Monday, 19 December 2011
I do believe H and I travel too much.
Now, how did I come to this realization? Was it something the Minis said? Well, no, although they do scream, "Daddy" when they see a suitcase.
Was it when my friend was over last week and asked me if I was wearing airplane socks? No, not that either.
It was when I opened the mailbox today. And guess who sent me a Christmas card?
And in the attached first class mailer was a copy of Richard Branson's latest book.
Yes, a 372 page novel.
That I'm actually looking forward to reading once these bloody holidays are over and the Nannies come back to work. Oops, I digress.
Back to the book. I think it's a sign. Whether that sign is good or bad, well that remains to be seen. Upgrades, anyone?
Tuesday, 13 December 2011
Hi Y'all. Gonna red up that there room and then brush my tooth.
Yes it's really me, Fancy Pants here. Just thought I would alter my diction to match my appearance. Would you like to know what I'm wearing right now? Yes, I thought you would. Shall we start at the bottom?
Red Christmas socks. Above those are cropped terry cloth black "leisure" bottoms. Yes, that is a brown sweatshirt from the now defunct Pop Tart shoppe in New York. Oh, correct. No bra. But do you like my designer eyeglasses? Do they go nicely with last night's makeup and my as-yet-uncombed hair?
Okay, now I know you are all wondering. Has Fancy lost her mind? Is she ill? Has there been a death in the family?
No. Relax. It's worse.
The cleaning lady is sick.
I have company coming over this evening.
It's not pretty. Thank God Nanny #1 has the Minis out for the day and Fancy PA is upstairs addressing Christmas cards.
It's the holidays. No one should be allowed to vomit.
This is all particularly painful because H just finished complaining to Fancy Therapist about my "comfortable" clothes I wear to bed. And apparently to scrub toilets. Good thing he's out of town this week and can't see what's going on here.
Of course, he dresses more "Elmo had 4 ducks" than "Zegna." But still. Being Fancy all the time is simply impossible. And I guarantee his idea of a "maid" costume and the one I'm currently wearing are very, very different.
Okay, back to work. What exactly is the difference between bathroom Cif and kitchen Cif?
Monday, 5 December 2011
So back to my story. 2.5 hours of therapy. That’s right, Fancy Therapist actually cleared his calendar for the morning. That’s what kind of attention H gets when we can actually drag him, kicking and screaming, into FT’s office.
I really don’t know why he fights it. He always comes out such a nicer husband.
Anyway, I have to tell you, I learned a lot in those two and a half hours. Yes, and now I’d like to share with you what I feel was the most important lesson gleaned from half a day on a leather sofa. Are you ready?
Apparently Fancy here should be wearing black stiletto boots at all times.
Yes. It’s true. At least when my husband is in the room.
I really had no idea. And what is worse is that ever since the Fancy Clean Out, H has been suffering in silence. I guess when I threw out my old pleather boots and failed to replace them, I did horrible damage to our marriage. Never mind that they were terribly uncomfortable. Or that I was just waiting for the Fall sales to replace them.
No, it seems that standing or walking isn’t the priority. And as FT aptly pointed out, I’m in a very fortunate position to be able to buy myself as many pairs of black boots as I possibly can stuff into my new closet.
Thank God we went for that appointment and I learned how distraught H was. I know. It breaks my heart.
So, like a good wife, I’ve been hard at work. I’m now up one pair of Jimmy Choos and some gorgeous Alexander McQueens. Oh, and I grabbed a pair of Kenneth Cole while I was in the States. Lest I need to go muck out a barn or something. Would hate to get cow shit on real leather.
Oh, it’s hard to be a good Fancy wife.
Sunday, 20 November 2011
And hello again from the airport lounge. Why, oh why, did the idiots designing JFK and Newark not put the lounges on the other side of security? Just saying.
Anyhoo, it’s been a very productive trip. Partly thanks to the 2.5 hours of marital Fancy therapy H endured (more to come on that very necessary exercise) and partly thanks to American Express.
Amex, I love you. Xoxo FF.
Oh, back to my story. Sorry.
So as we were getting ready to leave last week, the Minis already out the door for some music/glue/glitter/motorized vehicle adventure du jour, Fancy PA upstairs, matching my jewelry to my outfits, H and I went to the luggage closet.
“I’ll take this,” he declared, pulling down his Little Tumi.
“Get me that and that,” I said, pointing to Big Tumi and Bigger Tumi.
Directed at me.
“We’re going for 3 days,” he said in a calm and measured voice.
“Yes, and I’m shopping,” I replied, as matter-of-factly as I could.
There was a moment of silence.
“Look, we can put your suitcase inside one of mine on the way there and then we don’t look so stupid,” was my very gracious offer. “But I’ve got a list. And it involves Mr. Choo. Jimmy, if you will. And I’m bringing home that Sesame Street Playhouse, come hell or high water. Santa’s coming. Don’t even try to stand in my way on this one. I had one when I was 3 and so will my children. Not my fault the Brits don’t respect the Grouch the way I do.”
Every so slightly I widened my stance and crossed my arms, anticipating an argument.
Surprisingly he just nodded and waved me toward the stairs.
I wasn’t really sure where my husband had gone. Had aliens sucked out his brain? But so long as he was agreeing, why stop there?
“Oh, and tomorrow, Fancy Therapist has blocked out the entire morning for us. Since he never gets to see you and all.”
“Okay,” he replied, to my utter and total shock.
“And I spent a thousand on our tickets to Book of Mormon. Saturday afternoon,” I kept going, in a state of complete disbelief. Who was this man I was standing next to?
“Alright. But can we go to Sushi Gari while we are there?” he asked, in the most agreeable tone I’ve heard in years.
Holy shit. The man I married was still in there. Fatter. Richer. But still a good egg.
It’s nice to be loved. Lounge behaviour and all.
Thursday, 17 November 2011
We have a problem with H. He’s beginning to take things for granted. I guess it is to be expected, the way he lives. When you say “Jump” and a room full of people say, “How high? Is this high enough? Should we run out and get a trampoline?” well, I guess you get used to it pretty quickly.
The worrying thing is that it will rub off on the Minis. In fact, it’s already happened. Last month when we were visiting my family, my mother dryly noted that TC screams, “Taxi!” and lifts her arm every time she sees a car.
Yes, it’s a different sort of life we lead.
But this morning I decided he’s really gone off his rocker. We’re off for a 3-day trip without the girls (who are in the very capable hands of their “people”) and the airport limo took forever to get to the airport. Seriously, who drives down Shaftsbury Avenue?
