Archive of ‘Random Acts of Stupidity’ category
Well, as you can probably tell from the lack of hysterical blog posts and tweets, Wednesday’s cleaning-fest and raised hopes all turned out to be for nothing. OK, not QUITE for nothing: the house got a REALLY thorough cleaning, and Rubin got a nice walk while we were waiting for the viewing to be over. Oh, and Terry now has a great dinner-party story to tell, about that time he was forced to hide behind the bins in his own back garden when the prospective buyers turned up early, and he wasn’t sure what to do other than to dive outside and hide. (I had already vacated the house with Rubin by that point, having anticipated just such an event, but Terry wanted to have a quick word with the estate agent before the showing, so he’d stayed behind. I watched from behind a tree as The Others drove up to the house and Terry sneaked out. I actually have no idea why it’s so important to me that they DO NOT SEE ME, EVER but somehow it is…)
So we have a clean house, a happy dog, and I also got a good laugh at the expression on Terry’s face as he made his escape. What we don’t have, though, is an offer on the house, and that’s kind of a bummer, because obviously we can walk the dog and hide in the back garden any time we like, but we can’t move house until someone decides to take this one off our hands first. We also can’t seem to think or talk about anything else, as you’ve probably realised. We spent the entire day yesterday waiting by the phone, jumping every time it rang, feeling crushed every time it turned out be just another recorded message telling us we’d won an all-expenses paid trip to the Bahamas…it wasn’t much fun, in other words, especially when things had been looking so hopeful.
So, now we’re back to waiting, and hoping someone else will come and take a look at it. On that subject, I was just out of the shower on Wednesday, when there was a knock on the door, and Rubin instantly exploded into frenzied barking. Terry was on the phone to a client at the time, and I couldn’t just let Rubin bark his head off while I answered the door, so I scooped him up (Rubin, I mean, not Terry. If I’d been carrying TERRY, that would definitely have made what was about to transpire a little bit stranger, but honestly, not much…) and rushed downstairs, still in my dressing gown and towel turban, and with Rubin doing his utmost to escape my clutches. I tucked him under one arm, and used the other hand to throw open the door, only to be met with…
…two little girls. Like, less than ten years old, probably.
“Er, excuse me?” one of them said. “I just wondered how much your house is?”
I was a little taken aback by this, to say the least. In all of the scenarios I’ve imagined in which prospective buyers turn up on the doorstep unannounced, I have to say, I’ve never imagined them wearing school uniform. So I stood and stared at these Junior Others, uncomfortably aware that Rubin’s legs were frantically clawing at my dressing gown, which was about to open any second, at which point I would go from simply being The Mad Woman on the street to being The Mad Woman Who Flashes Children. Which would definitely be a downgrade.
“Wow,” I thought, “Either I’m getting REALLY old, or buyers are, like SUPER YOUNG these days!” Then I said the first thing that popped into my head, which just so happened to be the question, “Why, are you interested in buying it?”
Well, the child gave me a really strange look, and honestly, I can’t say I blame her, because there I stood, all wild-eyed and partly-dressed, with a towel on my head and a small, hysterical dog under my arm, asking her if, by any chance, she was thinking of investing in property.
“Actually,” she said, “It’s my mum who’s interested in it, not me. Because I’m ten?”
(She didn’t actually say the last bit. I could tell she thought it, though.)
At that point, thankfully, Terry finished his phonecall and came to my rescue. He took my place at the door, and I slunk off upstairs with Rubin, to spend a few bitter moments wondering if I could possibly have handled the situation any worse than I had. (Conclusion: probably not, but you never know with me…)
I’m guessing that this probably won’t turn out to be the hottest lead on the house, because seriously, who sends their 10-year-old child to negotiate the purchase of their next home, WHO? (Answer: THE OTHERS do, obviously.) Is that a thing now? It is, however, the only lead we have right now, so I’m just going to put it out there that if any other pre-teens are interested in getting their foot on the property ladder, we would be more than happy to show them around.
I promise I will try to wear real clothes this time.
(I also promise that sentence sounded much less creepy in my head…)
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[H&M skirt // Zara shoes (old) // thrifted sweater // House of Harlow 'Chelsea' sunglasses // Accessorize nude fishnet tights // vintage bag c/o my mum]
So, picture it: we’re on the way out to dinner. Despite having known all day that we’d be doing this, I have, of course, left it to the last minute to get ready, and now we’re running late.
As I hurry across the office floor, however, I’m suddenly brought up short. My leg feels strange: kinda heavy, and awkward, as if there’s some kind of dead weight attached to it. And, indeed, there IS a dead weight attached to it (well, OK, a medium weight…), for, glancing down, what do I see, but Rubin’s bed. Attached to my leg. Yes.
Somehow the zipper on the cover of the bed had managed to entangle itself so firmly in the mesh of my fishnet tights that it was now well and truly stuck. This had happened in the split second in which I brushed past it on the way out of the door. Honestly, I couldn’t make this stuff up.
Well, I leaned down and tried to untangle it. Couldn’t. The zipper hadn’t just snagged on the tights you see: it had wrapped itself around them, like they were its long-lost lover and it never wanted to let them go. Ever. I couldn’t have done it if I’d tried. Because of the angle I was standing at, I couldn’t really get a clear go at the situation without removing the tights, and, well, pretty darn lazy over here, (Also: LATE) so rather than taking them off, I decided to simply call for help.
“Terry!” I shouted “I’m attached to Rubin’s bed!”
There was a long pause from the direction of the bedroom, where Terry was doing whatever it is men do when they’re getting ready to go out somewhere. (What IS IT that men do, by the way? Seriously, WHAT?)
