tall tales

Esperanza Aguirre, the presidenta of the comunidad de Madrid who described herself as “el verso suelto dentro del poema” has come up with another quotable phrase: “Yo no hablo cuando llevo zapatos planos.” – “I won’t make a statement when I’m wearing flat shoes.”

Most women are familiar with the concept of getting dressed and putting our make-up on before making an important phone call, and I guess this is much the same thing. The problem is the psychological reasoning behind it.

If we want to phone in sick, we’re far more likely to call while wearing old pyjamas, and before we’ve washed our faces and brushed our hair. It adds to the whole “mise-en-scène”: if we feel dishevelled and unprofessional we’re more likely to convince the boss we aren’t well enough to work.

When we feel we need to dress in tidy clothes and dab on a bit of lipstick before we pick up the phone, it’s usually because we need the added confidence this disguise gives us. It helps us tell convincing and confident lies.

I fear that if a woman needs to be wearing high heels before being prepared to make a political statement, it’s because she needs the confidence and authority a little added height can give. When she does make a statement, I shan’t be inclined to believe it.

Author: don't confuse the narrator

Exploring the boundary between writer and narrator through first person poetry, prose and opinion

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