How can I bear another 6 weeks of this? Rhetorical question I know, and I'll do it for the money, which has already been accounted for. But it's not getting any easier. As you may know, little Mr Picky has been looking for a job ever since he has been here. He hasn't yet found one - at least not one that pays. (And it may be uncharitable, but I wouldn't give him a job either.) Anyway, after applying to about 30 different hotels, bars and restaurants, he decided that he would go for the Charity Shops, of which we have many in Hove (and Brighton). He knew that this would mean not being paid, but decided that his need for English conversation was greater than his need for money. Needless to say, he wasn't doing it for altruistic reasons. (Don't forget, there are no poor people in Cyprus!) The nice lady Manager at Barnardo's gave him a job last week, and he spent 40 minutes there on Friday (came away sneezing because of the "dirt and dust" ) and about an hour there yesterday, before giving up completely. When I asked him why, he replied - and this is verbatim - "I think, Margot, that these are lower-class people." My jaw dropped. I asked him to repeat what he had said, and he did, without a trace of shame. He then said "In my Country, we do not do this. People do not buy old clothes." Oh my God - I nearly reached across the table and slapped him. I didn't, but smartly replied " Well in this country we do - and it doesn't make us lower class." He had to amuse himself for the rest of supper, because I could hardly trust myself to speak to him. How can this young man be so positive that he is better than everyone else? As Daughter says, he dresses like a 50 year old, in ghastly jumpers that Oxfam would be hard-pressed to sell. He has no social graces, and not much in the way of manners. He's so full of himself that obviously no-one else exists - especially not "poor or lower-class" people. If this is the way of the world today, I don't want any part of it. Thankfully, I don't believe that most young people feel this way - especially not in this country. But I'm forgetting, he's not that young is he?
On a sunnier note, I forgot to tell you that last Monday evening I went with a BBF to see and hear Candace Bushnell talking about her new novel "One Fifth Avenue". The evening was hosted by City Books, and it was great fun. Candace Bushnell (of "Sex and the City" fame) is 49 and looks about 30 - she is very thin and groomed, as one would expect of a celebrity New Yorker in her income bracket. She was dressed in (probably) an Armani little black dress, with impossibly high heels and carried a gorgeous Designer leopard bag to die for. We were both completely bowled over by her - she talked about her life, her writing and her characters, and kept the audience spellbound for nearly an hour. Lots of people asked questions, and she then sat and signed copies of her book for anyone who had bought one. I couldn't keep my eyes off that handbag - as BBF said, it probably cost around £800 at the very least. And her face (again BBF noticed that her forehead didn't move, but who cares?). And her giant diamond hoop earrings. And her perfect swooping fall of blonde hair. Not bad for a very bright and talented broad who's going on 50.
PS. I have invited Gay Friend for supper tonight. I may not have mentioned it, but he collects Vintage and Antique clothes, and has a huge collection, mostly in store, which he hires or loans out. He obviously visits all the local Charity and Vintage Shops on a weekly basis, and knows all the Managers personally. I am looking forward to this - sparks will fly I hope. Keep you posted.