Anyhoo, by the time we got to the airport, I was nearly chomping at the bit. As we stood there, waiting for the agent to get our boarding passes, Fancy here was moving left and right, rocking on her heels, pale and sweaty with anxiety.
“What the hell is wrong with you?” H asked. “We’ve got plenty of time. We’re not going to miss the flight.”
“Nooooo,” I whined. “I want to get to the lounge. I’m barely going to have any time in the lounge!”
“Oh, for fuck’s sake. You have to get over this lounge thing. It’s stupid,” he chastised.
Really? Really? He wants me to “get over” my excitement about spending an hour or two in the lounge, drinking champagne at a time normally reserved for Cheerios, stuffing my pockets full of the complimentary candy and biscuits, nibbling from a plate of three different kinds of smoked salmon, shoving free copies of the Daily Mail and Heat into my bag?
I think we can all agree that if he thinks about it, the last thing he would ever want is to see me the day the lounge is no longer a fun treat. I’m sure that day is coming, but for now I would think he’d be grateful that his wife is not yet that Fancy.
Grateful. And probably embarrassed to be seen with me. My behaviour in airport lounges is sort of ridiculous. But can you blame me?
Wednesday, 9 November 2011
My name is Fancy. And I’m a recovering Absentee Blogger.
Thank you for your kind words. It’s only now that I realize many of you have actually been sitting by your computer, brows furrowed, palms sweating, wondering if, could it be possible, had Frau Fancy actually been done in by a set of yellow curtains?
No, no I’ll fill you all in on what’s going on there—oh hello neighbours, nice to see you, do you like my bra choice today?-- but first let me tell you about the birthday party we raced off to, a mere 21 hours after returning from a transatlantic flight with toddlers. Because that’s they way my Fancy self lives. Actually, the party can come later. It’s the transportation that I’m focused on. In other words, has H learned his lesson from our summer of Cheap Ass Air?
He called me from work. “I booked your tickets for OldFriend’s birthday party. You arrive at noon and can go right to the hotel.”
“I want to fly up front,” I answered. “Upgrade me. If you didn’t already.” I told him. “You have 1 million miles. Don’t be an ass.”
“One million and five, if we are to be precise,” he countered. “But don’t’ be a princess. It’s only an hour flight.”
“Um, excuse me, 2 hours if you count boarding and deplaning.” Fancy here corrected. “And is there any chance that you’ll be on either my outbound or return flight?” I inquired. Since we all know where he will be sitting. And the secret to a happy Fancy marriage is to never, ever have a couple separated by a curtain on an airplane.
Silence. Dial tone.
You can teach an old dog, it turns out.
And that is why on our return home I was driven across the tarmac to the plane in a limo. “Just try to keep a straight face and tell me how much this sucks for you,” I said, as he struggled in vain to avoid eye contact. I wiped the crumbs from his crème brulee crust off his shirt. “I mean I realize it’s not always fun to spend night after night on a plane. But being escorted through passport control and directly to your jet way, well that is a little cool, ain’t it?”
The man could not look me in the eye.
“And just so you know, these little perks, like waiting in the First Class lounge, drinking fine wines and nibbling on sushi, well, they go a long, long way to forgiving your little indiscretions.”
“What?! What indiscretions,” he cried, smile almost wiped from his smug face.
“Like the fact that you’ve invited your parents to stay all next week and yet you are leaving for a Very Important Meeting tomorrow and won’t be home before they leave. Spending 50,000 miles to make your wife feel attended to, well that goes a long way, dude.”
It’s a major improvement, don’t you agree?
Sunday, 6 November 2011
Hi. My name is Frau Fancy. And it has been 44 days since my last blog entry.
I was busy okay? And then I kept thinking, oh tomorrow I'll go see what's happening out there in Bloggy Land. But then tomorrow would come and it was 4pm before I saw a computer and Fancy here thought, oh jeez, tomorrow for sure.
And 43 days went by.
What could possibly have taken so long? Well, I'll tell you.
Firstly, I decided to take the Minis for 3 weeks to visit family in the States. What? No, don’t be ridiculous. We did not fly Cheap Ass Anything. In fact, the best line from that trip was something like:
“Fancy, may I call you Fancy? The Minis seem to be snoring quietly in Economy Plus while your Nanny is watching a movie. Can I get you another glass of champagne?”
Yes, I was that mother on this trip. But c’mon. I had 2 free upgrades. They were only for Economy Plus. And I need to keep my tier points. Anyhoo.
Once we got home, I let Nanny #1 do the time change thing while I caught up with old friends. Once the kids were sorted, I flew her back to London for 10 days because frankly, I didn’t need any of that Grandma-Nanny drama. Don’t you agree?
Of course that meant I had no Nanny. And we all know how much better hired help is than the volunteer kind. Hence my silence.
Finally, we enjoyed a quiet trip back, pram safely tucked into the First Class closet, Fancy here watching a movie while the Minis slept the whole way home. Next to Nanny #1. Because we flew her back to the States to pick us up.
Yes, Fancy here is nothing if not well-prepared.
Once we touched down, I let Nanny #1 stuff us into a taxi before heading home for a day of well-deserved rest. Babysitter #1 met us at the door, beside herself with excitement about seeing the girls. And then I spent the day unpacking. That’s a lie. I caught up on household bills and mail while Fancy PA unpacked me. And the repacked me. Because 21 hours later I was flying to the Continent. For a birthday party.
Hey, why not?
And so ends my month of “no time to blog.”
I, Fancy, will try to manage my time better. Apologies. Perhaps I should hire a Fancy Blog Prodder?
Monday, 3 October 2011
Sometimes I wonder, is it me or is it them? I mean, am I the one off my rocker or is it me against the world? Or at least me against the world of home decorating.
Remember my curtains? The ones that were wrong in every way possible? Well, much to my surprise, even though they were almost immediately ripped from the ceiling and returned to the factory, my decorator actually expects me to pay for them.
Yes, something like four thousand pounds and change for what amounts to holes in my walls and extreme intimacy with my neighbours.
Seriously? I am supposed to pay for curtains that no longer exist?
Apparently it's not her fault that they were yellow. No, that was the sunlight. She couldn't have predicted this.
"But I saw them in the evening, after the sun had gone down," was my answer.
"Well, then it is the way artificial light hits them," she reasoned.