“I’m attached to it too, Amber,” he called back resignedly. “It used to belong to me, remember?”
(This is actually true: it used to be his. Not his BED, you understand. That would just be weird. No, Rubin currently sleeps on a giant beanbag which used to belong to Terry. It lived in the corner of the living room, tucked behind the couch, from where Terry would take it and dump it in front of the TV when he wanted to play X-Box. God, he LOVED that beanbag. Then Rubin set his sights on it. We noticed that any time we were downstairs, Rubin would wriggle his way behind the couch to get to the beanbag. He had two other beds (well, three if you count ours. And he does.) at his disposal at the time, but he would sit and WEEP to get into those beans. It was pretty obvious what was going to happen there. Terry is no match for a redhead and a wolf, obviously, so the beanbag was grudgingly handed over, in a small ceremony which Rubin celebrated by throwing up on said beanbag at the first possible opportunity. I don’t think Terry’s ever really gotten over it.)
Miraculously, the tights managed to survive their ordeal unscathed (This is one of the reasons I like fishnets rather than sheer tights – they’re surprisingly hard-wearing. And when they do get a hole or something, you can normally cobble it back together as if it never happened.) (I get them from Accessorize, by the way. I’m not 100% sure if the ones I’ve linked to are the ones I buy, because I’ve only ever picked them up in-store, and never as a two-pack, but people keep asking me about them, so let the record show that Accessorize is the source of the nude fishnet tights. Also some really great bags and scarves.), and we were soon on our way. Our adventures were not over, though, because we were on our way to – what else? – a PIRATE restaurant. Yes, you heard me. At last the title of this post makes sense! Only not really!
(That thing about Rubin’s bed? That was actually supposed to be an aside. This post WAS going to just be about the pirate restaurant, but then that whole incident went down, and it’s not everybody who can say they once had a dog’s bed attached to their leg, is it? I can, though. Go me!)
So! Pirates! Arrrr!
The restaurant was actually an Italian. Which makes total sense now, because I don’t know about you, but I just can’t think about pasta without also thinking about pirates, you know? Terry had bought us a Groupon for it a few weeks ago, but we hadn’t gotten around to using it yet. In the meantime, though, our friends Danny and Caroline had gone to the same restaurant. And reported back that it was pirate themed. “Arrr!” they said (OK, not really.), “It be full of skeletons and bottles o’ rum, me hearties!”
“Yeah, right,” said Terry and I. “AS IF we’re falling for that! This isn’t Disney, you know: there are no pirate restaurants here!”
(“Damn, but the service in here must be SLOW,” I said as we walked in.)
(I didn’t really: I only thought of that joke later. Just imagine I said it at the time…)
Famous last words, eh?
To be fair, it’s not so much pirate themed as it is Robert Louis Stevenson themed. See, it’s called the Hispaniola (“It’s a Spanish Italian pirate restaurant?” I said in confusion, when Terry told me this), and the “theme” is based around Treasure Island. (Apparently it once used to be a bar, just like every other building in Edinburgh once used to be a bar. And apparently Robert Louis Stevenson used to drink there. Just like every other building in … I’ll stop now.) Also, only one section has skeletons standing around your table: we ate in the OTHER section, which had no skeletons. Or pirates. Or pirate skeletons. It DID have lots of pasta and wine, though, so a good time was had by all. Well, by me and Terry, anyway. I’d like to assume the skeletons also had a good time, but that’s the problem with skeletons, isn’t it? You just never know what they’re thinking…
(Skirt: ASOS // top: Zara: shoes: Primark ; clutch: New Look // sunglasses: House of Harlow ‘Chelsea’)
This was going to be a totally different blog post from the one it’s ended up being.
I WAS going to talk about how I saw an outfit a bit like this on Pinterest last week, and how it reminded me of the existence of this top and skirt, and that hey, wasn’t I planning to wear them together at some point? And shouldn’t that point be sooner, rather than later, before it gets much too cold for three-quarter length sleeves and fishnet tights?
About the tights:
I was also going to talk a bit about how these were the first tights of the season, but it’s OK, because they’re nude fishnets, and I don’t hate nude fishnets the way I hate opaque, or woollen tights, say. I would probably also have said that I really only wore them because my legs were looking even paler than usual that day, and I thought they could be doing with a bit of coverage, and gosh, wouldn’t you all have been just fascinated by that piece of information?
I was also going to mention this skirt, and how it’s the sister of this one, and one of my favourite items of clothing ever, because you don’t have to wear a petticoat with it: it just sticks out all by itself, isn’t that amazing? I would probably also have said that the photos don’t really do it justice, because it was windy, and the wind kept either blowing the skirt against my legs, or trying to blow it up over my head, and it just totally ruined my life, honestly.
I WAS going to say all of that.
But then, not two minutes after we’d started taking these photos (And I mean LITERALLY not even two minutes…), the police turned up. And told us someone had called them and told them Terry was stalking me, and that they should come round and, you know, investigate us.
And then I died of embarrassment, and just kept on dying, and now I’m writing this from beyond the grave, I’m not even joking.
(I’m totally joking.)
So, yeah. Terry the STALKER, eh? Oh, how mortified we were. And really, it was just so strange. I mean, we were in a public place, and as I said, we’d only been there for a couple of minutes, so whoever it was who called the “incident” in must have picked up the phone more or less the SECOND we arrived. Also, Terry was never any more than a few feet away from me, and was all up in my face with the camera, which I was obviously posing for. It wasn’t like he was hiding in the undergrowth with a telephoto lens, you know?
