No rest for the Wicke-d

August 18, 2008

It is exactly 22 years since I last went out on the trawl for a man. So, when I put the keys in the ignition on Saturday, there was a certain set to my shoulders, and I admit I’d sprayed on an extra whizt of scent. My destination? Wickes. My mission? To get a man to carry a bag of sharp sand and two tubs of grout for me.

If this sounds like footling laziness to you, then you’ve never tried to heft a bag of sharp sand around. I tell you, they are heavy. And grout? Please, don’t even attempt it. It says on the tub that it weighs 11.5 kg, but it might as well be 11.5 megatons. Even getting it off the shelf is a major enterprise, and it is pointless, since once it’s off the shelf, it’s truly impossible to hoick onto a trolley. Plus you don’t get any extra points for getting all sweaty and befuddled trying to do these things on your own. Really, this is what men are for.

So I was rather pleased, after only a few minutes in the store (and by the way, don’t go to Wickes unless you are having major decorating done at home, it is the most boring shop in the universe. There isn’t even a single cushion to be found. Could this be the reason it is full of men?), to have made the acquaintance of Riccardo, from Bologna. I loved the way he abandoned his own trolley to push mine around, and took me from till to carpark, putting everything very neatly in the boot, finishing off with a flourishing bow. Thank you so much, dear Riccardo.

It was only when I was seeking a human forklift truck that I realised something no doubt everybody else has always known. I look for a man every 22 years. Men, on the other hand, are always looking for women. I now see that various other odd encounters I’ve had recently – the guy in the Tescos queue who suddenly struck up a conversation about wine, the helpful chap in the garden centre – are not just random outbreaks of garrulousness, but perhaps responses to my ringless state. How interesting!

And the occasion 22 years ago? It was after my break-up with True Love, when I decided I’d better cheer up and get another boyfriend. But that’s another story!

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  • Lindsay August 18, 2008 at 10:14 am

    My wonky knees do not like being burdened by extra weight but nevertheless Husband always sends me to the tip with carloads of rubbish – why you ask? I will tell you why – I can put on a really really good limp and the tip men always take pity and throw my rubbish into the skips for me. I suggest you practice your acting before you venture into a DIY store!

  • Potty Mummy August 18, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Have I missed something? Is this the very same True Love? Apologies if that sounds like a very stupid question but I’ve just been to see Mamma Mia and am still reeling from the awfulness of Pierce Brosnan’s singing…

  • DulwichDivorcee August 19, 2008 at 2:46 am

    Lindsay, that’s a very good tip. Off to get some more sand and cement this morning so I shall start limping now …..PM, you haven’t missed anything, yes it’s the same old True Love. Sigh. Sigh. Sigh. Well, at least he sings better than Pierce. Didn’t he sound like a dog being strangled?

  • what happened ?how did i get HERE? August 20, 2008 at 6:53 am

    current boyfriend is a builder so spend lots of time in Wickes. Boring, boring, boring !!!

    boyfriend believes in total equality, which is good from a feminist point of view but a pain when I’m expected to lug my share of bags of cement to the car….

    last time I was there, it was full of fat, middle aged blokes in too-tight sports tops and manky jeans…

  • tartetartan August 21, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Have been so long out of the UK that I initially thought Wickes was a nightclub. I was a third of the way through your post before it clicked it was a shop (duh): bought some lovely tiles there for my bathroom floor when I lived in Wandsworth. Also remember being really bored by the lack of cushions and curtains.

  • Hadriana's Treasures August 22, 2008 at 12:29 pm

    Riccardo from Bologna. He gets my vote for sure!

  • MsCatCalls August 25, 2008 at 6:54 am

    Glad to see you back DD you were missed …. I assumed you had slipped off to Bologna or some such in the childrens’ absence but you have been having your own adventures in Wickes , far less bother . Now whats all this about True Love and second time around ? Do tell ! Fascinating as ever ….

  • DulwichDivorcee August 27, 2008 at 4:44 am

    Hello, What Happened, how nice to meet you, yes, I’m afraid the clientele in the Catford Wickes is very much as you describe it, sigh. How lovely having a builder boyfriend, must be very handy for loose screws, TT, if only Wickes was a nightclub, can just imagine a lovely glitterball in the centre of the shop, MsCatCalls, no, Riccardo and I never made it to Bologna …trying to work up the courage to write about Round One with TL ….arg!

  • DulwichDivorcee August 27, 2008 at 4:57 am

    Hadriana, to be honest, Riccardo wasn’t up to that much – a total sweetie on the carrying heavy loads front, but unfortunately we girls do want more ….

  • (Very) Lost in France August 28, 2008 at 1:38 am

    DD, having carried nearly 200kgs of salt to our pool throughout the summer (not all in one go you understand) I can sympathise. And don’t just think about your knees, think of your pelvic floor too! You never know when you might need it. Wickes, OMG!