I remember that when St George’s square opened, there was some controversy as to what it should be called. The spot where it was built was known locally as ‘Paddagat’, which means Frog’s hole, or frog’s arse: Afrikaans isn’t too particular in distinguishing which is which. People didn’t want to rent shops in the ‘Frog’s Arse Center’ so it was dubbed ‘St George’s square’ and used to be the place for shopping.
Now the mall has been built, and everyone (except me) goes there instead. All the ‘best’ shops have moved there, and the square is something of a ghost town of stores with the fronts papered shut, occasional second hand emporia, a pharmacy. Retail paradise has moved and paddagat is purgatory.
Commercial forays remind me of other things plastic: someone sent me a mail today with a presentation showing an ordinary looking girl, various steps in the make up application process and the final product: all glitzy and gorgeous.
I think it was supposed to make me feel better. ‘Those girls are no prettier than you’ is the hidden message, but the one I get is ‘These girls wear make up. You don’t. They look great. You don’t’. You need to invest a few hours, girl and you might be just passable thereafter.
Almost, almost it persuades me to spend more time in front of the mirror, but though its lowering to think that you could look so much better than you actually do (if you’d only make the effort), its even more lowering to think how much time it’d take up. I’d have to get up half an hour earlier if I took that long on primping, and that’s what some girls use on their nails fer crying out loud. Life’s too short for that… but then I have to live with looking ordinary and I’m not, really I’m not.
Tell you a secret: I have a dazzling personality (hyperbole for effect, but only a slight exaggeration I assure you), but I think I’d prefer, really prefer to have dazzling looks. Silly I know: a bit like the Frog's Arse Center trying to be the Mall.