It was a beautiful day in London today. The high was maybe 30 degrees, which, without a/c, feels, honestly, quite hot.
So I decided to wear shorts for my shopping trip by bus to Bromley. White denim shorts – mid-thigh, not too tight, respectable, with a navy vest and flip-flops. They were shorts I’d worn all around Europe on the cruise, in front of my father-in-law, for goodness sake. I love that I’m not in Dubai. That I can wear shorts to a mall. Honestly, with #DressCodeDubai – and even before that – I would never wear shorts to a mall in Dubai.
I wouldn’t even wear them to my living room in Dubai lest the gardener see.
“Are you wearing those? … Out?” my mum asked, as I rubbed volumising dust into my (now black, but that’s another blog) hair.
“The diamonds?” I wondered, fingering the earrings I’ve worn all summer.
“No. The shorts. Are you wearing them? To Bromley?”
“Oh,” she said. “It’s just…”
My mum really has mastered the art of not saying what she means.
“What? It’s just what?”
“Well… it’s Bromley?” The implication and intonation being that Bromley was the equivalent of tea at Kensington Palace.
Bromley Saaf London? I wanted to ask. Bromley in the Western hemisphere? Or Bromley, Saudi Arabia? Surely I can wear mid-thigh shorts to a mall in Bromley, Saaf London, on the hottest day of the decade? The cellulite was well-covered – the shorts were actually pretty flattering! It was 30 degrees – the whole of England would be in shorts! At least I have a tan!
But I’m not an argumentative type. I don’t want to upset my mum and, honestly, I’m also quite modest. I put on a pair of full-length white linen trousers and off we went.
Fast-forward two hours: We’re sitting in Joe’s Kitchen, people-watching while we’re eating lunch and finally I get it. There are some things children should never see on an escalator – and there are days when I’m truly grateful for #DressCodeDubai.
“I see what you meant now, mum,” I said. “My shorts, they just weren’t short enough.”