"Um, could it be, I don't know, if they are yellow in the sunlight and they are yellow in artificial light, well, could it be that they are actually fucking yellow?"
So, what do you think? Is it me?
Friday, 23 September 2011
No, no, let's be clear here. Fancy is not a smoker. That would make me stinky and wrinkly. I paid a lot for these sparkly teeth and I plan on keeping them. What I mean is that I am currently at the total and absolute mercy of the man who means the difference between getting any work done, putting on my make up or letting the Minis have their Elmo hour versus moving to a Fancy Hotel. Yes, that's right. My electrician is here.
And he has me by my Fancy balls.
"So, Frau Fancy, as you can see the Whackashocker is a low voltage Slipashooter. That means this here wire--which is much longer but I bravely sliced through it with your kitchen shears, with no thought to my own health and safety seeing as how important I know this is to you---has become as brittle as your mother-in-law's overbleached hair."
"Okay. Um, sure. And?"
"Without a limber and flexible new Transformerroboticaeroplane you will live for ever in darkness."
Why can't they speak English? Even British English. I might understand something. I feel like he's just showing off now.
"So," he continued, "the process here now is that I have to go look in the truck. Maybe I have a replacement or even a Ohmfusionater to use."
"And if you don't?"
"Well then I'll have to run to the shoppe and get one."
"Okay." Like what else am I going to say here? Oh wait, I think I've got one of those in my jewelry box?
"Uh, well, I'll have to charge you. For the time and all that."
"Okay." As if I have any other options here.
"And congestion charge. But that doesn't have VAT."
What exactly does he expect me to say? That £10 is going to keep me from saying yes to a project that is clearly already cleared £200? I would think it a safe assumption that if I have already agreed to an emergency site visit from a company offering same day service that I am desperate. I need light. I need make up. We need Elmo.
Home ownership. The process by which many skilled labourers enter my home, stick a vise on my proverbial balls and then pull wads of cash out of my nose. At least this one takes a credit card.
Let there be light.
Tuesday, 20 September 2011
We all know that H works too hard. He goes weeks without sleeping in a proper bed, instead changing into First Class Airline Pajamas every night and getting tucked in by a very gay man with a tight uniform and a thick accent. When he is home, he sets his alarm for midnight to take calls with colleagues in other time zones. He reads exciting novels like "Negotiating With Rich Assholes" for pleasure. Fancy here is constantly putting clean underwear in a taxi and sending it his office.
In other words, he's sort of pushed to the limit.
And if you needed further proof, here's last night's Fancy Home Ridiculousness. I had my book group last night and even though I couldn't actually choke my way through the entire train wreck of a novel that it was, I was very excited to see the ladies. Right on time, Babysitter #2 walked in. Seeing H sitting there playing with the girls she stopped.
"I am here this evening, right?" she asked, as the Minis took turns whacking their father with a wooden mallet. (Kids toys are something, eh?)
"Oh yes! He doesn't count," I laughed, setting the TV to her favourite channel.
As if on cue, H stood up and started walking out of the room. "I have a call," he muttered. "Be upstairs."
"You know the drill," I said, picking up my bag. "Either he sends you home or I will. See ya."
Four hours later I returned. Babysitter #2 was contently sitting on the sofa watching a movie. She grabbed her bag and took off, calling, "See you Friday! They were little angels!"
I found H upstairs playing on his computer.
"You didn't want to send Babysitter #2 home?"
His jaw fell open. "I forgot."
Yes, he actually forgot that his children were sleeping in the house and there was a middle-aged woman sitting in our living room watching telly.
Time to rethink this Fancy job, don't you agree?
Then again, feeding my children donkey meat doesn't put me in the best light. Go check out In The Powder Room this week!
Tuesday, 13 September 2011
Fancy here apologizes for her recent silence. There has been a lot going on here at the Fancy home and even with 2 Nannies, a Fancy PA and Amazon, I’ve spent much of the last couple alternating between tears and tears of laughter. Sort of like a deranged mental patient. It’s been so crazy that I called a time out today and spent 4 hours at the spa getting rubbed and scrubbed and oiled and pounded. I feel well enough to speak now.
So what was it that finally threw me over the edge? Curtains. It all comes down to curtains. We've been doing a bit of home decorating. The floorboard skirting, the electrical wiring, the micromanaging, well, that can all be handled with a combination of Fancy authority and booze. But curtains? I’ve come to a new understand.
Curtains versus blinds. That’s always the question, isn’t it? And I now firmly believe that the affinity for one over the other is burned into our souls. It’s like Coke v Pepsi. Crest v Colgate. The colour orange v anything else. You feel one way or the other. No discussion.
And Fancy here is a Blinds person. Hands down.
But I’m also easily persuaded, especially when it comes to things like decorating. I mean, come on, I hired a woman to lay my clothes out before dinner. What makes you think I know the first thing about accent rugs? And they promised me it would be wonderful, that it was the only way to go, that I would be thrilled.
Thrilled they said.
So for the last couple months I’ve been envisioning walking into the living room and seeing light, airy, billowing curtains, practically smelling the sea air. Like walking into a suite at the Delano in South Beach. Every time I go into a room there, all white and light and fresh, I half expect to see God, or at least Morgan Freeman, sitting there waiting for me.
The curtains arrived yesterday.
I did not see God.
“Um, I’m sorry to have to say this, but they need to go. In fact the only workable solution is that they leave no later than tomorrow. I would rather the neighbours watch me cook dinner naked than spend one more minute in this room,” I said as politely as I could the minute our Fancy Designer picked up the line.
You think I’m exaggerating. I thought white. They were yellow. I thought modern. They looked like something my Grandma had. I thought sleek, they were practically touching me from across the room. My house looked like the Sound of Fucking Music in reverse.
Then I called H. Told him to spend the night in a hotel. That under no circumstances was he to come home before this unmitigated home décor disaster had been resolved. He was confused, but seriously, it would be better this way. His heart is already under so much strain.
So today the windows are once again bare. I’m sitting naked in my living room, typing and waving at the neighbours. But at least I don’t have to worry about the curtain monsters eating me. Shudder.
Anyhoo, I'll keep you posted. At least I look well rested, sitting here waving at Central London.
p.s. there is now an email link! Because you ask and Fancy delivers.
Tuesday, 6 September 2011
What the hell? The summer is over? I’m sorry, I’m a little confused. I’m still waiting to wear all the cute summery outfits I bought. I haven’t made a dent in my sunscreen collection and that includes a weekend in the sun. What? Oh, sorry. I need to quickly explain something to my fellow Londoners. Hang on.