I have honestly no idea what would make someone think Terry was stalking me, or even that we were up to something suspicious. Obviously outfit blogging isn’t something the majority of people are aware of (and I realise that the sight of someone with a camera is often enough to make The Others stop in their tracks and stand there with their jaws open, regardless of the circumstances. Even at very touristy places like Disney, say, if we stop to take a snap of ourselves in front of the castle, or with Mickey Mouse, or whatever, a small crowd will gather around us, going, “Wait a darn minute, what’s going on HERE? Tourists taking PHOTOS of themselves? Why, I never heard such crazy talk in my life! Y’all from the city or somethin’?”), but even so, last I checked it has yet to be outlawed or anything like that, so… I don’t know. I just know that I was absolutely mortified. MORTIFIED. Even more so than when I flashed a roomful of people that one time. And I don’t think Terry was crazy about being mistaken for a stalker, either. The stalker.
Luckily for us, the police were really nice about it. That’s why I’m here writing this post on t’internets, not carving it onto the wall of my damp cell or something. In fact, I think they were actually pretty amused by it, and, well, you WOULD be, wouldn’t you? They seemed to realise pretty much instantly that we might be a couple of weirdos, but that we weren’t actually doing anything illegal, so they let us go, although not before they’d sat in their car for a few minutes, and, I don’t know, put out an APB or something? What’s it called, again, when they call in your registration number and get someone back at the station to plug it into a database and make sure the car isn’t stolen? Oh yeah: MORTIFYING. That’s what it’s called.
After that we didn’t really feel like taking photos any more. We just slunk off to the restaurant we’d be en route to when we made our ill-advised photo stop (We normally just stop and grab a few photos when we’re on our way out somewhere: we literally just pick somewhere on the way that isn’t too busy and looks like it might make an OK backdrop. We won’t be doing that again.) and I made sure to walk slightly behind Terry on the way in, so no one would think he was following me or anything.
Still, on the plus side, it’s nice to know that someone cared enough about my welfare to call the cops. Thank you, good Samaritan, whoever you are: as embarrassing/confusing as the whole thing was, I’d rather someone trusted their instincts and made the call, rather than just doing nothing. You never know, after all. And it’s reassuring that the police took it seriously enough to come so quickly to the rescue. Stalking is a serious issue, kids! And honestly, Terry really should stop doing it: if I’ve told him once…
All the same, I might just stick to taking pictures indoors from now on. Or, you know, not at all. I don’t want Terry to get a reputation, after all…
P.S. I just don’t understand why anyone would think Terry was a stalker? Seriously, what would make someone think that?
P.P.S. Now that I’ve had some time to think about this, I’m actually starting to think Terry IS stalking me. I mean, I’ve noticed that wherever I go, there he is, you know? In the office? There he is. In the kitchen? There he is. At our friends’ houses? Yup, Terry. I think that good Samaritan might have been on to something…
P.P.P.S. Not that anyone cares, but those are actually black stripes on my top, by the way: for some reason the camera decided to read them as blue. And it goes without saying that I spilled something on it at the restaurant and created a Mark of Death. GOD.
… broke my mouse.
My computer mouse, I mean. Not an actual, real-life mouse. Because I don’t have an actual, real-life mouse. If I did, though, I’d be advising that actual mouse to get the hell out of my actual house, or I’d probably end up breaking it, too. Seriously, it’s been that kind of week. Because a few days after I broke the mouse, I…
… spilled coffee on my keyboard, thus rendering it inoperable
Keyboards don’t like coffee so much. Which sucks for them, because honestly, if you’re in my house, you’re probably going to get coffee spilled on you at some point. Possibly at multiple points. And if you’re clothes, and you happen to live in my house, you’re probably going to get a Mark of Death on you at some point. Remember the White Mark of Death? Well, this time it wasn’t it. No, this time I…
… discovered a Black Mark of Death on one of my dresses
Yes, A BLACK mark, readers. Not our old friend, the Common-or-Garden White Mark of Death, but a black one just like it. And no, I have no idea what the Black Mark of Death is. All I know is that when I put the dress on, it was in perfect, pristine condition, but when I took it off? Whoop, there it is! Black mark of death right here! Unfortunately for me (and for my dress, now I come to think of it), the BMOD is made of far sterner stuff than my keyboard, say, or its accompanying mouse. The BMOD survived two trips through the wash, and a fair amount of scrubbing with various detergents without fading even a little bit. The dress is now under the expert care of my long-suffering mother, and you will all find out its fate when I do. If, of course, the suspense doesn’t kill you first.
That dress wasn’t the only item of clothing to suffer this week, though. No, shortly after that happened, I…
… discovered a second Black Mark of Death on a pair of jeans
At this point I’m going to give you all a few moments to just sit there and silently bang your heads against your desks in sheer frustration. That’s certainly what I did when I discovered this Second Mark. (And again, no idea what it is or how it got there. It is one of the great mysteries of our time. Well, one of the great mysteries of this blog, anyway.) And seriously, I have to admit I’m actually starting to feel victimised by my clothes now. It’s like they’re out to get me in some strange, malevolent kind of way. I’m being TARGETED, people: targeted by black and white marks of death, and it’s now reached the stage where I can’t seem to wear ANYTHING more than once, because as soon as I put something on, I almost instantly ruin it. GOD.
[Edited to add: I've tried numerous different stain removers on these Marks Of Death, but the problem with jeans is that most stain removers don't just remove the stain - if, indeed, they DO remove the stain - they also remove the dye from the denim, so the mark is gone, but I'm left with a faded patch where the denim is lighter than the surrounding area. It's a dilemma.]
Those jeans weren’t the only thing I ruined that day, though. No, just a few short hours before I made the grizzly discovery of the BMOD, I …
…spilled an entire bottle of heavily perfumed body lotion on my bed.
