Diary of a parson’s wife
For the grit of God
Polly Zipperlen’s alter ego surfaces
My alter ego has been slowly encroaching on my daily life recently, possibly exacerbated by Covid-induced frustrations or mid-life crises. Parenting two teenage boys can be wearisome and I now understand how parents give up on strict bedtimes – I no longer care whether they wear clean underpants or have brushed their teeth. My current favourite saying is “I already have my GCSEs, it’s up to you whether you do yours”, which rings out from my vocal chords on a continuous loop.
The daily drudge of work, chores and parenting has been fermenting an anarchic synapse in my brain where my other-self is slowly taking root. Just so you know, I am in no way brave enough to embody my alter ego, but I thought I would offer you a flavour of my other self…
There are definitely tattoos – possibly my entire neck, a more urban dress-code (less cosy jumpers – of which I am currently wearing two!), my own business – probably selling ice-creams and coffee from the back of a van, and definitely more alcohol. Being far too cowardly for tattoos, I do however gravitate towards the grittier side of life, like a Provençal sunflower towards the sun. Despite loving the countryside, diesel-stained brick and mortar are my smelling-salts, possibly reawakening the dormant memories of my childhood in East London. I much prefer films that deal with the grittier side of life, rather than Disney-confectionery, and err on the side of reality rather than fairy tales. It is probably such sentiment that gives me an affinity with my work in Sexual Health, a job where the reality of life is much in evidence.
This is not to say that I live a Dickensian existence of drudge and grime. The current blossoming of my alter ego is surely only the balance of my actual contented life. Indeed, I feel my affinity with the grittier perspective is very much dependant on my immediate environment. For example, in the company of my mum, who personifies grit, I adopt a much sunnier outlook as counterbalance. But find myself wallowing in grime with my mother-in-law, who personifies sunshine.
Just so, I must find balance with my alter ego, no tattoos, but a friend recently gave me the van in the picture with which to launch my new career and I am currently awaiting the arrival of a distinctly urban, faux-leather skirt purchased on eBay – I’ll let you know how it goes.