I love this Gif. I often see it on Twitter or more generally on the internet and it is used as a meme to represent middle-aged woman rage. Often it is accompanied by slogans such as…’my mum when someone takes more than 10 items through the 10 items or less checkout’, or ‘Middle-Aged White Woman’s Dry-cleaning isn’t ready in time.’
It has always made me laugh, but I realised I was very close to becoming an older, fatter version of the divine Gillian Taylforth yesterday in Sport Direct.
Let me give you a bit of context. It’s been a long week. I’ve gone from weeks of nothing to do at all except faff about with my book, to three fifteen hours days on the trot. Also, Rob and I haven’t managed to get to the gym or do any exercise as we (or rather he) has been ripping out the old kitchen and slowly replacing it with a new one.
We approached our personal training session with great trepidation on Tuesday. Zelda, her eyes glinting with energy and enthusiasm greeted us at the door. ‘I’ve got a great programme for you!’ she exclaims in delight. ‘Yay’ I say.
Now Zelda and I have had our highs and lows over the past almost-two years. She has got me successfully jumping on giant boxes like the bionic man and helped me to keep as much of my old weight off as possible. However, she was not kind to us that day.
Thankfully, there wasn’t too much cardio – it was all about the weights. The kind of circuits where you start of thinking, ‘hey! This is great! I can do this!’ to, ‘just kill me now, please, poison, gas, a knock on the head, anything rather than make me lift this fricking 10 ton weight with my thigh muscles.’
As we left she called out to our departing figures, ‘you might hurt a little bit tomorrow!’
This was Tuesday. On Wednesday and Thursday Rob and I could only get out of bed in the morning if the other one prised them out with their feet. Neither of us can lift our arms above our head (doing a million fly lifts with 18llb weights – it may have been 5llb-), nor walk up or down the stairs (147 goblet squats). One really had to marvel how she had managed to screw over every single muscle in our bodies in a single one hour session.
Son’s birthday was on the Thursday and all was lovely and jolly, except for the constant background of winces and yelps of pain from Rob and I, which we covered with bright smiles. I did the usual thing of putting on Facebook a picture from every year since Son was born and noticed for the first time his face was lengthening, leaving little hollows under his cheekbones. I can see the face he will wear as a man starting to take shape. Thirteen years old! How did that happen? He was very sweet, though, and gave me a nice pat and a hug when I couldn’t stop crying about my little boy growing up.
A combination of the muscle pain, and averaging 4-5 hours sleep since I got back to work, meant I was feeling quite irritable when we went out to Pizza Express to celebrate Son’s birthday. This is a regular thing as to both of them, going out to Pizza Express is the height of luxury and exciting dining.
To try and ease the pain I ordered a large cocktail. A large, Prosecco based cocktail. Now, am I right or am I right, a Prosecco based cocktail should be fizzy, yes? Well mine wasn’t. It tasted like a flat soda stream.
My irritation started to rise still further. Rob refused to taste it to see if there was something wrong, which annoyed me even more. Finally, I asked the waiter why it wasn’t fizzy. Turned out they’d forgotten to put the Prosecco in.
THEN, I ordered the Classic Caesar Salad, and it had no Parmesan in it! I’m sorry, but that is enough to justify a complete melt down and smashing up of the place. But. I am a lady, a strong woman, and I can control myself. So I stuck to giving the waiting staff a Paddington Hard Stare. This made me feel a little better.
Thursday evening my irritation levels were still bubbling along just under ‘volcanic explosion’. I had to collect the children from school and, foolishly, thought ‘oh they won’t be long, I’ll go to the loo when I get back.’ Big Mistake.
When I got to the school Son had decided he needed to spend a little more time with his mates ‘because it was his birthday yesterday’, apparently they wanted to discuss – in-depth – presents old and new and dreams for future birthdays. All this while I am fuming in a boiling hot car, bladder starting to bulge at the seams. In fact, the last time I had a bladder this full was when I was waiting for an ultrasound scan with Son and I was so full the technician felt sorry for me and made me go and ‘let a little bit of the wee out and come back.’ I didn’t even know this was possible.
Daughter finally rolls up, dreamily singing a hymn she has been learning in choir. She can only remember two lines of it, so I listen to her singing the same thing over and over for about twenty minutes before Son appears.
She then hands over a letter from her tutor informing me that Daughter has grown out of her trainers ‘by quite a way!’ (implication – bad mother) and could I buy some more before tomorrow’s sports’ session. It is now 6.30 pm.
This then reminds Son that he ALSO needs to get new football boots as his toes are protruding out of his old ones. He lifts a foot to demonstrate. Yes, his two big toes are pushing through the front of his trainers. As I know I bought them and his football boots at the same time, it is clear I am also getting him new trainers and boots.
Sports Direct is the only place open on the way home at this time of night. By this stage I am keeping very quiet, focusing on my driving, and not moving in case my now very full bladder is knocked in any way. As we swing into the car park my heart sinks as I see the big sign: ‘Sports Direct.’
I. HATE. SPORTS. DIRECT.
Let me tell you why. First, my muscles are screaming in pain from my stupid work out at the gym. Second, my bladder now feels like I have a netball shoved up there. Third, I am severely sleep deprived and hungry. Fourth, the children have managed to have seven arguments in the ten minutes it took from school to Sports Direct.
But let’s get onto the store itself. Why is every Sports Direct I have ever been in contained inside a very thin, deep building that travels back about a mile? Do they go to estate agents and say, ‘I need a new site for my shop! It has to be eight feet wide and a hundred and twenty miles deep. Oh with a second floor where we can’t install an escalator. Make sure it has no windows!’
Then, bearing in mind how far you have to walk to get to the end, WHY DO THEY PUT ALL OF THE TILLS AT THE BACK OF THE SHOP? Also, all the stuff I seem to need, ie stuff for Juniors, is on the second floor at the back, with a closed down till, so you have to trek back down the stairs WHICH TAKE YOU TO THE FRONT OF THE SHOP so you then have to WALK BACK UNDER THE STAIRS to get to the till at the back of the shop on the GROUND FLOOR!?!?!?!
Of course there is not a single staff member in sight so I have to trawl about (carrying two 5 kilo bags of dog food for Dog – long story) with sore feet and bladder to find someone to get a shoe in my child’s size.
I merrily tell the guy that Son is size 5 maybe 6, and Daughter is around a 4. He raises an eyebrow and asks them to stand on the foot measuring thing.
Son is now a SIZE EIGHT SHOE.
Daughter is a size SIX not a FOUR.
Oh crap. Yet again I have shoved my poor little darlings’ feet in shoes two sizes small for them for about a year.
Such was my guilt and shame, I agreed to buying the shoes they chose without checking the price. I ended up spending £145…
And that, my friends, is why I am suffering Middle-Age Rage.