The “Sun” is a big yellow thing in the sky. It provides a gravitational force that makes the Earth spin around in a big circle. That much I’m sure you know. But just in case you didn’t realize it, the Sun also provides warmth. Yes, it’s true. Even sunshine. I know, close your mouth. See in some parts of the world, summer is actually when you can wake up everyday knowing that shorts and a tank top will suffice. There are even people who put their winter wardrobes away for 6 months. Totally crazy, right? Anyway, let’s go back and join the others.
Okay, sorry for the interruption. Anyhoo, I’m a bit caught off guard this week. Kate Takes 5 has made “Things I Did This Summer” her Listography for the week. And when I saw that, well I did a bit of a double take. I wasn’t aware that summer had ever arrived. But being plucky like I am, I’ll pull out my calendar and tell you what I did over the last 3 months, although I will continue to violently protest that I did not actually experience this phenomenon called “Summer.”
- Got married. Okay technically that is a lie. But I found myself a wife, in the form of Fancy PA. Just as you can love all your children, I love both my husband and my wife. Truly. Deeply. I do.
- Went to CyberMummy. And met some nice ladies. But I’m still looking for Lou the chicken lady. Anyone see a nice looking, albeit somewhat harried, woman covered in feathers calling for her rooster, you let me know.
- Suffered Bank Holiday Hell. For those who don’t know, that’s an unbelievably popular British past time of watching women suffer while their Nannies enjoy a day off. I know, as disgusting as snacking on goat’s blood.
- Taught the Minis to swear like sailors. Let’s be clear, this was not actually my intention. Blame all those bank holidays. But TC is now saying, “Fork” a lot. It’s a satisfying word, isn’t it? The Princess has mastered, “Bucket,” and “Bap!” Unless I clean up my act, I’m expecting full sentences by Christmas. “Roly Sucking Bell!”
- Said a final farewell to my favourite airline. That’s right. You know the one. Excuse me while I get a tissue to wipe my eyes. I don't even need to link up here. If you don't know what I'm talking about, go back a few posts. Or just consider yourself lucky to have missed it.
And that’s it, apparently. Looking forward to even worse weather as we edge through Fall. At least I’ll have a new closet soon. At least that's what they are telling me. And that’s definitely something to look forward to.
Thursday, 1 September 2011
Fancy is back! Oh that was a lovely holiday. I missed those Minis. Yes I did. So much I was forced to drown my sorrows in mojito after mojito, sitting by the pool, reading actual books (as opposed to Where’s Elmo’s Blanket?). It was hard but somehow I did it. And my return, the squeals of happiness, the little arms wrapped about my neck, the children shoving aside my offerings of new toys in favour of the box of chocolate in my luggage, well that was also awesome.
But I know you are all dying to hear how this round of air travel went. Relax, there was no Cheap Ass Air involved. Nope. Never, I say never again. However, it wasn’t all champagne wishes and caviar dreams. I had some work to do.
“Fancy PA packed for you, all we need is your shaving stuff and cologne and toothbrush. Unpack your work overnight bag and give it to her,” I commanded, pulling on my resort wear and grabbing my sun hat.
“Well, okay, but I’m pretty nervous about having my things already packed. Are you sure you have everything? And make sure she puts my liquids somewhere easy to reach when we get to security,” H grumbled.
“Ha ha!,” I cried. “Your bag is getting checked, babe! You can’t carry that on. One carry on, my friend. One.” I cackled, my anticipation of what was to come growing by the second.
“Wait! What airline are we flying?” H cried, looking up at me in alarm.
“Discount Doofus! They had the best times and fare. Don’t worry, you get up to 20kg of checked luggage. You aren’t even 2/3 of the way there!” I exclaimed, silently howling at the look on his face.
“What? Why would you do that to me? Why?” he whinged.
“Because, my darling, sometimes it is good for you. You need to remember that not everyone gets driven to the plane in a limo. You need a refresher on how the other half lives. Like me. When I’m flying with two toddlers and you stick me in cattle call on some dipshit airline. So chop chop. We’re late. Need to get to the airport 3 hours before our flight. No first class check in you know,” I cackled, whistling my way to the door.
It had to be done, no? In the end he was a pretty good sport about it. Even if he did have a moment of shock and disappointment when he realized his tiny little seat didn’t recline. In fact, he was such a brave boy that I bought him a bottle of water.
I’m nice like that. What? Oh, yes. Me, I had some champagne. He made me carry his wallet you see.
Thursday, 25 August 2011
I wasn’t feeling particularly fresh or sexy yesterday and in fact I was down right dragging, having made the 4 staircase trip to the Minis at least twice during the night (God, I miss that Night Nanny.) but you know what they say, sometimes you’ve got to “just do it.” So I did.
“Wrap this around your ankle,” he commanded. “That ankle too. That’s right. No, tighter. Good.”
“Hold your hips still, right there, yes! This is beautiful. Like poetry. Excellent!” he cried.
“Jesus, you are a noisy one,” he chuckled, as heavy breathing gave way to grunts and finally outright screaming.
Utterly spent, I fell to my back.
“How was that?” he asked, pulling my knee over his shoulder, leaning forward, our faces just inches apart.
“Awesome. Thanks for that,” I sighed.
Oh God, do I love my very, very gay Fancy Trainer. I’m going to miss him while I’m on holiday. I can only wonder how the gym at our Fancy hotel will measure up.
Be back soon.
xxoo Frau Fancy
p.s. just in case you missed me In The Powder Room this week, it's IVF, private v NHS. Oh yes, I've really done it all.
Tuesday, 23 August 2011
So Fancy here is finally gearing up for her real summer holiday. As in sans-Minis. I love my little darlings to death but I think a couple of flights on Cheap Ass Air with toddlers followed by a week without a Nanny earns one a weekend away, don't you?
However, I have a little problem. See Fancy PA did my packing for my last little trip to the place where the hairy-lipped live. And when I opened my suitcase, well I've never felt so attended to.
But she's only here a couple of days a week and the night before this trip isn't one of them. So I've done what any self-respecting Fancy gal would do and simply offered her an extra day of work this week. To pack our suitcases. Which will be a very welcome change from the usual last-minute, wrinkled clothing, forgot my jewelry, "oh for God's sake, we'll just get hotel laundry to deal with that" morning of departure that I am oh so used to.
