It’s hard being Strawmum

I arrive at the school gates and my heart sinks. Why? I’m immaculately dressed, hair coiffed to within an inch of its life. At home and work, that’s how I usually look. Looking immaculate is my choice. But when I’m surrounded by a gaggle of other mums in jeans, their hair a mess, I feel ridiculous. I stand out, and I don’t like it. I can’t bear the judgmental looks.

I guess I’ve always been different. While other girls were content to collect insects or take engines apart, I craved dolls to play with. As we got older and my teenage pals started reading science fiction, I was the odd one out again: interested in boys and fashion.

Now I’m collecting my two bright, well-behaved children from the school gates and I can feel the other mums’ eyes burning into my Chanel suit. OK, so I look great – is that a crime? OK, so I can’t claim to be “frazzled”. Do they really hate me for being organised and looking smart? Don’t these women have anything else to do with their lives?

But who am I kidding? I’m just jealous. I’m jealous that they all get paid to write columns about how inadequate I make them feel. What’s the plural of “odd one out”, anyway? Because I’ve counted about 30 of them in the last ten minutes.

(Inspired by this.)

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