So there I was, minding my own business, having left FFP Towers en route to the Post Office during my lunch hour.
I’d turned onto Hill Street where there was a couple, a bit older than I, walking towards me.
The bloke pointed at me and asked: “Are you an estate agent?”
Me: (indignantly) “No!”
Bloke: “Ah, must be a lawyer then.” And off he strode, without so much as a backwards glance.
Frankly, I’d rather have been attacked by a gull. Again.
Having mulled it over, with the help of a Gregg’s fudge doughnut to cheer myself up (other bakers are available), there were two reasons for blokey’s remark I reckon, and both of which cut me to the quick.
Firstly, I probably had a vague whiff of estate agent/lawyer about me, because I was suited and booted for work with a shirt and tie on, unusual for me as it’s in stark contrast to my default look I’ve basically been rocking since leaving school - “homeless person” (or as my dad would have it ‘‘tramp’’).
I’m a bit of a scruff and quite happy with it. Band t-shirt, jeans (ripped or otherwise), trainers/boots. That’s yer lot.
Secondly, and this is what infuriated me even more, what helped him come to his conclusion would have been my rubbish, boring, sensible, short hair cut. I hate having short hair. It goes against all my principles. I once went three years without getting a hair cut, the mere thought of a trip to the barbers used to cripple me with nerves, and I haven’t brushed or combed it for decades.
Wash, leave to dry on its own, use hands to shape into centre parting hanging down to chest length. The perfect crime.
Were I now able it would still be long, but sadly nature, the despicable and hateful swine, has begun declaring war on my follicles, forcing me to now look like a nerdy wee dweeb, and frankly as embarrassed to go out in public as I was whenever my mum cut my hair when I was little (did your mum ever do that to you? Mine did, even once “tidying” me up at lunchtime, thus forcing me to return to school looking a bit different than I had in the morning. A slagging magnet basically).
For years, I would get told, often by complete strangers, that I looked like Iggy Pop. It happened all the time, and as an Iggy Pop obsessive, someone who proudly owns all his albums, even the rubbish ones, that used to make me very happy indeed. Now apparently I’m some odious, capitalist David Cameron look-alike git (I realise that there could potentially be an estate agent or lawyer reading this and may find it slightly offensive. Tough. Away and take a dip in your indoor swimming pool and have the help print off your bank balance and serve it to you on a velvet cushion. That should cheer you up).
Yes, there are some people who would have been rather flattered by a stranger remarking on how clean cut and smart they look. I told my mum, she was really pleased.
And that makes it even more annoying.