Feeling slightly seedy after Christmas feasting, we are easy prey for the New Year’s Resolution.
We will make a promise to eat less/exercise more/ read improving literature/ take up fretwork.
The aim is to become better people.
The result will be that most of the forthcoming year will be clouded with a nebulous sense of failure.
So I’m asking you to think first.
There is a simpler way of doing this.
Next time you are ordering something on the Internet, or registering for an organisation, take a look at their drop-down list of titles – some of them contain the full range of options, from Ms to Viscountess.
You can select any one you like – the cursor does not contain a lie detector.
I sometimes choose Brigadier – to have attained such heights without serving a distinguished career in the army!
Then the person delivering my package will look at me with respect, for in their eyes, I am a brigadier.
The only time I regretted it was when we moved house and I lost some Tate tickets I had ordered months before. Sue and I arrived at the ticket desk where I was confident I could explain myself:
“I bought two tickets in the name of Clare Hobba…”
“Nope – no record of a purchase in that name.”
Sue and I exchanged a worried glance – we had both travelled in specially.
I tried Nigel’s name and even my middle name, but they still did not recognise my purchase.
Finally, the woman squinted at me sternly:
“You didn’t call yourself Princess Cynthia Hobba did you?”
“Erm. Yes. That was very likely me.”
“What is your address?”
Dimly, I gave my current address – not the previous one from which I’d ordered the tickets.
More stern staring, even after I’d explained.
“I’m very sorry I gave a false name. I shall never do it again.”
“Nor a false title, nor a false address…” muttered Sue in the background.