Four’s a crowd
Q We’ve been best friends with another family, whose children are the same age as ours, for years and were looking forward to going on a villa holiday with them last year. We put the children into a kids’ camp for the day so we adults could relax by the pool. We all had a few drinks and were laughing and chatting as usual and then suddenly the atmosphere changed, and the couple were naked and trying to get us to join them. We are not like that at all, and horrified, made our excuses and left.
Things have been a little bit awkward and we didn’t return their calls once we were home, but now the wife has invited us along to their son’s birthday party. He’s our boy’s best friend so we can’t really get out of it. Help – how should we act, I’m so embarrassed?
A My darling, the only way to act is with style. You should be flattered that this couple thought you attractive enough to invite you to join them in such a heterodoxical playtime. Your biggest mistake is not reading the signals, though perhaps alcohol had a part to play in this, and there weren’t any, which is very bad form. You’ll be surprised how many parties I attended where I was asked to place my car keys into a bowl at the start of the evening. It was a rather eye-opening education into what one’s friends and neighbours did after the cheese board was finished and I soon learnt to keep my Morris 1100 keys in my pocket rather than risk any misunderstanding.
You didn’t do anything wrong here, and no harm
was done, so why not smile and forget all about it? Just check the birthday invitation first to make sure it’s not a pool party.
Thinning on top
Q I’m shocked that my hair is thinning on top. I’ve always considered myself quite good looking, even a bit of a catch, and as such dressed up for events and grew my hair a bit longer than most fellows. But now I’ve discovered a bald patch on the top of my head which is getting bigger at an alarming rate. I won’t be able to hide it for much longer and don’t know what to do.
My hair was always one of my best points, along with my naturally white teeth, but I can’t do a comb over. Please suggest a style that will help hide my bald patch but make me look trendy.
A My dear chap, you’re not the first man to go a bit thin on top, and it certainly won’t dull your sex appeal. A lot of men – from Bruce Willis to Prince William – look better as they age and lose their hair but the trick is to do it with grace. Don’t try and hide it, do silly tricks or colour it in with boot polish or a girlfriend’s mascara. Imagine the mess if it rains! Embrace this new era with a completely new look – if you have good bone structure then go for a shaved head and use that other asset of yours, your smile.
Confidence will turn heads far more than any long hair, which sounds a tad outdated to me anyway. It’s summer
so get a tan, and a linen suit with brown boat shoes or brogues and a short, back and sides. Buy a straw trilby for that gentleman abroad look or a boater if you’re channelling Brideshead Revisited (and look how much action that Jeremy Irons got and he wasn’t handsome in the slightest!) then ease your way into taking it off to reveal the new you.
Ironically, you’ll probably look years younger once you’ve ditched that mullet
of yours, and will appeal to
a much trendier audience who won’t be wondering if you’re wearing a wig or
going to a Bon Jovi concert or reunion later.
Not like the other mums
Q I’m the new mum at the school gate and trying not to be sucked into their shallow clique. I’ve just arrived in the area and have always worked full-time until we returned from the Middle East for my husband’s job. It’s weird not working and being a full-time mum and housewife.
But while I am looking after our son and daughter I’m certainly not like the other mothers who are only interested in which spinning class to go to and if they’re wearing the latest fashions to walk the designer dog. I’m not very domesticated, and frankly not interested, but they all want to come round to my house, for coffee and cake. They’ve all but invited themselves and I don’t know how to keep them at bay for much longer. How can I be friendly without giving in? I don’t even drink coffee and don’t know how to make a cake!
A Oh dear. Are you sure you’re not protesting too much? Most women would be delighted to be taken into the bosom of the in-crowd, especially as they sound simply delightful – they like dogs, exercise, looking good and you! Why don’t you want to have your cake and eat it? They certainly do. And you don’t even have to make it for them. Simply buy one. If you don’t have a lovely cake store down the road –where is a Patisserie Valerie when you need one? Just pick one up from the local store and remove it from the packaging. Bash it about a little bit so it looks home-made, and decorate it if your culinary repertoire extends to butter frosting and baubles.
Forget the coffee and offer fizz instead – warn them to come on their bikes instead of in the car and that can be their spinning class for the day, though I suspect they go along to do more than just burn up some calories. Most spinning classes are taken by men with huge calves and taut gluteus maximus, and no that’s not a gladiator but his buttocks. And they need to be taut if he’s riding a bike all day even if it doesn’t go anywhere. Why not go along to a class with them – I’m sure their offer of friendship is genuine and they’re not trying to take you for a ride.
Were you bullied at school or made to feel not pretty, clever or interesting enough by the alpha girls? This is your time to shine. You have nothing to lose – except weight at that spinning class – and you might make some new friends.