On Tuesday I’m at work and then I have to go to a client meeting and for this client meeting I’m wearing a navy pinstripe suit from ___, pink and white striped shirt from Zara, black leather belt from Hugo Boss, black leather shoes from Hugo Boss, black socks from I don’t know where. I have decided to edit out (i.e. use ___) some of the brands of the clothes that I mention/wear, because I’m not proud of them, in fact I’m embarrassed.
And these brands are high fashion brands that some people really aspire to, more specifically people who get facials, refer to Dolce & Gabbana as “Dolce”, go to house parties with hired staff serving champagne and (pretend to) read Wallpaper*. I have nothing against that crowd anyway; I’m just not part of it.
I can mention other fashion brands that are not in that category (e.g Hugo Boss, Ralph Lauren), but I’m imposing a self-ban on: Dior, Prada, Gucci, Versace, Armani, etc. Not that I own anything by the last two.
So anyway, I go to that meeting and I’m with my boss, and when we get there it becomes apparent that wearing a suit has been the wrong choice, because this is a media company and the people who work there are dressed in jeans and trainers (the men) or jeans and these ridiculous tiny ballet shoes that women wear (the women) or hotpants and heels (the receptionist). Not to mention that they have boards and multi-coloured chalk in reception for people to be creative at lunchtime and floor-to-ceiling abstract art everywhere. Seeing all this, I take off my jacket and undo another shirt button, and I kid myself that this makes all the difference between a) somebody who’s there to work with them in a friendly manner and b) somebody who’s there for a hostile takeover.
After all this work and fun, I go to the gym where Superman isn’t, and I won’t even pretend that The Superman Song by the Crash Test Dummies comes on my iPod by chance; the truth is, I put it on myself, and I listen to it non-stop until I finish my workout (key lyric: “And sometimes I despair the world will never see another man like him”), because I want to feel the pain, I want to feel the pain of everyone and then I want to feel nothing.
Then I rush home, because it’s nearly 2000 and I have to watch the Eurovision semi-final that Greece is in. And this is a semi-final with 19 counties, 10 of which will get through to the final on Saturday. I may have mentioned before that I have a love/hate relationship with Greece, i.e. I can’t stand being there but at the same time I’ll support them in any international competition of any sort and I want them to do well in everything.
In fact, there are few times that I’ve been happier in my life than when Greece won the Euro 2004 (that’s soccer in case American readers are not following). This was a scene that was played thus:
I have just moved to London a couple of months before, I don’t have really good friends yet, I’m living with a guy I went to Uni with, we hardly speak. It’s Sunday night when the Euro final is on, I’m home alone, my housemate has left me (on the one night in my lifetime when my country is playing to win a major sporting tournament – but don’t worry, I moved out a few weeks later and haven’t spoken to him since), and I’m watching this on my own.
I generally avoid even speaking but this time I’m shouting at the TV at regular intervals, I can’t sit down, I’m watching the whole thing standing up, when the referee blows the final whistle and Greece has won, I fall down on my knees like bad actors do in badly directed movies, drop my face in my hands, and sob.
I can’t say I was equally shocked to the core / overjoyed when Greece won the Eurovision song contest in 2005, but I liked that one too.
In any case, back to this Tuesday night, and this year’s Greek entry is a girl called Kalomira, a girl who’s as Greek as I’m English, i.e. she was born in the States and moved to Greece when she was 18 and she speaks broken Greek with a heavy American accent. (fair enough she does have Greek parents though).
So I’m watching all the other semi-finalists, Scott turns up (I like to share my over-excited moment with someone), Greece comes on, I obsess over it, Scott concedes it’s the best entry he’s seen so far, I make sure he doesn’t look away during the three minutes that Kalomira is on – he is NOT allowed to look away – a couple of hours later the results are in and Greece is through to the final.
I don’t care how ridiculous Eurovision is, I don’t care if I’d never listen to this type of music for fun and neither would you, but do watch this clip from Tuesday night if you like and see what I got so excited about.
If nothing else, just watch the breakdown at 02:23 to 02:40 and don’t look away. I obsess over this breakdown. If I were straight and were thinking of getting married, I would not marry a girl that cannot recreate that breakdown.