Monday, April 15, 2013

Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman

Petronella Wyatt is an English journalist who seems a good sport: she is most famous for shagging Boris Johnson when she was the spinster deputy editor of the Spectator and he was the married editor. Born in May 1968 (an interesting time in Paris) in St John’s Wood, a nice part of London where she still lives, she will be 45 next month. Her father was Woodrow Wyatt, a Labour politician who trended to the right in later life, so Ms Wyatt first met Margaret Thatcher when she was nine, and many times later. In the Evening Standard she remembers Thatcher this way:
I can hear her now, sensible and eminently kind. She was the best and wisest person I have ever known. Countless tributes will be made and countless books will call her one of the greatest figures in British history. But now I am remembering the woman who made a shy girl feel important, and the touch of her cool hand. Margaret Thatcher is dead, but I don’t have to believe it if I don’t want to.
In the Daily Mail, under the heading “It’s hell being posh but poor”, Ms Wyatt explains the difficulty of subsisting on “between £80,000 and £100,000 a year” in St John’s Wood:
At a dinner party last week, a friend renowned for her wardrobe of designer outfits and Louboutin heels asked how I was getting home. A criminal lawyer, she earns upwards of £120,000.
‘Do you want to share a taxi?’ I asked hopefully. ‘No, I’ll take the Tube,’ she said. ‘These shoes cost £370 — it was either them or taxis.’
The deprivation gets worse:
In my social circle, marrying for love alone is becoming rare among both sexes. […] We of the Broke Generation have discovered penury is not only a financial privation, but also an emotional one. We are damned if we follow our hearts and inclinations, and damned if we don’t.
As the money trickles away, prices rise ever higher and the loans we took out so carelessly haunt our dreams, a take-out from the local pizzeria seems our only option.
More and more of us are finding ourselves alone, or unhappily married. I wish I could say, in the words of the old song, that I had my love to keep me warm. But, like so many others, I don’t even have the consolation of that.
Yes, sometimes it’s hard to be a woman. So here is Lyle Lovett singing “Stand By Your Man” (not allowed to embed it but it is brilliant and well worth a view). And here is Tammy Wynette, live in the 60s:

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