Monday, October 13, 2008

Routine, interrupted



When I work in Leeds I have a routine that is automatic; rush out of the house about ten minutes later than I would like to be, hair wet, no make-up, clutching my mobile phone to make sure I remember it and dash off in the car to try and beat the Leeds rush hour traffic. Stop on the way (usually in a traffic jam) and put velcro rollers in my hair and make-up on my face about twenty minutes before arriving at the car park. When I get to the car park I change into my trainers to do the fifteen minute power-walk from the car park to work, aware that I sometimes look very strange, depending on my outfit/footwear combo. However, as stated before, a woman over the age of 40 in the UK is rarely given a second glance and is blessed with an unspoken invisibility cloak. I haven't got a purple hat yet but I'm sure the moment's not too far away.

Last Monday I set off from the car park more slowly than usual (my thigh muscles were burning from the run) and got about a third of the way there. I was distracted from my normal robotic routine by a commotion behind me as I was crossing the road at traffic lights. There were two feral-looking men with pinched faces shouting, swigging from cans and careering along the pavement. One of them had a bloodied nose and fresh scabs all over his face. I hurried along a little faster, feeling quite threatened even though it was early in the morning. The shouting got louder and they got closer and closer, I ended up breaking into a slow jog, but they were still catching me up. Other workers were crossing the road to avoid them but it was too late for me. I sped up again, clutching my handbag and suddenly I felt them grab me from behind. I turned round screaming and looked straight at the shaved head and bloodied face of the most frightening one. 'What do you want?' I yelled. 'Don't panic love, I'm sorry for scaring ya but we couldn't let ya go to work like that...' he still had his hand on my arm and then his friend reached out to touch me too. 'What do you mean?' I asked, preparing for my dress sense to be insulted by a hoodie.



'We can't let ya go in the office with a roller stuck to ya jumper darlin'!' and he produced a bright yellow velcro roller from my back.



I apologised profusely and we ended up walking to work together - the scabby one admitted that he looked terrifying but said that he'd been set upon on Saturday night by some 17 year olds when he'd been roaring drunk, tottering around with a take-away and got beaten to a pulp. He then advised me to get some ghd hair straighteners that wouldn't stick to me and we waved goodbye. Afterwards I realised that none of the business women I passed said anything to me about my dayglo roller. How strange!

23 comments:

Suburbia said...

That's the funniest thing I've read in ages!!!

Lindsay said...

Business women wanted to be one-up I suppose. Must have been scary!

Expat mum said...

What a great story. And just goes to show, doesn't it?

Casdok said...

Great pics to illustrate a great post!! :)

The Dotterel said...

Ah, so that's *you* is it?!

Adventure Mother said...

Just goes to show "You can't judge a book by it's cover"!

Mae said...

I have an award for you.

dottie said...

OMG what a brilliant post. I was terrified for you, and waiting to read that you were blogging from hospital or something. I feel humbled that I too expected aggression, not helpful thoughtfulness. Shame on me. What a lesson to learn, thanks for that.

Stinking Billy said...

Well, mama, it really was a great little story, but I am still a tad disappointed. What, for God's sake, is the story behind the the big cat and the scooter-riding Zebra? Oh, just symbolic? I see. :-(

Lori ann said...

ha haha ha!!! I would have told you. I LOVE the pic of the lion and zebra! where did you find that??
xx lori

blogthatmama said...

Suburbia, I laughed afterwards!

Lindsay I did see some of them look at me oddly but no sisterhood style rescues!

Expat Mum, Adventure Mother and Dottie it really gave me a jolt about my assumptions.

No Dotterel, that's not me! (I assume you mean the one with a roller not the one with black and white stripes...)

Thanks very much Mae will be visiting very soon.

Thanks Casdok and Lori Ann and so sorry to disappoint you Billy, one day I'll show my face...Blogthatmamax

bodran... said...

It could have been worse you could have had your skirt tucked in your nic's. Well done to you though for running to work though .. My first visit sorry x

cheshire wife said...

I think that the moral of the story is to try to get up a bit earlier and use the rollers at home.

Glad they did not attack you.

rosiero said...

It's almost as bad as having your skirt tucked in your knickers!! What a lovely man to let you know though and it just goes to show you cannot judge people, though I am sure I would have been petrified too.

Working mum said...

Great story! Perhaps dayglo rollers are the new purple?

blogthatmama said...

Thanks for the visit Bodran, be at yours soon!

CW if only I could get up earlier, one day!

Rosiero - I've done the skirt in knickers before, don't want to do it again, I stick to trousers.

Working Mum - I think they very well could be!

Angela said...

This was my first visit, and hahaha, I`m still choking with laughter. But I had a similar experience once - I carried a big box with groceries and fumbled for my car keys, when a tatood guy with a black leather jacket and boots and greasy hair stood right behind me and shouted, Give me your car keys! and I almost dropped my box. And then he was only helpful and grinning shyly! But his mother was watching him from a way off and shouted over to me,"Hey you, he has never done that before! Usually he behaves the way he looks!"
So...you never can tell, can you?

Milla said...

ahhh, and are YOU now tempted to hug a hoodie in return?? Cannot believe you don't attract a second glance - all that hard work by 9 in the morning.

A Confused Take That Fan said...

Hilarious.
Sounds like those ferel looking Leeds blokes could have been one of my ex boyfriends...
This is where the saying never judge a book by its cover comes into its own...

Mean Mom said...

Oooh, how exciting! Was it just an excuse to talk to you? Perhaps you've still got it, even though you seem to think that you've lost it!!

Stinking Billy said...

mama, so this is how you guys accumulate so many comments - just leave your post up there for weeks on end? Get back on the job, woman!

elizabethm said...

Ok I admit, I would have been running away too, or as fast as I can get which is probably not truthfully called a run. I sometimes work in Leeds, I shall look out for you!
Great blog.

French Fancy said...

It's not the first time I've laughed at your blog but it is the first time that I've left a comment - don't know why really.

Anyway, I've come to your delightful blog via black boxes and I'm glad to have wandered in again. Come and see me.