"Fancy PA is coming in extra this week to pack for us. Anything specific you want me to tell her?"
"What? Why is she coming in to pack for us. Isn't that a tad excessive? I don't think you should be getting dependent on other people for things like this," said the man who demanded we hire someone to change our lightbulbs.
"Darling, can you tell me when was the last time you were home for dinner?" I asked, the Fancy wife who spends most evenings drinking wine and watching iTunes while her spouse flies around the world/stays in the office until 3 am/attends working dinners.
He looked at me for a moment. "I have no fucking idea," he finally admitted.
"Okay, so then if I need to have my underwear wrapped in little sheets of tissue paper to make me feel loved, if finding a polaroid of my jewelry grouped with various items of clothing makes me feel truly cared for, then I think you need to accept that this is just something I have to do."
Okay so I pay for my lovin', which can get you arrested in some circumstances, but in this one just makes me feel good. And that's important, don't you think?
Friday, 19 August 2011
So the update on “Operation Fancy Man” is that he now has a closet containing clothes that 1) fit and 2) aren’t full of holes. And while he won’t admit it I do believe H is enjoying having nice things to wear. He’s got a little more of a bounce in his step. After all, looking good always makes you feel good. In the same way that perky boobs make for a perky woman. At least that is what my mother always said when stressing the value of a good bra. Anyhoo, I digress.
I will admit that I’m slightly shocked that this once proud Metrosexual has allowed me and Fancy PA to completely take over his wardrobe. On one hand, I do have a pretty good idea of his likes and dislikes (yes to pink, no to white collars, yes to cuffed trousers, no to turtlenecks: “I look like a stuffed sausage!”). On the other, he is a man who knows what he likes. But I think he’s really appreciating how much time and effort I’ve spent trying to make his outside match the man on the inside.
And that’s not been the only surprise. Here’s a recent dinner conversation:
“Um, that’s a nice shirt. Where’d you get it?” I asked, enjoying a fabulous scallop starter at Massimo.
H looked up and stared at me for a moment. “You. You bought it.”
“Oh no, sir. I absolutely did not. Check the label, where’s it from?”
A quick peek inside the collar revealed the source: TM Lewin.
“Darling, I’ve never set food inside that shoppe. Never.” Giggles gave way to outright laughter, which became hysterical weeping. “The dry cleaners must have had a really big shirt and assumed it belonged to us!” I howled.
H started laughing too. “Ha ha! And that would explain that circus tent red striped thing I found in my closet too! Ha ha ha!!!”
“What?” I asked, suddenly straight faced. “No, that one I bought.”
“Oh,” he replied, suddenly very interested in his pasta. “Oh, it’s nice.”
Smart man, eh?
Monday, 15 August 2011
And yes, it’s time for another instalment of “No, I really can’t make this shit up.” I have heard, more than once, that there is speculation that this blog is just a big fat lie. Well, I want you to know, once and for all, that Fancy here is just not that creative. I’m not. What I am is slow and sometimes terribly daft. That is what is true, my friends. And here is some proof.
Fancy found herself on a Cheap Ass Air flight last week. Yes, it’s true. I had to go to a gallery opening in one of those little Eastern European towns where the women all have moustaches. I booked the flight months ago, long before our Fine Fancy Family Holiday. Then I forgot about it. Somewhere in my brain there was a protective mechanism that clicked into place, making me think that my short trip out East involved a flight on Discount Doofus Air, which is no frills but relatively harmless. After all, the universe couldn’t be that cruel, could it.
And then I went to check in. Yes, that’s right. Not Discount Doofus. No. Cheap Ass. My favourite airline.
But Fancy here is nothing if not plucky. And it was just me travelling. So I decided to grin and bear it.
For one final CAA farewell.
I decided this time not to check any bags since I was only going up for a night. Fancy PA, who is the world’s most awesome packer, had my liquids separated out, my travel documents in a handy pocket, my little tiny suitcase exquisitely laid out and organized. And off I went.
With the sleekness of a woman suddenly travelling without two toddlers, I raced through security and on to my gate. But a mere 6 feet from my Priority Boarding line, I was stopped. By a CAA employee. She was randomly pulling people aside to weigh their hand luggage. And I was apparently looking suspiciously overweight.
The limit is 10kg.
My bag weight: 11.2kg.
“What do you want me to do?” I asked that miserable bitch as she instructed me to jettison 1.2kg of Fanciness. “Put on all my clothes?”
“As you wish, Ma’am,” snipped that little tart.
Did I mention that I’m plucky? So I got down on my knees, opened my bag and took my floor length gown out of Fancy PA’s carefully wrapped tissues. And I wrapped it around my neck. Like a scarf. Next I pulled my wrap on, over my jacket. Finally I took my wallet (because we all know that is where the weight is) and tucked it into my underwear.
Standing up, I set my suitcase back on the scale. 9.9kg.
“Thank you,” she sneered.
And I walked the 6 feet to my gate, where I promptly opened my bag and repacked. Throwing in my jacket for good measure.
But I certainly think it makes for a good story, don’t you? Maybe even Frock It quality? I can’t offer you an actual photo of me, oh so Fancy, sashaying down the terminal with an evening gown wrapped around her neck. You’ll have to use your imagination. But this picture might help.
And no, I really didn’t make this up.
Saturday, 13 August 2011
Finding My New Normal's son would be one today. So here's a whole bunch of bloggy balloons on their way up to him. I'm sitting in an airport, so sending off a real one wasn't really practical. Plus, it might confuse a bird, who would then take it out on my plane's engine. Hope the thought really counts here.
Thinking of you, my virtual friend.
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
"Well, well. I see you went to the zoo this weekend,” chuckled Nanny #1 as she walked through the door Monday morning this week.
“Oh, you noticed? What gave it away? The Penguin Beach shopping tote? Or the two animal umbrellas? The ladybug raincoats? What?” I laughed.
“Um, nice shirt,” she snorted, pointing to my new “I Heart ZSL” Tshirt. Clearly left over from the day before and having served as both street wear and nightshirt.
I don’t know why, but Fancy here can’t seem to wrap her head around one little fact about living in London: the weather fucking sucks. The skies were blue, dammit. Not a cloud in sight Sunday morning. H was off somewhere in the Middle East, trading camels for oil barrels or some such nonsense, and I decided that I, Frau Fancy, would take the Minis on a trip to the London Zoo. It would not only give Nanny #2 a chance to straighten up, but would be a fun mother-daughters day.
