My sister-law-law Catherine (now sadly deceased) invited my wife Trish and I to a fancy dress party in aid of her local tennis club. The very thought of dressing up in ridiculous outfits is just not me.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t wriggle out of it because Trish really wanted to go. And so, after lots of pleading, and me moaning, I gave in. I have always found it hard to battle my demons and attend social occasions. We’re talking about 15 years or so ago when I was even less happy about meeting people in crowded social settings.

I was absolutely miserable, hating to draw attention to myself at any event, even though family members would be there and others whom I had met before. Trish found me an Indian outfit (I felt like Raging Bull more than Sitting Bull) and off we went to Catherine’s, me still fuming. But Trish knows how to handle me and I kept my mouth shut – eventually.

I felt like an idiot in the outfit, that it drew unnecessary attention to myself. But it was too late now as Tom and his squaw enjoyed a couple of drinks in Catherine’s beforehand and chatted away.

Bill (not his real name) whom  had met before, found himself next to me, and before I could blink asked who had done my makeup.

Huh?  I wasn’t wearing any.

But he was obviously impressed, so much so that as he told me how realistic the makeup  looked, his hand reached out and started feeling my chin!

I watched with a mixture of bemusement and confusion as his face suddenly transformed into a look of embarrassment and shock. Yes mate, that’s not makeup it’s my chin.

And suddenly he was gone, probably looking for somewhere to swallow him up.

Once I recovered my composure I told Trish. And we laughed, because it was so ridiculous you had to see the funny side. Catherine was appalled when we told her later, trying to understand why Bill could make such a blunder when he had met me before.

I haven’t been to a fancy dress party since, and whenever I see an Indian on the TV or films I have a good laugh. You have to see the funny side of life or the reality will drive you mad.

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