As I said the other day, it’s been four years since I left work. It was one of the best decisions of my life, but I must admit, after I left, I was quite resentful of the whole situation. A job I had loved for many years was no longer available to me and I had two choices – apply for a lower paid job that I wouldn’t enjoy or leave.
It wasn’t a great time for me to leave – we’d just moved house and had a much bigger mortgage and I didn’t know what I would be able to earn. But I knew I couldn’t stay and put myself through unhappiness.
As a result of this resentful feeling, I didn’t stay in touch with my old colleagues who were still there (I stayed in touch with the others who had left). But even though I didn’t really stay in touch with her, I had always liked my boss a lot and considered her a friend.
So I was very pleased to be invited to her 40th birthday party.
And then the horror. It was fancy dress!
I don’t do fancy dress.
And not only was it fancy dress, it was movie-themed fancy dress.
I tried to put it out of my mind, but it wasn’t going to go away. I needed a fancy dress costume. But what? I knew I didn’t want to be any sort of superhero or fantasy character. I wanted to be a human being, wearing normal clothes.
I decided I’d be Mrs Mia Wallace from Pulp Fiction. That’s an iconic look and as long as you’ve got the wig and the lipstick I reckon it’s instantly recognisable.
But then I went to see Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri. That is an amazing film and Mildred Hayes, played by Frances McDormand, is the most incredible character. She’s totally kick-ass. She’s campaigning hard for justice for her daughter and her methods are not always entirely above board. And that’s what makes her so awesome.
Plus, she is a seriously scruffy cow. Anyone who knows me will know that I too am a scruffy cow. But I look like a Kardashian compared to Mildred Hayes.
Now I knew for sure who I wanted to be.
My husband wasn’t sure if anyone would recognise me. But then Frances McDormand won a BAFTA. Now if she could just go and win the Oscar, that would really help me…
She did. Thank you, Frances McDormand!
Now I just needed a costume. I ordered myself some cheap men’s overalls online and bought a long-sleeved red T-shirt from Next to wear under them. Long sleeved T-shirts always get a lot of use in my endless pursuit of staying warm. I got one of those multipurpose snood things from Mountain Warehouse for my hair and the look was finished off with my walking boots. (I was disappointed, although not surprised, to discover that I didn’t need to invest in any new Converse.)
Imagine going to a party and not needing to wash your hair! In fact, actively avoiding washing your hair. I put it up without the aid of a mirror and only the slightest aid of a brush.
I sacrificed my earrings, my glasses and my nail varnish.
And I was Mildred Hayes.
OK, so not many people did recognise me, but a few did. And I didn’t recognise that many other people either! And I would have been a failure as Mrs Mia Wallace because the one woman who did dress as her had gone as far as blood out of the nose and a syringe between the boobs. She looked amazing.
Frances McDormand, if you ever need a night off, give me a call…