I brushed Nanny #2’s hands away as she tried to hand me the rain cover for the buggy. “No need!” I cried. “The sun is shining! The birds are chirping! It’s a beautiful day!” And out we went. On foot. No rain cover. No umbrellas.
Stupid, stupid me. It started when we reached Regent Park.
So if you happened to be at the London Zoo last weekend, perhaps you spotted me? You surely wouldn’t have recognized me, what with my ultra Fancy appearance. But yes. That was me actually stripping off her soaking blouse in front of the zoo gift shop while ripping off price tags with my teeth and then pulling on a brand new and very hot pink T-shirt. Which went very nicely with my £6.95 plastic poncho, which was basically a very large sheet of cling film with a neck hole. Awesome.
If you didn’t catch me there, maybe you spotted the lady with two very wet toddlers, who were also stripped naked while huddling together under an awning, being wrapped in two layers of size 1-2 ZSL shirts and topped off with very cute little raincoats that fell to their feet, sleeves rolled up about 10 times.
No? How about the woman with very wet hair and running mascara, sitting on a bench trying to use baby wipes to scrub the yellow dye off her feet from her very expensive and now quite wet Italian sandals, while her children tried to stab each other with their new “uhbrells”?”
Let me summarize. Fancy here is capable of leaning. Like did you know that porcupines kill more lions and hyenas than any other animal in Africa? Yes, I know, it’s fascinating. I learned that at the zoo. I also learned that my Friends of ZSL membership card gets me 20% off my purchases this summer, which comes in handy when you spend £100 pounds on dry clothes for yourself and your children. I learned that Nanny #1 keeps an emergency stash of bubbles in the pram, handy for entertaining two young Minis, who were promised lions and instead got the insect exhibit. I learned that petting zoos are not as much fun when there are puddles full of wet goat shit to slog through. I learned that the new zoo exit is all the way around the corner from the taxi stand. And I learned that the waitress at Yo Sushi knows better than to ask if I mean a 125mL or 250mL glass of wine when she sees 3 drowned rats in zoo clothing walk through the door.
See Fancy is a good learner. These are all very good lessons. It’s a shame I just can’t seem to learn the one about the British weather.
Monday, 8 August 2011
Marriage is all about communication. You need to know how to speak to your spouse in order to make him understand you. The language you choose to use can make all the difference. For example, when speaking to H, I must put everything in a format that he can actually understand. Because logic and emotional intelligence are not really his strong suits. So carrying on about how he can't understand because he hasn't flown economy let alone discount in decades, or about travelling with toddlers or anything else wasn't going to get me anywhere. I had to let the number do the talking.
“Sit. I have to show you something. Here is the cost calculation of what flying Cheap Ass Air actually did to your wallet. Pay attention.” And I laid out my presentation: The True Cost of Flying Cheap Ass Air.
Me, Nanny #1, the Minis: Outbound flight:
159.96 EUR Total Fare
105.16 EUR Taxes, Fees & Charges
8.00 EUR Passenger Fee: CANX
24.00 EUR Passenger Fee: Web Check in
90.00 EUR Passenger Fee: Checked Bag(s)
16.00 EUR Passenger Fee: Priority Boarding
24.00 EUR Passenger Fee: Administration Fee
427.12 EUR Total Paid
Me, Nanny #1, the Minis: Return flight:
79.96 GBP Total Fare
0.00 GBP Taxes, Fees & Charges
8.00 GBP Passenger Fee: CANX
24.00 GBP Passenger Fee: Web Check in
90.00 GBP Passenger Fee: Checked Bag(s)
16.00 GBP Passenger Fee: Priority Boarding
1.00 GBP Passenger Fee: Mobile Text
24.00 GBP Passenger Fee: Administration Fee
242.96 GBP Total Paid
“What? Oh, that’s apparently a fee they charge just in case the flight is cancelled. No, I’m not fucking with you. Yes, web check-in is mandatory. And yes, I’m aware they changed the currency depending on the direction you fly, although the fees remain exactly the same, never mind the exchange rate. Yes, I’m absofuckinglutely serious. Now, may I continue?”
H’s unused flights (I’ll spare you the actual breakdown since it’s the same, but the totals?
114.28 EUR and 67.99 GBP
“I know. It is amazing that you didn’t even check in, let alone fly, and yet we were still charged all that. Now stop moving your lips. I’m not done.”
Two infant seats in addition to the child seats makes 20 GBP x 2 x 2. Or maybe EUR. I have no fucking idea at this point.
Extra luggage since the Minis were not allowed theirs once their true ages were uncovered, although CAA is keeping the money: 60 EUR + 60 GBP
AND: Hotel the night before, since trains don’t run at ungodly o’clock: £200. 1 pair lost shoes plus my new kindle in security: roughly £200, the shittiest coffee known to man £9, and finally food and booze on the return flight £25.
“Okay, got that? Grand total comes to, um, oh Christ on a bike, I can’t add this all up. Alright, here: 641.40 EUR plus 844.95GBP. Well, if it makes you feel better, take out the £400 for the hotel and our lost belongings. But then go ahead and add back in the 3 hours of Fancy Therapy it’s going to take to repair the damage done to my psyche. And our relationship. Which is another 2400USD.”
H just stared at me. “Okay. I got it. We’re done.”
“Thank you darling. Now let’s practice something. The only words I ever want to hear come out of your mouth with regards to me and the children and air travel are as follows:” I said, as slowly and calmly as I could. (We were out of numbers and back into emotional intelligence territory.)
“Now repeat. ‘Did you use cash or miles for those upgrades, dear?’”
Oh Cheap Ass Air. It was fun while it lasted. I’ll miss you. xFF
Thursday, 4 August 2011
I know, I know. The 7 seats will be explained soon enough. Actually it's not that hard. In fact, I'll just do it now.
H (unused ticket)
The Princess (Infant)
The Princess (Child)
Tough Cookie (Infant)
Tough Cookie (Child)
Yes, that's correct. Cheap Ass Air policy requires all children who have not yet turned 2 to sit on their mother's lap. Any other Real Airline would allow you the option of purchasing a seat for an infant or young toddler for either safety (approved airline seat) or comfort. But no. Cheap Ass has a general policy on customer comfort: no. If it might make your ride more enjoyable then absolutely not.
