They say you are only as old as you feel. The trouble with that is that one day I feel 17 and the next 77.
A sunny day, a song, a special smile from the short-sighted scaffolder who still thinks I'm beautiful- all these things can transport me back to the days when I didn't wear a coat even at midnight in February, when six inch white stilettos without stockings were de rigour and I wore Lycra to show off my figure not suck bits of it in.
On the other hand a frantic school run, a bout of the Fibromyalgia Syndrome which occasionally flattens me or a day with not enough hours in it for the chores I have to do can leave me craving Ovaltine and a tartan blanket across my knees.
You can often tell what sort of day I'm having from my clothes. Most women will admit that once a month they give in and cradle their tender tums in stretchy loungewear. Some even succumb to the guilty pleasure of velour. Hoodies and joggers are the way to go when Aunt Flo pays a visit. Everyone is entitled to the odd sartorial duvet day and I even have a favourite fleecy Disney hoody that oddly comforts me when I'm feeling ill or sad or cold. Crocs, fit-flops and Uggs might be despised by Fashionistas and most husbands but you can't deny that they are so comfortable it's like going out in your slippers. Add to that the odd onesie craze and you have the ultimate cosy outfit.
You'll be glad to hear that this 43 year old mum hasn't bought a onesie ( well, not since the one I owned 20 years ago) although I am infamous for going to dinner and drinks parties wearing my pyjamas. This slightly eccentric habit is thanks to my sister who once talked me into a late night walk to her local shops to buy henna when we were both a bit drunk and wearing pjs- she said no one would care, she was right and I have never looked back. I had orange hair for three months but still, it was a life changing experience. I even have "going out" pyjamas for smarter occasions.
Anyway, I digress. You'd think we would want to wear comfy clothes and shoes all the time but most of us have times when we want to look smart, sexy, sassy, whatever.
I am short. 5ft 2ins and a bit. Or 5ft 3ins when I'm working out my BMI cause it gives me the benefit of the doubt on that extra pound. And so I love heels. Heels make me feel empowered. Sexy. Confident. I have no idea why but in my stacked pink heels I feel like I can take on the world. And thanks to God and a good plastic surgeon I'm still quite proud of my bosom. Despite 7 kids and years of breast feeding I consider the puppies an asset so low cut is usually the order of the day. And the ole pins aren't too bad either. They might be short but on the whole they are trim and toned. We won't mention my mid section. 7 kids, diabetes and a pathological hatred of exercise. Enough said?
So. We have established that comfy clothes comfort me and sassy shoes and sexy clothes give me confidence. So every morning I have an imaginary conversation with Gok. Comfy or confident? Yummy mummy or scummy mummy? There is one fabulously glamorous mum on my school run who wears sky high heels and almost every outfit is a statement of her style. She's tall and stacked and gorgeous! She never looks like her shoes are killing her.
I can't compete with her glamour but I keep trying to remember who I was/am occasionally breaking out in my pink satin lined zebra skin jacket, stilettos and sequins ( although not on the school run) instead of getting lost in permanent middle aged mumdom. But the difference between now and when I was 20 is that now when I go out dressed to kill I keep a supply of heel guards, blister plasters and a pair of fold-up flats in my handbag for when it all gets too much. And I take a coat.