There are some – nay, many – things that are best done in the privacy of one’s own home. Yet this simple fact doesn’t seem to stop a surprisingly large number of people flaunting their inherent British reserve and letting it all metaphorically hang out whilst they’re out and about.
My late granny used to be exceptionally fond of telling me that it was horribly rude to eat whilst in public. No matter how frantic I am running from one place to another, I still can’t bring myself even to eat a sandwich whilst walking down the street for fear of her voice in my ear giving me a thorough ticking-off. (It’s probably wise, to be honest, given my general lack of coordination and inability not to spill food even when I’m sitting still.)
But grabbing a sneaky sandwich on the run seems now to be the least of what would horrify my grandmother were she still here to see it.
I got on the (admittedly early) train one morning last week, to find myself next to someone who seemed to think the 7.13 was an acceptable location to apply her make-up. And not just a bit of lippy and a wave of the mascara wand: oh no – she was doing the whole thing. She reached into her bag, and one by one out came the products: the moisturiser, the foundation, the eyeliner, mascara, blusher…
Now, I know a lot of people use their commute to stick on the slap, and I’m probably going to get beaten down for saying this, but… just get up a bit earlier. It can’t take you much more than 10 or so minutes and it’s far more hygienic to be touching your face if you’ve got clean hands rather than those that have grubbed around for your train ticket and have Metro-print all over them. And frankly, I don’t want to be sitting on the train, minding my own business to have Clinique’s Even Better foundation spilt all over my copy of Time.
But, as commonplace as public transport-based make-up application by girls may be, I hadn’t before come across the male equivalent until last week. Standing at the bus stop near TW’s flat one morning, my attention was largely taken up by the human embodiment of a fake tan disaster that had just walked past, her face and arms bright white and her legs so orange that the respective body parts could have belonged to two different people.
I turned my head as my gaze followed her down the road, only for it to alight on a man standing at the other end of the bus shelter. As first glance, he appeared to be attempting to relieve a crick in the neck by moving his head gently from side to side.
Appearing to do so, that is, until I realised he had a bead-trimmer in hand, and he was shaving. In public. At a bus stop. No mirror, no sink to catch the trimmings, no sense of embarrassment or acknowledgement that this is a weird thing to do on a Monday morning whilst waiting for a bus.
Ablutions, kids, are for the indoors. Please keep them that way.