Yeah, don’t ask. Now, under normal circumstance (or if, you know, I was a normal PERSON, say…) I’d just have taken off the bedsheets and put them straight into the wash. On this particular day, though, we were having some friends round, and they were due to arrive any minute, so I didn’t have time to start wrestling with bedsheets and changing duvet covers. Instead, I scrubbed frantically at the body lotion (I say “body lotion”. It was really more of an oil, which explains both how it managed to empty itself so damn quickly, and what happened later…) with some tissues, and to my joy, it seemed to work. The duvet was dry to the touch, the lotion didn’t seem to have left a stain… the sheets were now absolutely reeking of perfume, but I figured we could live with it for one night, and then I’d change the sheets first thing in the morning: sorted.
It wasn’t until Terry and I stumbled to bed at around 1am that morning that I peeled back the duvet, and… came face to face with a GIANT, heavily-scented stain, right on my side of the mattress. Yep: the reason the duvet had felt dry to the touch was that the body lotion had sunk right through it, and ended up on the sheet underneath it. Which, naturally, had to be changed, but not until it had made the entire mattress smell… well, really quite lovely, actually, but damn, that stuff was strong. And there’s a reason they call it “body lotion”, not “mattress, duvet and everything else” lotion, you know?
That wasn’t all, though. No, on the same day I perfumed my mattress and discovered the Black Mark of Death on my jeans, I also…
… broke two glasses. Yes, simultaneously.
And no, I wasn’t even drunk at the time.
(This is not one of the glasses I broke. I’m sure I’ll get round to it soon, though.)
Finally, in what has to be my stupidest act EVER, I…
…got out of bed on Tuesday morning and reached into the bathroom cabinet for the small, white tube of eye drops the optician prescribed for my very dry eyes. I tipped my head back, squeezed the tube…
… and only as the liquid inside made contact with my skin, did I realise that this was NOT the small white tube of eye drops I was holding, but the almost identical small white tube of eye CREAM. Which is not designed to be applied to the eyeball, no siree. Also: ouch.
Luckily for me, the consistency of eye cream prevents it from spreading too far in a hurry (unlike my old friend body lotion, say…), so it didn’t actually make contact with my eye, choosing instead to cling helplessly to my eyelashes going, “The HELL? What am I doing HERE? How can one woman be SO STUPID?”
The eye cream poses a good question. It’s a question I have yet to find an answer to, although one thing I DO know is that if these things come in threes, as people always say, I’ve had more than my share, thanks, universe. In fact, YOU OWE ME.
In slightly happier news, following the events described in this post, Terry bought me a gift:
Who says romance is dead? (Also: as you can see from the packet, it makes waistbands bigger, as well as smaller: it really is the gift that keeps on giving…)
Have a great weekend, everyone!
[Dress: Stop Staring 'Boardwalk' dress // Shoes: Paris Hilton (yes, really) via TK Maxx]
This dress is Stop Staring’s “Boardwalk” dress. And I wore it to… Walt Disney’s Boardwalk. Yes, I went there, with the matchy-matchy. Yes I did.
My tendency to be over-enthusiastic about matching my outfits to my surroundings, however, is not the subject of today’s post. (Although, let’s all hope I never go to see the circus, say, because God knows what I’d deem “appropriate” for that…)
No, the subject of today’s post is how I managed to buy this dress completely by accident. Yes, you heard me: it is an accidental dress.
OK, I’m sensing some reluctance to believe me here. You’re thinking this is going to be some kind of transparent way to justify my dress habit: it’s OK, I understand. I would think that too. But seriously, you guys: I REALLY DID BUY THIS DRESS BY ACCIDENT. No, I did. And I will tell you how I did it…
(You know, just in case you want to buy a dress by “accident” too, one day.)
(OK, the inverted commas were a joke. It really WAS an accident. Pinky swear.)
So! I first met the dress last summer, at the Unique Vintage store in L.A. I loved it, but they didn’t have it in my size, so I came home without it and resigned myself to spending the rest of my life searching for either a UK Stop Staring stockist who wasn’t charging a small fortune for a dress, or a US stockist who wasn’t charging a small fortune for shipping. Obviously I was more likely to find Nigel, the International Man of Mystery hiding in my attic than I was to find either of these things, so I had actually pretty much given up my search. UNTIL ONE FATEFUL DAY.
That day started out just like any other, with nothing whatsoever to indicate that I would soon be buying a new dress totally by accident. There I was, sitting at my desk, diligently searching for items to feature on my various blogs when suddenly there it was, right in front of me:
THE BOARDWALK DRESS. OMG!
Now, I’d come across the dress before, of course, but it had always been too expensive to justify buying, on account of the whole shipping/customs thing. This time, however, it had popped up on a European website (Before I go any further here, let me just confess that I don’t remember the name of this site, and didn’t bookmark it or anything. Because I was on it totally BY ACCIDENT.), which piqued my interest, because perhaps the shipping from Europe would be slightly less extortionate than shipping from the US?
Therein, however, lay the problem.
The website didn’t seem to have International shipping prices listed. So, in order to find out how much it would cost, I had to do that whole “adding the dress to my basket and pretending to go through checkout, only stopping at the last moment” thing.
You can see where I’m going with this, can’t you? Which is great, because I certainly didn’t.
Well, I went through the process of adding the dress and typing in my details. It seemed to take an extraordinarily long time to get to the bit with the shipping details, though. In fact, I might have had to input my payment details to get to that piece of information. It was OK, though, because as soon as the shipping costs came up, and I talked myself out of buying YET ANOTHER dress, I hit the back button and exited the site. No harm, no foul, definitely no dress. So I closed down the browser and I went about my business.
