I’m usually a pretty decisive kind of girl. Whether I am buying breakfast cereal or houses, changing my lipstick or dying my hair, I’ve never had a problem making my mind up. I’m not saying that this has always been a good idea, thinking back on the dodgy perms, ridiculous shoes and all too many awkward situations that have resulted, but there are advantages to this approach. Weighing up the pros and cons gives you time to get scared or worried, and if you get scared, you often back out. So, as well as owning an inordinate amount of inappropriate shoes, I’ve ended up tour-guiding around Dublin, owning property in my early 20’s (when most of my friends weren’t even thinking of buying), and even living in India because I make up my mind quickly. All ultimately good, if not particularly well thought out, decisions.
But pregnancy changes all of this for me. Once I hold a positive test in my hand, the ability to make up my mind leaves me. Every decision – big or small – becomes an exercise in procrastination. It’s a real killer. Take a recent visit to the hairdresser… The old me would have marched in, announced the style I want, got it, and left. The pregnant me pored over hairdo possibilities, (which given the length of my hair, are fairly limited) then when asked by the cross-looking girl – my nice usual hairdresser was away – what I wanted, I mutter “Well, I dunno, what do you think..?” And even though I know her suggestion isn’t going to work, (it’s a fringe, and I have form with fringes), I agree, because I just can’t reach a decision otherwise.
Even getting dressed has become an ordeal. I have some pretty decent maternity gear – it’s not my first pregnancy and I have generous friends and family who have loaned me their stuff. So, you’d think that, seeing as I have the raw materials, I should manage to look fairly smart when I’m heading out to earn my keep. But no, far from it. Every morning I stand looking helplessly at the wardrobe, with the clock ticking ominously… When I eventually decide to wear a skirt, and even have it on, I realise that my legs are hairy and I can’t. So I wear trousers. It’s only when I am actually walking into the office that I realise that my blouse is not suited to the trousers, and is too short… flashing a nice bit of pregnant belly. Not a good look, and instead of looking nice and smart, I look like I have got dressed in the dark. Every day I vow that the next day will be different, that I will decide the night before and stick to it, but – like groundhog day – each morning finds me in the same agony of indecision.
Oh, there are loads of examples… ordering food in restaurants, deciding whether to drive or get the train, and so on and on. But there is perhaps one person who is getting some benefit from my inability to make my mind up … My husband, who has spent 3 years married to the bossiest woman in Ireland, is suddenly Chief Operator in Charge of What We are Having for Dinner (a lot more steak than under the previous regime, let me tell you). Never has he had such a good time with the telly either – while I sit there humming and hawing , he has switched to a World War II documentary, and opened a beer. Can’t say I blame him really…. But, once January comes, and this baby meets the world, normal service will be resumed, and Gok’s Fashion Fix will resume it’s rightful place in our household.