Yesterday I threw off the cloak of invisibility you become accustomed to in middle age, and for one night only, hit the tills of a well known high fashion upmarket department store with an alarming dose of self-confidence and bravado. All in the cause of Art.
I had been commissioned to draw in the store as part of the local Light Night festivities. Inspired with a wild spirit of adventure, I decided to dress the part for standing on the shop floor. After a quick reconnoître of the premises, the enormity of the challenge was all too apparent, but I remained undeterred. The bathroom floor was covered with a carpet of dirty washing, but I found time for a visit to the hairdresser. We had no bread or milk in the house, but I managed to buy false nails and eyelashes.
It took hours and hours to effect the transformation, and when I eventually sashayed into the store, I gave no sign of my concern about falling off my 4″ heels. Years of scurrying around incognito meant it was a bit of a shock to see every assistant beaming at me, and three delightful shop ladies had offered smiling assistance before I reached the first escalator.
My new look was a resounding success. People who knew me failed to recognise me, and total strangers greeted me with enthusiasm. One little old dear accosted me to complain about the high prices in the store. I smiled at her, and told her she could have one of my artworks for free. She declined, because she was still a bit too worried about it being too expensive.
I could do this every day. I could abandon the children to pizza and pasta, do my dressing-gown-bit in the morning, get dressed to kill during the afternoon, and…
Funnily enough, I realise I prefer my well-established visual anonymity. In this world of global celebrity culture and lists of must-have bags, I take comfort and a perverse pride in invisibility.