A week later, the dress turned up.
I’d like to say I have no idea how it happened, but well, I’m not THAT stupid. Obviously I didn’t exit the website in quite as timely a fashion as I thought I did, and given that I HAD typed in my payment details (Only to get past that bit so I could get to the shipping costs, though!), I guess it wasn’t SO surprising that here was the dress on my doorstep. By accident.
(Or! Or! Maybe I slept-walked to my computer in the middle of the night and went online and ordered it? Or… Rubin did it?)
I really should’ve sent it back, of course. But .. meh. These things happen for a reason. That’s what my granny always told me, anyway. And who am I to argue with the mysterious forces of fashion?
Let this be a warning to you, though, people: accidental dress purchases can happen to anyone, at any time.
(But let’s face it: they’re probably most likely to happen to me…)
P.S. Bonus out-take:
“Showplace of the Hore”. Well, isn’t that interesting…
Everyone else is writing about the Olympics opening ceremony this morning. Instead of doing that, though, I’m going to write about that time I locked myself in the bathroom. That time known as “yesterday”. (With apologies to those of you who follow me on Twitter, and for whom this is literally yesterday’s news…)
I’ve no idea why I even turned the lock. I mean, there was only me, Terry (and, OK, Rubin) in the house at the time, and I KNOW that lock sometimes sticks. But I did it. And a few minutes later, when I tried to exit said bathroom, I found myself face to face with my new nemesis:
It totally has a face, doesn’t it? Say you can see its face. Here, maybe this will help you:
(I feel I have to point out here that that’s not dirt on it, it’s just all scuffed up because its been in the house forever, and seriously, I hate those doors. We replaced all of the doors downstairs, but didn’t get around to the ones upstairs, and I have to admit, when I realised I was locked in, there was a small part of me which thought, “Excellent: Terry will probably have to break the door down to get me out, and then we’ll HAVE to get new doors! And by “a small part of me” I mean “most of me”.)
Its mouth is the lock. Twist it in one direction: door locked! Twist it in the other direction: absolutely nothing happens! And you are forced to live forever more, the helpless prisoner of your own bathroom, surviving on a diet of toothpaste and shower gel, while the world goes on around you and people slowly but surely forget that you even existed, oh sad bathroom girl!
Despite these pessimistic thoughts of mine, I decided to try not to panic. You see, I’m actually no stranger to bathroom captivity. In fact, one time when Terry and I were on holiday in Spain, I got myself locked in the bathroom in our hotel room. And for reasons which aren’t clear to me to this day, I proceeded to freak the hell out about it. I mean, I don’t know what I thought would happen? Terry was right there, on the other side of the door, and was alerted to my predicament as soon as I was alerted to it myself: it’s not like he was just going to pack up and leave me there, was it? (Or WAS he?) But even so, I freaked out, and then, when I was freed, not five minutes later, I felt really stupid about it. Even more so when Terry said to me, “Seriously, dude, you should feel really stupid about that.”
I would not do the same thing again, I decided. I would prove to Terry that I was a proper grown-up now, and I would deal with this situation in the proper, grown-up manner.
“Terry?” I called from behind the door, ever so politely. “Would you be so kind, sir, as to come and free me from the bathroom, as I appear to be in somewhat of a predicament!”
(I was speaking like a Victorian gentleman, yes.)
“Er, Terry?” I repeated, a bit louder. “I’m stuck in the freaking bathroom here, could you come and help me?”
“Just a second!” called back Terry, from the direction of the office (which is right next to the bathroom. Well, ALL of the rooms upstairs are right next to the bathroom, actually. Because there only ARE three rooms upstairs. I hate my house.). “I’m just putting this on Facebook!”
And he DID put it on Facebook. “Amber is stuck in the bathroom!” he wrote. And you know, some people LIKED that status. Which certainly gave me food for thought, to know that there are people in the world who would secretly like me to be, put away, shall we say? Interesting.
I may have been locked in the bathroom, however, but it takes more than that to shut me up. “Two can play at that game,” I thought, casting my eye around my new prison. “If Terry’s going to Facebook this, I will… I will LIVE TWEET IT!”
So I did.
Well, I mean, OF COURSE I had my phone with me. I live inside the Internet, if I don’t have access to my phone at all times, I would probably stop existing or something. Anyway!
Once Terry was done with Facebook, he came to my aid, and stood on the other side of the door, issuing instructions which I pretended to follow, even although I was actually just taking photos of the door and posting them on Twitter at that point. In between tweets, though, I did my best to open the door, and we spent a frustrating few minutes shouting things like “Are you SURE you’re turning it the right way?” and “Why did you lock it anyway?” and “Was that you taking another photo of the door?” at each other.
“It’ll be fine,” I thought. Terry will go and get some tools and he will free me. I’ll be out of here in a jiffy!
Then THESE slid under the door:
So. It was like that, then. I was going to have to rescue myself, obviously. Which would be difficult, because I recognised the two silver things as screwdrivers, but the circular thing was a mystery to me, and an even greater mystery was the fact that Terry apparently thought I would know what to do with it. But still, I am a strong, independent woman! Like Nancy Drew, or George from the Famous Five, say. I could totally get myself out of this bathroom: if these… whatever they were… didn’t work for me, why I would just stick a credit card down the side of the door. I’d seen it done on TV enough times, after all.* I could DO this!
