I don’t get it

Putting to one side (sorry chaps) Holland and Barrett, and Lloyds and Boots and all the other multis selling vitamins, supplements, wholefood, vegan cosmetics and related things which comprises a big market now, there are smaller firms selling the same stuff and other things at seriously inflated prices. This is “you get what you pay for” which means that the speaker has just found a pore reducer or toad venom cream which costs the earth but appears to work and he/she will be shelling out for it for the foreseeable future. This is the opposite of the significant social group for whom the word “cheap” is positively erotic.Never mind if it fits, works or suits – it is cheap.

As someone who bought three cheap brushes one after the other in the attempt to save money, and had to throw them all away, I am mortified by false economy and not a big fan of cheap for the sake of it. So it is with joy that I can report that modestly priced O’Keeffe’s (hand, foot, body and pledged refund) works on me. Everybody’s skin is different and hooray for that.

But I recall being offered shampoo from a prestigious French range for £30. “Sorry” I said “too rich for my blood.” Shampoo has been one of my inexpensive successes. Shine is a shampoo bar in a tin from a small company in Brighton. It’s so good I took it to the hairdresser I can only afford three times a year, where staff and stylist were excited especially as it is biodegradable and the tin is recyclable.

I don’t get the bare ankles through the winter.

“photograph by Ronald Jansen”

It started as summer shaded into autumn (if these seasonal divisions any longer apply), to show off your real or fake tan from top to bottom (ooh !) but above tacky trainers and under an ill fitting coat, it’s a look that falters through a long wait for the bus (or sweltering in the jampacked tube) into Northern European angry cerise.

I don’t get woke – yes, I know what it means roughly but I don’t care.

“thank you Kafka”

The commitments of my youth – the things I commit to, for and against – have stayed largely the same and I am not looking for a new title. Being a victim of any kind of fashion – spoken or worn – was never on my list of things to do.

I don’t get not replying or not turning up. That’s not cool, it’s rude – upsetting even. Apparently everything is “perfect” (not my favourite word) till it’s not what you want to do – and then you just fink out. Professionally or personally, learning to confront – learning to defuse, decline and shed – learning to say a controlled “no” is part of growing up. And it takes most of us a while.

There are things I will never get because they are not my taste – football or reality television –

“first Croatian reality football show”

but I am amazed that the allegedly controlling bodies of the sport are amazed about racism in football, just as I am surprised that the watchers are surprised that the high cost of revealing most of yourself if not all on camera is depression and death.

I will never get two for one, let alone three for one. Buy as you need. Yes of course, there is always a happy exception – where you think “oh, good !” and grab it – but not often.

I don’t get “not a problem” as a rejoinder when you thank a sales assistant. Of course it’s not a problem, I find myself muttering, it’s your job. And I am not rational about “bored of” as a syntactical construction. I was taught to say bored with but fortunately it doesn’t apply because boredom is not my problem.

A woman was looking at a Beatrix Potter alphabet (BP’s character with appropriate letters) turned to me spontaneously. “Isn’t that pretty ?” I agreed. “And we need pretty.” I agreed again. I don’t get throwing ugly at me and telling me it’s all right really, like whoever thought that plastic tree guards on reafforestation projects would be “all right” ? And now we discover it is expensive to retrieve the guards and the polymers are poisoning the soil. I don’t get it.

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