I have recently been wearing an excellent coat of my mother’s that has garnered many well-deserved compliments. It is long and dark green and swirls around my calves when I round corners to make me feel like both glamorous 90s Gwyneth Paltrow circa-Sliding Doors, and a Cold War spy. Crossing the road on the way back from a night out this week I came abreast with an extremely drunk 20-something and her slightly less drunk boyfriend, who slurred something very loudly in my direction. I was all set to respond to such obscenities by striding away with a flick of my excellent coat before I realised that what she was in fact saying was “what a coat”, “fabulous coat”, “that coat” etc etc. She continued to loudly make such remarks and in fact turn them into a version of Roxanne – in which Roxanne was substituted for coat – as we waited to cross the road, as we crossed the road, and as we both processed down opposite sides of the road that we apparently all live on. When I turned into my house she yelled “GOODBYE COAT” in a mournful sort of way – perhaps we shall become friends. We do live on the same road and clearly share a taste in excellent garments.
The next day as I rushed out of the house late for something I found my way blocked by a very small boy with a very big stick. His grandmother told him to “move out of the way so the lady can get past” (I rarely get called a lady, excellent coat etc etc), and as I strode by, coat flapping, I heard the stick-bearer turn to her and say, “that was a princess”. And I honestly think that it might be the nicest thing that has happened to me all year. This coat can stay.