(*Note to self: find out how to open locked doors using just a credit card. Also how to hotwire cars. Well, you never know…)
Except… I really couldn’t. The screws on the handle just wouldn’t turn, so Terry went off to root around in his tool box, and also to update his Facebook, and soon another screwdriver had made its way under the door and into my bathroom prison. With the help of it, and some really quite mad skillz from me, Mr Doorhandle was soon looking a little bit less smug:
(Also pictured: my dressing gown. Which, yes, has polka dots on it, what of it?)
Ha! Take THAT, you varmint! That’ll teach you to think twice before taking people hostage!
“What did you take that bit off for?” said Terry from behind the door. “That wasn’t what I was telling you to do!”
At this point, I must admit I started to worry a bit. No matter what we tried, the door just would not budge. It seemed increasingly likely that I would probably be leaving the bathroom through the window, probably on the back of some burly fireman. This was of concern to me, because:
a) I wasn’t wearing any makeup at the time
b) I WAS wearing heated rollers on my head.
So THAT would be embarrassing. And the only other option seemed to be Terry breaking down the door: an option that suddenly didn’t seem quite so appealing given that there’s just no possible way I could imagine that particular scenario NOT ending up like this:
With Jack Nicholson to spur me on, I redoubled my efforts with the door, and soon Mr Doorhandle was a shadow of his former, evil self:
Still looking pretty shocked, obviously. And still resolutely holding onto that lock, which, seriously WOULD NOT BUDGE OMG. By this point, I had been in the bathroom for around 30 minutes. I was growing weak. My phone battery was running low. The air supply was probably running out, like that one time on 24, except now I come to think about it, I’m pretty sure Jack Bauer was locked in an airtight room, not a suburban bathroom. Still, same difference.
“Terry,” I called feebly through the door. “It’s just no use – I can’t go on! Hug Rubin for me, and tell my parents I love them…”
It was then that Terry finally – FINALLY – stepped up, and took action to free me from my bathroom prison:
That white thing is the entire side of the door, which he had to rip off to get me out. Unfortunately, he managed to put it all back the way he found it, so I don’t get to buy a new door. I DID have plenty of time to come up with some ideas to redecorate the bathroom while I was in there, though, and am just waiting for the right time to break it to Terry that, hey, how about we rip up that floor again?
Also: at least I wasn’t alone in there:
This is the Don CeSar. Isn’t it pretty? It was opened in 1928, and was known as “The Pink Castle” to all of the rich jazz musicians and flapper girls who used to frequent it. You can just imagine them all, leaning out of the windows with their little bobs and their champagne glasses, can’t you?
We actually hadn’t intended to visit the Don CeSar – we were on a drive further down the coast – but, well, I have a bit of a thing about big hotels. I’m fascinated by them, and any time Terry and I go on holiday, we make a point of going into as many of them as possible, just to walk around being nosey, and imagining the ghosts of bygone eras flitting past. Also, the Don CeSar does really good ice cream, so there was no way we were just going to drive past, were we?
(My ice cream isn’t in this photo. It was in my belly. Because, yeah, like I’m going to leave ice cream just sitting around while someone takes a photo of it: AS IF. (Mmmm, ice cream…))
Today’s post, however, is not about the Don CeSar, or, indeed, about ice cream. No, today’s post is about this playsuit:
So, yes, this is a playsuit, not a dress. Everyone thinks it’s a dress, but nope: playsuit! And the thing is, I’d NEVER wear a dress this short. Uh-uh, no way. As this is a playsuit, though, (not a dress!) it somehow feels more acceptable: I mean, those are shorts you’re looking at, people. Shorts! And as far as shorts go, they’re actually pretty modest. “People wear shorts MUCH shorter than this!” I told myself when I bought it. “So, I’m not wearing a really short dress: I’m wearing really quite long shorts. Which is totally different!”
Because the bottom half of the thing consists of shorts, then (Are you all getting that these are shorts, by the way? Because I’m not sure I’ve mentioned that enough yet. Also, I’ve written the word “shorts” so often now that it’s started to look totally alien to me. Shorts, shorts, shorts.) I figured I’d be pretty safe in this. It’s not like the wind would blow the dress up, (Because it’s not a dress!) and expose my nether regions, say. Why, I could bend over as much as I wanted to, and still remain totally covered. By my shorts. Nothing bad could possibly happen!
And, actually, nothing did. Not THAT day, anyway. A week or so later, though, I wore the playsuit in Orlando, on a quick trip to an outdoor mall. It rained that day. The rain made my legs wet. And… you see that bag? That bag that’s slung over my shoulder in these photos, but which I often carry in the crook of my arm, brushing my hip/thigh area? That bag made contact with the fabric of the playsuit, and that fabric rode up my legs (which, lest we forget, were a bit wet, and therefore sticky), and folks, it stuck there. Somewhere in the region of my butt, let’s say. Oh, GOD.
I have no idea how long I walked around like that, with one butt cheek on full view. All I know is that eventually two sales assistants in J Crew took pity on me, and alerted me to the tragic situation. “Um, ma’am?” one of them said, looking as mortified as I was about to feel. “I, um, think your dress has ridden up a little…”
(And, you know, it WASN’T a dress! It was a …oh, never mind.)
Well, I hastily pulled the fabric back down, and then I did the only thing I could really do in the situation: I burst out laughing. Clearly relieved, the two sales assistants laughed, too. Together, we had a good old, hysterical laugh at me and my stupid playsuit. And then I slunk off into a corner and I DIED. I’m still dying now, actually, as I think about how long I might have been walking around like that before I realised. It can’t have been too long, I don’t think. I mean, it’s not like people were pointing and laughing at me, or anything, and… oh.
And after that, I never did wear that playsuit no more. Even although it was quite a lot of fun to spin around in.
