Peggy Goes Shopping

Peggy’s been my next door neighbour since I moved into the village of Sugar Hill over ten years ago. I take my hat off to her, she’s a marvellous for her age. Very little fazes her – for instance when I told her I was lesbian, she didn’t turn a hair. She has a few misgivings, mostly concerning my salvation. Her church, you see, says that people such as me are what Peggy calls ‘interestingly disordered’.

Of course, she says that being a lesbian is a new fad because back in her day she claims there were no such things as lesbians and gays. It’s pointless trying to argue with her on that score so I just ignore it. Lourda Kennefick claims she saw a lesbian in Ladies’ Beach in Ballybunion way back in 1967. Well, honestly,she would – that woman would claim anything for attention. By the way Peggy and herself have made up. Apparently the priest promised both of them that they could be Eucharistic Ministers for the upcoming Holy Communion. So now all that’s worrying them is their clothes for this important gig in the history of their church and there’s talk about nothing else but their wardrobe for the big day. Lourda is having tanning sessions below at the Heavenly Light Beauty Parlour – for all the good they’ll do her. I mean, tanning sessions, the woman has skin like vintage creased leather, going on a sunbed for Lourda is like pouring money down a drain.

Dolores and myself took Peggy into the city – there was nothing in the local towns that would suit her, she claimed. Honestly! Now taking Peggy into the city is not for the faint-hearted, I can assure you. She refuses to obey any traffic lights, ignores them completely, acts as if they’re not there at all. ‘Life is too short,’ she says ‘ to be hanging about waiting for bleddy lights to change’.  When I try to tell her that life could be considerably shorter if she doesn’t wait at the lights, she just shrugs her shoulders and sniffs. The woman has nerves of steel – she should just see her as she weaves in and out through the lines of cars. It puts the heart cross ways in me.Honestly for a woman her age, it’s seriously awesome.

After what seemed like hours, she bought a really nice grey suit and pink blouse. All she had to do then, she says is go up to Guineys to get her underwear. You should just see what passes for suitable underwear for Peggy. Think huge pink and blue bloomers that your granny used to wear and you’ll be near it. Well, when I think of Peggy up there at the altar in her lovely grey suit and those huge bloomers underneath, I have to pinch myself to stop laughing. I mean, they’re like tents, those knickers. Peggy herself is utterly unfazed – she says everyone should wear them and there’d be far less colds and flu about if they did.  She says she’s never in her life got a kidney infection and it’s all down to the bloomers apparently. Then, of course, we have the rant about today’s youngsters with their wisps of ‘throngs’ that wouldn’t give protection to a miniature mouse never mind fight off a kidney infection. Going around half naked will come back to haunt them in years to come, she says darkly and they’ll rue the day they didn’t cover up properly instead of going around half naked in all kinds of weather. ‘Believe you me,’ she cautions ‘you can count on it’.

I do believe her but I can tell you one thing, I still wouldn’t be seen dead in them pink and bluer tents, so I wouldn’t.


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