Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Jamelia - punching above her weight

I’m beginning to think that ‘Loose Women’ should be re-named ‘Loose Cannons’.

I gave up watching some time ago but when one of their panelists spouts venom, bigoted views or claptrap it always hits Twitter and you find yourself thinking, ‘Whose career is in need of a boost now?’

Surely that can be the only reason these women come out with such contentious views.  We’ve seen the Vile One (Hopkins) do it time and time again (her empire is built on it), we cringed at Judy Finnigan’s rape comments and now we have Jamelia with this beauty:

“I think everyone should have access to lovely clothes, BUT I do not think it’s right to facilitate people living an unhealthy lifestyle … I don’t believe stores should stock clothes below or above a certain weight. They should be made to feel uncomfortable when they go in and can’t find a size.”

What was she thinking?  And what will she be thinking this morning now that the dust has settled?

Yes, she’s entitled to her opinion but has she really considered the implications of what she said?

  1. What is this ‘certain weight’ she’s talking about?  Do we have scales at the doors to ascertain who can and can’t be allowed to enter?  Or maybe we have a radar that automatically brings down a shutter if it detects non-perfection?  Who decides on the ideal weight?  A doctor?  A catwalk model?  A chat-show panelist?

  1. How should these people be made to feel uncomfortable?  Pointing?  Jeering?  Making them try clothes on whilst standing on the shop floor rather than in the privacy of a changing room?  Maybe a Tannoy could be used to announce the arrival of a fatty or a skinny?  A fanfare perhaps?

  1. Who says that being overweight or underweight is due to an ‘unhealthy lifestyle’?  There are many medical conditions which cause weight gain or loss, just as there are many people carrying a little extra weight or not enough who are totally healthy, happy and fit.  Your mind is as narrow as your hips, Ms J.

  1. What message are you giving your daughters?  ‘Oh, the scales have tipped over the perfect weight!  Greedy girl! or ‘Too skinny, sweetheart!  Sick girl!’

  1. What right do you have to enter women’s living rooms and make them feel bad about themselves?  I’m not talking about the ones who are happy and confident in their skins (be that large or small), I’m talking the ones who are already struggling - the young mum who’s lonely and trying to shift a few extra pounds, the uni student who’s battling bulimia.  Did you think about them?

  1. Where exactly should these ‘freaks’ go to buy their clothes?  Must we keep them all behind closed doors and only allow them to shop on the internet?  If so, why draw the line at clothes shops?  Let’s keep them inside all of the time so that they don’t offend your sensitivities.

  1. Start saying your prayers to the Beauty Gods.  May your bottom never sag, your metabolism never change, your health never throw you a curve ball that affects the holy scales and may you always be allowed in the hallowed shops.

On a final note, dear readers, let me leave you with the perfect body - yes, I do mean the rabbit.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Going Mental about Dental

Regular readers of The Misfit will know that I used to work for a dentist.  Yes, I was the nurse who had everything (medically!) performed in her mouth by her work colleague.  I was the nurse whose boss got her so tipsy after a Christmas lunch he took great pleasure in telling all the patients booked for that afternoon (check-ups only) 'Look!  My nurse can't walk in a straight line!'  We're talking the 80's here - when stuff like that happened!

There was no fear in that surgery and a whole heap of laughs!

But over the years I lost my trust.  I became fearful.  I allowed the dentistry devils to move in.  In short, I developed a phobia which made me feel physically sick so that I couldn't actually think straight anymore.  Stupid? Yes!  Avoidable?  If, you have a logical brain, maybe.  But we are talking the The Misfit here!

So several visits to various practices and a few botched jobs later, I've been led me to the dentist of my dreams.

My last 'Demon Dentist' (no, I won't name and shame) left me with a half-broken wisdom tooth and said I'd need to be referred to the hospital for a surgical extraction.  I think the truth was, after FORTY MINUTES of wrenching, he basically gave up.  Hey!  At that point I was quite happy to leave - I'd had enough too.  (Memories of being in early labour sprung to mind - that moment when the midwives tell you to go home because nothing much is happening and you think to yourself, 'Oooh!  That's good.  I don't actually have to do this anymore!')

But of course, you DO have to deal with it eventually - rancid teeth or babies, you can't ignore them forever.  One way or another, they're coming out!

So when the euphoria of being back home died down and I realised that I still had a manky, rotten stump of an evil piece of nothingness living inside me (the tooth, not the baby!)  I knew I had to find a solution quickly.

Having been told by the 'Demon Dentist'  that there was a NINE MONTH waiting list to have the ****** removed at an NHS hospital, this was not an option!  Sheesh!  If I was young enough I could make and produce another baby during that time frame!

And so began the hunt for the 'Dream Dentist'.  Hours of Googling and panicking about what this whole nightmare was going to cost me, led me to ... (humour me here, I'm a romantic comedy writer!) my Knight in Shining Face-Mask.

From the moment I spoke to the lovely receptionist, Loretta, at Gentle Dental (now she's a lady who needs to feature in one of my books one day!) I knew I'd hit the jackpot.  Nothing was too much trouble, I wasn't a paranoid looney, I hadn't lost my marbles - I was simply a nervous patient with concerns and they were instantly dealt with.

Fast forward to the appointment with Dr Etienne after sleepless nights of imagining (at the very least) blood-shed, torture, agony, 'nee-naw'-ing ambulances and almost certain death (Drama queen? Moi?!).

From the minute I shook his hand, looked into his kind eyes and listened to his soft South African accent, I was a little bit in love.  The writer in me began scribbling notes - older love interest with a sense of humour, kind, calm, solid and dependable.

This was the man for the job!  There was no doubt in my mind.

And apart from the colly-wobbles (I'm famous for them! - think: whole body jiggles like a jelly and can't actually sit still, no matter how hard it tries!) all was well.  He ripped that ****** out in less than five minutes and did something no one has ever done before.

Yes, while under his spell, he gazed deep into my soul and explained why I shouldn't smoke for three days.  At this point I would have walked over hot coals, vowed never to have a saucy Richard Gere thought ever again or even renounced the odd glass of Pinot - and all I could do was nod, wide-eyed, and say, 'Ngggnginnggkkay' through a mouthful of cotton wads.

But, as he'd fulfilled his promise of a painless and hassle-free extraction, I kept my end of the bargain and didn't smoke.  It almost killed me (no irony intended!) but I did it.

AND ... my fear has gone.  I'm ready to start the journey to a beautiful mouth and I'm happy to become a regular visitor and undertake any procedures they throw at me.  I never would have thought I'd say that.

The Misfit is smiling!

I have not been paid to write this.  These are my thoughts and opinions on Gentle Dental, Putney, London.  If you're a local - go there!  You won't look back.