But Fancy here went all ape-shit on their ass when I discovered this little nugget, moments before leaving the Fancy home for the Airport Hotel, where we were forced to stay because trains don't run at UnGodly Hour. Which added another couple hundred quid to the exercise. Anyhoo, I digress. Ape-shit. There was screaming. And they graciously allowed me to keep the child seats I'd purchased, of course losing all luggage I'd paid for, and then also buy space for them on my lap. So I could check them in.
See, it makes perfect sense.
And this is one of the many joys of parenting. Learning that the world doesn't really love your kids as much as you do. I think the general public would prefer that small children were kept hidden away, never let into planes or restaurants, fed only self-cleaning astronaut food, bowels routinely cleansed so as to de-smell all nappies, you get the gist.
But I love my kids. For toddlers, they are some pretty well-behaved children. And I want them to see the world, try new things, see new places. So out we go.
I know every mother looks at her children and thinks that they are the most miraculous little critters ever. Of course, mine really are, but I have another excuse for walking around with my Fancy head in a cloud of Fancy Mother Love: The Minis didn't come to us easily. Stop, I know every child is a blessing and every mother loves her offspring to pieces. But sometimes when I look at them, I feel like there must be a catch. Because how these two got to me is really a miracle.
Anyhoo, that was a pretty long opening to what I wanted to say. Part of my Fancy Infertility story can be found In The Powder Room today. Just a bit of it. The part that came on IVF round #30gazillion. After years of tears and heartache. After H declared himself an expert on semen collection rooms. After Fancy here learned to shoot herself with hormones undetected while sitting at a sushi bar shoveling in an omikase. But only if you are curious.
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
“Ring ring. Ring ring. Hello, Mr. Fancy’s office, Fancy Assistant speaking, how may I help you?”
“Hey FA, it’s me, Frau Fancy. I was trying to ring his mobile but I guess it went through to you. How ya doing?”
“Oh lovely, thank you. But how are you?”
“Ah, just standing here at Tiny Town Airport, waiting for my Cheap Ass Air flight. No food. No water. The Minis are walking the queue, trying to force half-chewed raisins and soggy biscuits on the other Cheap Ass customers. No word on when, or if, we’ll be leaving.”
“Oh no! Why the delay?”
“Alas, a couple of birds became severely depressed at the realisation that they were being forced to share God’s wide open skies with these assholes. So they committed suicide in our plane’s engines. The Cheap Ass engineers are, as we speak, trying to pry their burned carcasses from the aircraft motor.”
“Oh that’s horrible! Do you want me to send Mr. Fancy an email and tell him what is going on?”
“Yes, please. And it should read like this: ‘your family called to check that you were indeed enjoying the First Class Lounge at the Fancy Airport you chose to fly home out of. They sincerely hope the caviar is nice because soon they’ll be subjected to drinking their own urine. Kisses.’ Okay? You got that?”
“Ha ha, Frau Fancy, you are so funny. Okay, I’ll tell him.”
“Ooh, gotta run. Thanks. Looks like we’re boarding. Talk later!”
**Interlude: Fancy drags two toddlers across the tarmac, Nanny #1 following closely behind dragging a double stroller and a diaper bag. The Cheap Ass flight crew is actually very helpful, even allowing us to fully take up the 7 seats we’d purchased, although there were only 4 human bodies. Yes, more on that to come. Obviously. But let’s start with the fact that I’d paid for each Mini twice, once as an infant and once as a child. Airline policy, you see. They aren’t technically age two. So I should be content with holding 12 kg of giant toddler with massive feet and a head as hard as stone on my lap as she fights for her freedom, other passengers be damned. Or pay. Twice. Anyhoo, soon we are settled in and high up in the sky.**
“Oh my God. Are you actually buying Cheap Ass Air champagne? Snort. That’s hilarious,” says Nanny #1, as Fancy here whips out her wallet.
“Yes I am. Desperate times. And if this isn’t enough, I’ll need you to start ripping open those little foil packets marked, ‘Vodka.’ Okay? Here, feed the girls this fine organic sandwich from a company called, um, let’s see, oh yes, here, ‘MeLikey.’ How’s that for fine parenting? And I’ve gotta get me a couple of those scratch cards cuz I’m sending you on the Cheap Ass Air holiday after I win!”
“Oh, no. Never again. Never. But here, let me get that cup of ice for you,” said the greatest Nanny ever to live.
“That’s right. The next time I tell you we’re flying anything other than Fancy Airline, you slap me until my nose bleeds. You understand? Seriously. Got it?”
We’re home. The Fancies have landed.
Thursday, 28 July 2011
Greetings from the depths of Fancy’s Summer Holiday. Notice I called it, “Fancy’s Summer Holiday.” NOT “A Fancy Summer Holiday.” There is a difference. Fancy it ain’t.
Oh I know, it’s always good to get away. But after a wonderful weekend with Nanny #1 on full duty, me enjoying a beer in the sunshine and fine dining in the evening, the woman had the gall to get on a train and leave me.
I know. Turns out Nannies are entitled to vacation time. Yes, I agree. It’s highly unfortunate.
However, since she was kind enough to coordinate her holiday with mine and allow me to pay for her way to and from the Continent in exchange for help on the plane and one small weekend in a hotel (for which she receives well-deserved extra holiday pay), I will forgive her.
Now I’ve got the Minis at their grandparents. Oh, H? Ha. “Urgent meetings” in other places. But it’s not really so bad. My in-laws are lovely people. And my days are literally chock full of excitement and adventure. I mean, between choking down plates of boiled beef and potatoes at lunch, meeting my mother-in-law’s hairdresser (“So you, YOU are the party responsible for this, THIS stiff, unmoving creature!” my insides seethed. ) and clawing my way through mountains of dried flowers and sea glass to the one lone toilet in their apartment, I can’t really see how an African safari or a trip to the moon could be more appealing.
So there you have it. Family ain’t Fancy. But it’s still family and its precious memories in the making. The Minis don’t get enough time with any of their grandparents as it is. And who knows how many more years we have of The Princess and Tough Cookie drawing on their grandfather with ink pens while he takes one of his 7 daily naps. Or how much longer their grandmother will have the strength to watch them crumble croissants all over her several thousand Turkish rugs. (Ok seriously, I feel like I should be on the Hookah all day. There is even one serving as a TV cover. No joke. That picture could literally be their living room. Don't ask me. I haven't a clue.)
The message? Blood sausage at breakfast be damned, I’m going to make this trip count if it almost kills me.
Which frankly, it might.
