I apologise for my blogless uselessness my dear friends. I’ve been in deepest Cornwall with more chance of conducting a lesbian romance with Angelina Jolie than of being able to upload a blog on to the world wide web. How ironic that even in the remotest outposts of Argentina I was able to blog and yet in Cornwall – armed with three different pieces of interweb-connectable apparatus – I was lost.
During my week away I met the entirety of The Man’s family. I think it would probably be naughty of me to write about it but suffice to say I did reasonably well apart from when I was caught running around their field wearing a moustache (pictured.) The less said about that the better.
Anyway. Now back in London, with only two weeks left before I fly back off to South America, I’m doing my best to meet up with as many friends as possible. It’s not that easy to fit them in, however, because at present I seem to be spending most of my time trying to fool work people into believing that I know what I’m doing, or trying to explain myself to the tax man, or arguing with the dentist about the fact that he wants to graft a load of pig bone to my jaw so that he can affix an implant.
But when they’ve had time to take place, my amigo reunions have been a lovely reminder of what a lucky girl I am and how life in the UK really is not half as bad as I’d decided it was when I danced gaily with dreadlocked people in the mountains of El Bolson.
The other day, however, I had a more unusual reunion. As I galloped down the stairs of Baker Street station, late for dinner with an old friend, I crashed into a sort-of-friend I haven’t seen in about seven years. After a couple of hearty exclamations regarding the fact that I had just headbutted him and he had snapped the head off the orchid I was carrying, we got down to one of those grudging conversations that neither party really wants to participate in but both feel like they must because no-one managed to raise an “I’m running late” excuse early enough.
He kicked off our chat pretty well though:
“I’ve just been to see a cosmetic surgeon.”
“Oh right! For a programme?”(I used to work in TV and have spent unhealthy amounts of time filming cosmetic surgery procedures. Don’t judge me; It was educational. Anyway as a result of this I have come to assume that anyone involved in cosmetic surgery consultations must be involved in some rotten documentary or other.)
“No,” he said chirpily. “I’m going to get a procedure done.”
I looked at my snapped orchid, unsure as to whether or not I was meant to ask him what he was going to do. Fortunately he took the decision out of my hands:
“I’m going to have bum implants.”
I goggled at him. “Are you serious?”
“Yes! You know I’ve always hated my arse! It’s a woman’s arse!”
I blushed. He had never openly acknowledged his feelings regarding his bottom but it was always a bit of an elephant in the room, if you’ll pardon the pun.
“You’ve got a lovely bottom,” I said, feeling even more stupid. This was both untrue and inappropriately familiar.
“Not true, Lucy,” he said. “I’m all booked in for November. Liposuction and then two implants. I’ll be as firm as a peach by Christmas!”
I nodded in that businesslike way that people nod when they are completely bewildered but want to come across as being one thousand percent cool with it. Eyes closed for a few seconds, head nodding slowly and deliberately, lips pursed understandingly to indicate just how completely normal and sane it all sounds.
“Yeah, it’s a pretty common procedure,” I said coolly. “I filmed someone having it done.”
“I did.” This was true. I did film it once. And if I’m honest, the procedure had looked like assault and battery to me, not cosmetic enhancement.
“Well, the guy couldn’t sit down for quite a while,” I said vaguely. “But otherwise, yes. Lovely. Really nice little procedure, that one. Popular. Easy.”
WHAT? What was I talking about? As usual I watched myself as if in the third person, talking utter balls.
He nodded, pleased “Yeah, everyone’s getting it done. Even *******.”
I gawped. “WHAT? ******?”
He nodded. “Yup. He also had bicep implants.”
Half an hour later, I sat down with my friend and gave her the snapped-off orchid. I told her about the conversation I’d just had.
“Do you think it’s a gay thing?” I asked her.
“No,” she said firmly. “My husband is thinking about it. He’s been insecure about his bum since he was thirteen. We’ve got the money…why not?”
I thought Argentina was insane. With the right private health insurance you can get two cosmetic surgery procedures per year, free of charge. But now I return to England to find that everyone is filling their bottom with silicone. After spending nearly a year filming people having bits shaved, sliced and chopped, and having things injected or stuffed in, I really am pretty relaxed about cosmetic surgery. But this… it’s just really stumped me. I just find it really, really weird.