21st of July
That’s so unfair! Why did I have to bump into her today of all days! Although, to be fair, no make up, hair in a bun and sweaty track suit bottoms is my trademark look most days. So I doubt tomorrow would be any different. Lydia. We used to work together about four years ago. There was another girl with us Tammy. We were three partners in crime: lunchtime gossip, nights out, etc. We were paid monthly, which basically meant a weekend of fun and shopping and then teeth on the shelf. Once finishing our 2d bottle of JD we came to the conclusion that what we were paid (national minimum +1£ for every hour if you were on time) was simply not enough for any decent life. Stupid me decided to ask for overtime. The girls were a lot more creative.
Tammy suddenly realised that she was completely wasting her life in that place. So in the space of a week she handed in her notice, moved in with her on and off boyfriend and enrolled at a business course at college, for which his mum paid.
And Lydia turned her attention to amazon, Facebook, BBM and twitter. And became a rinser. A rinser is usually a young woman who gets expensive gifts or money from rich men in return for her precious company. Sex is never on the cards. Most of the time the girls don’t even meet the men they rinse, it’s all done via Internet. So, basically, all you do is set up a profile on one of the social networks. Look desirable, sound sweet. Go to Harrods, take a pic of yourself wearing Jimmy Choo’s, post it with something like: “Oh, they were so lovely, what a pity, I couldn’t afford them. Some other lucky girl will have them!” Cross your fingers and hopefully the postman will be ringing your bell soon. Don’t forget to create some wish lists (e.g. amazon) and link them to your profile. (You don’t want to get something in the wrong size or colour. They are only men at the end of the day).
I remember telling both girls not to do it. It was morally wrong to allow poor mother to pay for your education when there was 99.9% chance you were not going to be with her son. And you knew it. And that asking men for money or gifts was just another form of prostitution. It’s like cheating. You don’t have to have sex to cheat. A kiss, a lunch which you are going to keep secret from your partner is already wrong. I told them it was not worth it, and that they would regret it in the future.
That was four years ago. Soon after that my visa expired and I had to leave my job. Gradually we lost touch. Until today. Walking home through Regent’s park I bumped into Lydia. She looked like something from the cover of a magazine. Long blond hair, new breasts, little black dress. She was lovely but her cage fighter of a boyfriend did give me a once over. He probably found it hard to understand that somebody like her could have ever crossed paths with somebody like me. And Tammy? She graduated, dumped her boyfriend and now works as a manager for a building company. And she never repaid the money.
So was I wrong? May be. Am I jealous? Yes, I am. Do I regret not doing the same. No. There’s nothing stopping me really. But, do I actually want some strange old men who clearly have a problem to buy me gifts? Do I want them to look at my half naked pictures? Usually I feel like throwing up every time a customer at work or one of my colleagues calls me darling or baby, etc. I believe that words should mean something and this is how you address somebody you have any sort of affection for, not strangers. Would I feel better about it if there was some financial reward. Or worse?
Call me stupid but I still believe that if something is offered it does not mean that it’s ok to take it. One day I will have a family. How will i feel if my children find out about my past? Ashamed, most likely. And my husband? Will he respect me? And what’s even more frightening having gotten used to such expensive lifestyle will I ever be able to give it up? Life is fair in its funny way. We all make our choices and somewhere down the line we all will have to face the music