Monday, 25 July 2011
“No. I am putting my foot down. Absolutely not. I won’t allow it.”
That was Nanny #1 3 days ago. See, when you are forced to fly Cheap Ass Air and the price includes losing your kid’s shoes during the harried rush through security (because arriving at the airport 2 hours early still means you will barely make your flight given their high level of efficiency and generally caring attitude) it means Fancy here found herself driving out of the airport and on the search for a store that would sell freakishly small shoes for The Princess’s itty little tootsies.
I landed at the German-speaking equivalent of Walmart. Kaufland. Actually what’s worse than Walmart? Walmart really isn’t that bad. I kind of like Walmart. It’s no Target, but still. Anyhoo, I digress. Imagine a tragic Walmart. That’s where we landed.
“But they are the smallest pair I can find!” I pleaded with Nanny #1. “C’mon, they aren’t that bad,” I pined, holding out a very scruffy pair of what can only be described as mental institution slippers for toddlers.
“No! No. Don’t make me get physical. I’m not joking,” she replied, absolutely straight faced.
I was actually a little scared.
“Okay, then,” I said, wandering to the other end of the aisle. “Here, these are the smallest real shoes I can find. And they are pink! These will work, right?” I asked hopefully.
“Hmmm. They are very chav-ey (is that a word?) but not horrible,” she conceded.
“I know!” I cried. “They are so bad they are good again! Totally pikey! I love it.”
“I wouldn’t go that far,” she snorted. “But when we get back home maybe we can sneak into one of the Estate playgrounds and no one will notice.”
“Ooh awesome idea! There is one near our house and it is so nice! I love taking the girls there. I’m buying TC a pair too!” I screamed with joy, pulling a purple set off the racks.
Nanny #1 just rolled her eyes at me as I threw them into the cart, along with 3 pairs of socks, a bag of M&Ms, a container of melon, 3 packs of glitter stickers, bikini wax (ran out of time before we left) and some contact lens solution. (Really not a bad shoppe choice now that I think about it.)
And that’s how our vacation is going so far. The Minis are “living local.” I think it looks cool. I especially like how the word “Sports” is written across the side of them in big white letters. So bad, they are good again. Kind of wish they came in my size…
Tuesday, 19 July 2011
“Why aren’t you helping me? Where is my travel cologne? Why does everybody hate me? No one cares about me!”
That was Mr. Fancy, Sunday night, trying to pack his suitcase while his driver sat outside, reading the paper. He’s the kind who really likes to plan ahead.
“Darling, I want to help you. I just didn’t hear you. I’m coming right now,” I soothed, leaving the Minis to their dinner.
Alas, I wasn’t any great help. How am I supposed to know where Nanny #2 thinks a good hiding place for his travel shaving kit and computer cables is? I’m truly fascinated to find out next time I see her.
Back to the kitchen I trotted, after consoling H with the knowledge that anything he needs can be purchased and I will personally bring anything forgotten along with me. To hand over when we meet on the Continent. Because he’s not using that ticket after all.
Much to my delight, I discovered TC giving her sister a deep conditioning hair treatment. With Nutella. Only made worse by the fact that The Princess had fallen asleep during all the excitement, in her high chair, face smashed into goat cheese on toast.
I was still scrubbing when H came flying into the kitchen.
“I only have to pack until Thursday, right? I mean, you’ll bring all my other stuff. I only need clothes for 3 days?” he asked with misguided optimism.
“Um, darling, we’re flying Cheap Ass Air. At your suggestion. You convinced me it would be the ‘better alternative.’ 20kg luggage limit. It's out of my hands," I shrugged, howling with laughter (internally). "Now, if we were flying Fancy Gold Card Airline, like I wanted, then I would be more than happy to schlep all your shit several hundred miles with me. In addition to the Minis, their crap, all our clothes and the 5 bags of M&Ms I plan on using as airplane diversionary tactic. As it is, however, I suggest you do a little thinking about whether you’d like to spend your days by the pool in a suit.”
He stared at me.
“Can you at least hand me those cufflinks?” he whinged. “Is that too much to ask?”
I felt bad.
I’m bringing his swimsuit.
Happy Vacation, here we come!!!
By the way, did you catch me back over at In The Powder Room this week?
By the way, did you catch me back over at In The Powder Room this week?
Wednesday, 13 July 2011
H is a big believer in the “death of formality.” What exactly does that mean? I believe he referring to what he perceives is an overall decline in strict dress codes, 8 course dinners and the freedom with which we call each other by our first name. I suppose in a way he is right; after all I don’t leave a calling card when I stop by the neighbour’s house nor do I insist on my domestic help wearing uniforms. Yes that is true, all my employees wear exactly what they want to work. I know, I’m so gracious.
Anyway, if you so much as mention “dressing up” or “black tie” to H, he almost goes into fits.
“That’s stupid!” he cries.
“Bullshit I’m wearing a coat with tails!” he clamors.
Even at our own wedding he very nearly succeeded in avoiding a tuxedo. There were some threats, some phone calls and several hotel employees throwing him into the back of a black car destined for some South American tuxedo shoppe involved in that one.
If we go to a restaurant that requires a jacket, H takes great delight in watching the Maitre’d go scrounging around in the closet for a “loaner” that will fit him. (He has eaten dinner more times than I care to count squeezed into a blazer that looks more like a sausage casing than a coat, but hey, that’s his privilege.)
So you get what I’m saying. Tell H to wear something other than exactly what he feels like wearing at that exact moment and you are bound to witness a tantrum.
But last night he took it to a new low. Seriously. I don’t know how much further down he could actually go.
We had a friend over for dinner, a lovely pal who is near and dear to our hearts (and was closely involved in that South American black car incident) and who was gracious enough to carry H’s new suit over from the US. (It fit!!!!!) After all the necessary hugging and exclaims of delight (“How was your flight?! Missed you!”), he handed H a hanging bag.
H proceeded to remove his trousers right there in the living room. He tried on his suit and after relief and happiness all around, handed it back to me.
But he left his trousers on the floor.
And the proceeded to spend the rest of the evening sitting around in his undies, moving from sofa to dining table, glass of wine in hand, Hugo Boss snug cotton boxers flashing out from under his shirt with every breath.
"Ah, he doesn't care! Do you?" he asked our guest when I made mention of the situation.
And that, folks, is truly The Death of Formality.
By the way, speaking of politeness, catch me over at In The Powder Room today. Just a little ode to the customer service centre at British Telecom.