head to explode all over your till.
Other Worker Person: HE'S ON TEA, HILDA!
Hilda (it seems): He's on tea.
TP: I got that. Could you get him off tea, please.
Hilda: TELL HIM I NEED HIM, REGINA.
Regina: FIVE MINUTES, HILDA. JUST TELL LADY TO WAIT.
Hilda and I waited those five minutes in a state of stare-down, while other customers in growing queue stared at my back with bladed stare.
Wonder: What's the problem, Hilda?
I interjected, and explained the situation to Wonder over-pronouncing words like 'you' and 'your store'. After the small little weedy man met my situation with a, "Sorry, Ma'am, there's nothing I can do. I'm just the hair products aisle manager and the store manager is on lunch," I think I exploded.
The Pant: Well, Wonder, what I suggest you do with said can of mousse, is stick it directly in your rectum. And spend the rest of your ineffective day wandering like an ice-cream on a stick.
Then I turned on my heel, and minced on out of there.
Pant-flu: a fate worse than man-flu.