Miss Makeover says…
My mother is difficult. And I am impossible. Let’s drop the euphemisms. We are both mad but she has a knack of making the other people suffer, rather than turning it inwards. Depression is rage internalized, some say. For all the fucking use that is. Do excuse me, must have externalized something I should have internalized. My mother wants to meet my nice young man. There is no way out of this as some of my parents’ money was the deposit on this flat. And I haven’t quite got round to giving it back just yet.
My Mum would have eaten My Man Max up, probably literally. But Geezer needs a little coaching. Except he’s never keen on women telling him things at the best of times. As it’s the worst of times – an impending parental visit – perhaps I have become a little anxious.
I manage to rehearse Geezer through his audition by letting him do things to me that could get us thrown out of a Turkish brothel.
I rather think he enjoys it all the more because I have been posing as his social superior, or at least someone who doesn’t fart in the bath deliberately. He dressed in eight hundred pounds worth of Paul Smith for my mother, that’s actually just trousers, a handkerchief and some novelty cuff links, but the Thomas Pink shirt should help her feel at home. Till he opens his mouth. She might not like Geezer’s tattoos. Even in a suit you can see the small flames flickering up his neck. But she melts instantly and gives him the full eyelashes flutter, the posh girl giggle and simper. I might have to tar and feather her if this goes on much longer, on behalf of the generation who stopped giggling all the time, just so men would think we’re stupid. She still has the annoying habit of giving men what they want, far too quickly, while sounding like Marilyn Monroe on an ether binge. It’s charmingly ditzy if you’re a man, but annoying if you’re a young woman and totally infuriating if you’re a daughter.
“We haven’t been introduced,” says Mother, somehow managing to suggest with a side head flick in my direction that she wouldn’t expect anything better from a mong like me.
“It’s Paul,” he says. Now you know why I call him Geezer. Paul is either the big-eyed Beatle buffoon or the woman hating apostle or someone not terribly macho. Oer even Paul Smith, the excellent but farcically overpriced Gents’ outfitters. None of which fits Geezer.
“Susie is always saying you were a film star,” says the man himself.
And you are so going to be begging for mercy the next time you agree to sub for me. Excuse me if we shunt my mother off for the moment. She’ll be back in moment, more’s the pity. I’d rather discuss Geezer, malleable enough to be tied to the bedposts, face down, perfect, bare, hairless buttocks agleam with a faint covering of drug and alcohol sweat.
This happens very infrequently, which is fine, because I much prefer him bossing me around. Real men are hard enough to find at the moment that it would be foolish to convert him to yet another needy sub. But I would dearly love to have him face down once more, sighing in anticipation of the soft, sweet thwack of suede across his bottom.
It’s almost tempting to get a spiteful rattan cane in my hand. Could I really give him a Singapore swing, with all the strength of my arm, a judicial rattan swipe that will scar him for a month or so? Well, it’s technically illegal these days. Yes, our nanny-state Government actually wants to look at our bottoms now – literally, legally – just to see if we haven’t been scarring them unduly. They’re generally too busy shipping teenagers off to be killed in Afghanistan but they reserve the right to interfere with our private lives.
Back to Geezer in sub-slut mode. This is usually once a year, when drunk. I expect it will get more frequent as he ages and the testosterone gradually drains from his body. He likes being flogged with a soft suede flogger, as most people would if they’d actually give it a try instead of harrumphing about what they knew not. It’s really nothing more than a vigorous massage, a circulation-boosting nerve tonic, if a little lewd. For those of us who like it a little lewd there’s no more reliable cure for depression than a skillful soft suede flogging.
Will Geezer and I be together that long? I look into his wrecked, handsome face and wonder why he’s smiling like some romantic twit at the climax of a Richard Curtis barf-bucket movie. Is he rubbing my nose in it? Knowing that I can’t stand my mother and her peculiar fetish for marrying me off to anyone with two legs, a penis and enough sperm to produce that much longed for grandchild. My mother’s staring at me now, perhaps wondering why she’s been shunted off while we discuss Geezer’s faintly gleaming bare bottom and the stripes I would dearly love to leave there. I’d have him hopping round the room, holding his lacerated bum while promising never to do it again. I’m getting distracted again. In my actual surroundings – the too close, too, too boring real world – I’m faced with a pair of grinning tormenters who know they have the upper hand. They have been discussing whether Geezer will take me up the aisle. He’s taken me everywhere else but I’m still holding out for some smarter, prettier, richer and posher. Maybe even someone who wouldn’t side with my mother.
For some reason she’s demolishing me with a look and I’m still five years old, still over my mother’s knee while the vicious bitch whales away at me with a hairbrush. Distressing as this memory is, which time has not remotely healed, and never will, (and I didn’t drop that bottle of whisky on purpose, nor did I know I was never to touch it, IT WASN’T FAIR!) it’s preferable to discussing marriage of any kind.
“Well Paul is not quite sure if he’s ready to be married yet, Mother,” I say. “There’s his ‘friend’ David to be considered.”
My mother turns white then pink again (that’s Lady-like pink not Chav track suit pink). Geezer’s smile vanishes. He looks as gormless as if I had caught him across the face with a huge sea bass, something I really must try one of these days. He can hardly tell my mother that we were discussing the one man on earth that Geezer might, just might, have a homosexual experience with, (David Beckham) if they were the last two humans on earth and all the blow up dolls had burst, all the sheep were dead and they were both drunk. He’s a little touchy about the one per cent of him which is gay. I wouldn’t normally tease him about this, but then he started it.
“She’s joking, Mrs G,” he says through gritted teeth.
“Yes, she probably wasn’t spanked often enough as a child.”
My mother’s smiling. Never happier than when putting me in my place.
“Or perhaps often enough as an adult,” offers Geezer, with barely concealed relish. The two of them share a conspiratorial smile. I can’t tell if my mother is getting a sick thrill out of this. The last thing on earth I would want to know about is details of my mother’s sex life, whether or not it involves bondage, discipline or farmyard animals. Although probably not the latter, she hates dust with a manic passion, never mind dirt. She’d never entertain beasts of the field, or even men who trod mud into her carpets. Maybe that’s why she preferred to be shagged in doorways by bikers.
“You must come over for the weekend some time, Paul. And don’t let Susan tease you. You know, between you and me, I think she does it just to provoke a reaction. If she’s not centre stage she throws a fit.” Now I have been gobsmacked by a large, cold, wet fish. I would like to say: this is good coming from someone who referred to herself as an actress till her late sixties, about thirty years after her last paying gig. Incidentally, I don’t count playing Mrs Bleeding Marple with the local church hall players or, perhaps her greatest role, the loving, faithful wife of my poor father. (She was miscast, not remotely convincing).
In the time I manage to make my contribution, a strangled grunt, Geezer flashes me a smile of triumph and some amusement at the look on my face, and my mother pities me. The combination of these two looks turns me from red to puce. But just then my mother’s kissing me goodbye and Geezer is seeing her to her car. What can I do? Geezer’s parents are both dead. He grew up in a home. Although he is surprisingly well adjusted for a survivor of local authority care he may still hanker after a maternal figure. He never had a mummy. Or a Dad to go fishing with. Whether he will be as well adjusted by the time I have stuck a kebab skewer right down the end of his dong remains to be seen…Which I will never do (probably) because he is my tame he-man. And boyfriends always gang up on you a little with your mum. It’s what families are all about.
Which is why I live alone.