I tend to think of myself as an eccentric. Of course, there is a class distinction between being eccentric and being plain bonkers. I met two people recently, two very different people, and both of them said that I reminded them of a young Kenneth Williams; the difference being that one of them meant it as a compliment, the other meant it in scorn. Someone with whom I used to work even suggested Charles Hawtrey. But they all of them were right in observing that my views and to a certain extent my appearance set me apart from most people. Mr Williams was the quintessential example of the kind of class arrogance with which I have to deal on a day-to-day basis. I am invincably middle-class and have all the snobbery to match. So is my mother though she would never admit to it. My Irish grandmother had extensive elocution lessons, designed to rid her of an Irish brogue. I never had elocution lessons; I just learned very early on how to imitate the traditional RP of the upper echelons, never dropping 't's, etc, very much like Mr Williams. "Putting on airs," as they say, but I'm stuck with it.
My father, on the rare occasions when he admits some problem with me, would say that I am just "slightly odd in my ways." Most of the time he carries on as though nothing unpleasant has happened; however he has let it slip on occasion that I am, in his words, "completely hopeless." My mother tries to cope but is utterly bewildered most of the time and certainly less sympathetic. I have never related this before but I only started wearing prescription glasses in 2002. I blessed God the day my mother bought me my first pair of glasses because for years I had been obsessing about them. Just think of that; why would anybody be glad of a vision impairment? As a child I wanted to wear glasses because my Irish grandmother (whom I adored) wore glasses. She had those "old dear" frames, very elaborate and colourful, with a gold chain; reminiscent of Dr Hinge. She looked stunning and studious and I decided that that was the look for me. One day, to satisfy my obsession, my grandmother gave me two pairs of her old prescription glasses that I could wear around the house (the lenses had been removed, of course). This was unbeknown to my parents. My father eventually confiscated them when he caught me wearing one of nanny's headscarves and I never saw them again. But when I did have an excuse to wear glasses I was always careful to choose glasses designed for women and I still do.
I thought the bow was very nice. I do also have a gold chain though I seldom use it, except in the Summer months when I take my prescription sunglasses out. Then I put these onto the gold chain and hang them around my neck.
As for being eccentric, well that is, of course, just down to having a terrible time of things. My mother tried earnestly to suppress all of my oddities. She had some success, I think. I can safely pass for a normal person provided nobody talks to me in publick (which is preferable) or asks me to do something outside my experience. As a rule, I don't function properly at social gatherings and during great concourse of folk. It is very rare that somebody will give me their telephone number after a party; they're usually delighted to be rid of me, as I am of them. On here I can say and behave in exactly the manner that I choose because the inconvenience of modern parlance and trying to sustain somebody's interest is entirely absent. I am happily oblivious to people's reactions too. It also means that I don't have to leave my house in order to engage with other people. Perhaps people are happier this way? Now people won't say among themselves upon seeing me in the distance, "oh God, it's him!" Everybody's happy!