Yeah, I’m easily amused…
Just after hitting “publish” on my last post, I headed downstairs to continue my Spring cleaning in the kitchen.
I was in the middle of washing up some dishes when I heard it: a strange, jaunty little tune, which appeared to be playing from somewhere inside the room with me. “That’s strange,” I thought, looking around the kitchen. “From where could this jaunty little tune be coming?”
It was a mystery.
The music didn’t sound like it was coming from a car, or a radio. It wasn’t coming from the TV, and I didn’t recognise the song, which seemed to be being played on some kind of wind instrument, so I knew it wasn’t anything Terry or I owned. In fact, the longer it went on, the more it sounded to me like it was probably coming from something like a very small cellphone, such as a miniature person might use. An elf, say. Or a hobbit.
“That’ll be it,” I thought, and went back to my cleaning.
A few minutes later, though, the little tune started up again.
“Where IS this tiny cellphone?” I thought, throwing down my dishcloth in frustration. “And more to the point, where is the very tiny person who must own it?”
The music played on.
So I started a search. First, I searched the kitchen for the tiny person and their tiny cellphone. Nothing. Next, I searched the living room, and the porch. As I did so, I noticed that the tune would play for a few minutes, then it would stop. Then, after another couple of minutes of silence… it would start up again.
Having exhausted the bottom floor of the house, I stepped out into the garden, still carrying the mug I’d been washing when the music started, and the scrubbing brush thing I’d been using to clean it. I circled the garden, thinking that maybe the tiny person was in one of the neighbouring gardens, and the sound was just carrying on the cold, March night. Still the music played. This was starting to get weird, because no matter how hard I tried to locate the source of the tune, it just wasn’t possible. The music neither faded as I got further away from it, nor got louder as I approached. In fact, the music remained at the same level the whole time. It was… all around me. And the longer I searched for its source, the more convinced I became that the music was IN MY HEAD. I was the music. And also: I was clearly going insane.
I stepped back into the kitchen just as the creepy little tune started up again.
“Terry!” I shouted, now starting to panic a little. “Could you come down here for a second?”
Terry thundered downstairs, and arrived in the kitchen just as the tune reached its now familiar end. “Did you hear that?” I demanded, gesturing around the room, the mug still swinging from my hand. As if on cue, the music started up again. I stared at Terry, looking for a sign that he heard it too.
“Have you brought me down here just to listen to that mug?” he asked.
I followed the direction of his gaze, to the mug in my hand. And in that instant, I recognised the Magic, Music-Playing Christmas Mug Terry’s brother gave us a couple of years ago. It plays a jaunty little tune when you move it. And there I’d been, carrying it around the house, swinging it around and causing that FREAKING LITTLE TUNE to follow me everywhere I went.
Still, at least I won’t make that mistake again. By which I mean I almost certainly will.
What a mug, huh?
(Sto kings? WHUT?)
It’s been a long week. I haven’t been sleeping very well, which means I’ve been even more tired and groggy in the mornings than I usually am: and trust me when I tell you that I’m usually REALLY tired and groggy in the morning. Like, I stagger into the office in my dressing gown, and Terry almost always bursts out laughing at the sight of me. Then he knows not to try to engage me in conversation until I’ve had my coffee, or he’ll just get nonsense out of me.
(Actually, even AFTER I’ve had my coffee, he’ll still just get nonsense out of me, to be honest. There’s just not enough coffee in the world, is there? Also: poor Terry.)
Anyway, this morning I was feeling particularly like an extra in a zombie movie as I staggered to the bathroom, grabbed my toothpaste from the cupboard, applied it to the brush and stuck it in my mouth.
And then, all of a sudden, I was instantly awake, recoiling in horror from the TASTE OF HOSPITAL AND ALSO DEATH that was inside my mouth.
Folks, that wasn’t toothpaste on my brush.
No, that would be Antiseptic First Aid Cream. “For minor burns, abrasions and nappy rash.”
For. Nappy. Rash.
I had put something in my mouth that was really supposed to go… yeah.
* * *
I’ve examined the box carefully, as has Terry, and we don’t THINK I’m going to die. It does say it’s For External Use Only, but it doesn’t carry one of those “If swallowed, call an ambulance immediately, even although there’s no point because you’ll be dead by the time it gets there! Sucks to be you!” warnings. (And I didn’t actually swallow it. Or not much of it. I don’t think.) Naturally, though, I’m sitting here expecting to drop dead at any second. If you never hear from me again, you’ll know why. You’ll also know that in my last moments here on earth, my only thought was for you, my readers. “Must… write… random…act…of…stupidity…post!” I gasped, feebly clutching at my keyboard as I slid limply off my chair, frothing at the mouth, and… I’ve taken this too far now, haven’t I? I’ll stop.
You should also feel amazed, and perhaps a little bit horrified, that a dying woman would spend her last few seconds uploading a photo of a dog-in-a-box to the Internets:
Seriously, WHO DOES THAT?
(Coat, H&M; skirt, Topshop; sweater, Primark (c/o my parents); boots, Sam Edelman; watch Michael Kors (both c/o Shopbop))
On Friday 13th, I was woken in the early hours of the morning by the sound of Rubin barking.
I opened one eye and looked around the room. Yup – pitch dark. It was either very, very late, or very, very early, and neither one of those times was one I wanted to be awake in, so I closed my eyes again and hoped Terry would get up to deal with whatever it was that was going down. And Terry obviously thought the same thing, so we both lay there for a few seconds in the dark, playing “Rubin Chicken”: the game in which we both pretend to be asleep and wait to see who will break first and get up.
(I am THE CHAMPION of Rubin Chicken, by the way. UNDEFEATED.)
Rubin barked again.
“SHUT UP RUBIN!” Terry and I yelled, almost simultaneously. (Whoops: cover blown!)
But Rubin did not shut up. In fact, he took the hysterical barking up a notch, and as I lay there and listened to him, I realised that this was not his usual, tentative, “Oh, hai! I can come into your bed, plz?” bark. It wasn’t even his slightly sheepish, “Dudes, I need to gooooo…” bark. Nope, this was his “OMFG, SOMEONE IS BREAKING INTO THE HOUSE AND WE ARE ALL ABOUT TO BE MURDERED IN OUR BEDS, EXCEPT NOT ME, BECAUSE I’M UP, BARKING!” bark. Oh, crap.
Terry realised this at the same time I did, so he threw back the covers and dashed out of the room, and as he opened the bedroom door, a second realisation hit me: Rubin was not barking from his usual night-time location, which is, for reasons too complex and yet boring to go into here, the hall outside our room. No, Rubin was barking from DOWNSTAIRS somewhere.
Now, it’s not totally unknown for Rubin to be downstairs when he’s not supposed to be. A few years ago, Terry constructed a low barrier (We refer to it as “The Perimeter”, as in “Quick: set up a perimeter - they’re not going anywhere!”) to keep him confined to the hallway when we’re out, but Rubin has recently learned that he can push the perimeter over if he really wants to, so occasionally we will return from wherever we’ve been and he’ll meet us at the front door, all, “Hai! Come on in, take your coats off, let me show you around!” He doesn’t normally do this during the night, though, because, well, he’s asleep, so for him to be barking his “INTRUDER ALERT! INTRUDER ALERT!” bark, downstairs, in the wee small hours, made me wonder if there actually WAS an intruder, as opposed to, you know, someone sneezing in the next street, or a bird landing on the lawn, or one of the other non-events that tend to make Rubin lose his mind.
This suspicion seemed to be confirmed when, even after Terry had thundered downstairs to join him, Rubin’s barking continued at the same, hysterical pitch. What the hell was going on down there, I wondered? Why hadn’t Terry done something to shut Rubin up? Was he just standing there, watching him bark crazily, or… or had he run downstairs, been instantly killed by the INTRUDER, and now Rubin was barking at Terry’s prone body, while said INTRUDER crept slowly up the stairs towards me?
This seemed like the only possible explanation for Terry’s silence and Rubin’s continued barking, so I got shakily out of bed, and as I did so, I happened to find myself facing the bedroom window. The bedroom window which looks out onto our driveway. Our driveway which now had a POLICE CAR sitting at the bottom of it.
OH. MY. GOD.
You know how people say, “My legs turned to jelly?” Turns out that’s actually a THING. My legs almost gave way under me as I realised that this was IT: this was that moment I’ve been expecting all my life – the one where there’s a knock on the door on the middle of the night, and the police are standing there looking solemn, and saying, “You might want to sit down, ma’am, I’m afraid we have some bad news…” And in that instant, your whole life shatters, and nothing is ever the same again. It happens in the early hours of the morning of Friday the 13th, 2012, and even as you make your way along the hall, on legs that feel like they don’t belong to you anymore, somehow remembering to grab your dressing gown from the bedroom floor as you pass, because you figure you’ll want to be at least semi-clothed for whatever you’re about to be faced with, your mind is screaming REWIND, REWIND, and you’re thinking, “NONONO, I don’t want to do this. I was just lying there, sleeping. I was going to get up and go for a run, and do my work, and later maybe watch a movie and have a glass of wine. I don’t want to do THIS instead,” and you don’t even know what THIS is, but you know it’s going to be horrendously, unspeakably awful, because the police don’t knock on your door in the middle of the night for nothing, do they?
Halfway down the stairs, I paused. The living room was empty. Rubin was still barking at the door, and from the porch I could hear the low murmur of voices as Terry spoke to the police. I could just sit here, on the stairs, I thought. I could just sit here and wait, and delay the inevitable. And I thought, who is it? What has happened, and to who? And then I didn’t think any more, I just got up and I walked into the living room, picking up Rubin, and hearing Terry give a small laugh in the porch, and…
A laugh? He’s laughing at something? The world isn’t ending?
And then I sank down onto the rug, and I sat there and I waited.
A few seconds later, the door opened and Terry walked into the living room. “Oh, hi!” he said brightly, as if it was the most normal thing in the world for us to be meeting in the darkened living room at this time of the morning, him fresh from a brief doorstep interview with the police.
“WELL?” I hissed. ”What THE HELL?”
“Oh, that,” said Terry nonchalantly. “Someone called them, apparently. It seems that our front door was wide open, so they had to come round and check everything was OK.”
And that, my friends, is why I began Friday the thirteenth, 2012, with one of the biggest frights of my life. Because Terry didn’t close the front door when he took the rubbish out last night, and our neighbour noticed and called the police, worried that we’d been murdered in our beds or something. And… let’s just say there wasn’t any sleep for either of us after that. I may actually never sleep again, because ever since that moment when I saw the police car parked at the end of the drive, my mind has kept circling back to What if? What if they really HAD been knocking on the door with some unthinkably awful news? And then I wouldn’t be sitting here, drinking coffee and looking at shoes on the internet, while I think about maybe taking a walk later with the dog.
I still feel like that moment is coming for me. But not today.
(And I’ll be checking the door myself from now on. Also: WINE. Bring it.)
P.S. I have to admit that, once I realised nothing awful had happened, I got a bit excited thinking it might be something to do with Nigel, the International Man of Mystery Next Door (Now into Year 5 of his unexplained absence). Alas, that particular mystery remains unsolved…