Did you see me at the Cheryl Cole concert?
You must have done; I stood out a mile.
I was the woman who had no right to be there, seeing as I’m old, straight and had not a single 10-year-old Cheryl wannabe in tow.
I felt such a fraud. I hadn’t even shelled out some princely sum for a ticket.
And while Cheryl seems such a pet and has had such a lot to put up with, what with that terrible illness after being bitten by some nasty little blood-sucker (and the malaria), I’m not a fan.
Not like everyone else at Sheffield Arena last Tuesday. Everyone else who clearly worships the ground their poppet princess sets a platformed toe on... The thirtysomething Girls Aloud lookalikes, the starry-eyed kids and the hordes of macho gay women. (What a surprise that was: why, when you have chosen to eschew every visible feminine trait, would you idolise a heroine who has got famous by being as dainty and girly as you would never want to be?)
Nope, I was only there because L’Oreal, responsible for Cheryl’s big, swishy hair, had decided I was worth it.
They’d sent tickets for me and a plus-one, with an invite backstage for a bit of beauty pampering.
By way of moral support, I took a friend almost as old as me. Not that she thinks she is. As we walked into the Arena car park, a tout selling Cheryl posters asked if I wanted to buy one for my daughter. Friend (supposed) instantly assumed he thought SHE was my child and laughed her deluded head off.
Despite several glasses of backstage champers, we managed to find our seats. But the minute we sat down, I was wishing I was somewhere else. Even after all that hair and make-up juzzing, I was the dreary spectre at the feast, the party pooper.
Bar me, the entire audience was on its feet the minute Cheryl’s hit the stage. I just sat, quietly concentrating on my cardboard carton of chips. The only warm feeling I got was from vinegar seeping into my work skirt.
My impartiality meant I could fairly critique Cheryl, though. She IS lovely. And she must never eat chips, judging by her teeny backside in Stage Outfit Number Two, a leather dress so tight it bordered on bondage.
Outfit Number One, a baggy gold catsuit, had sparked a debate on whether or not Chezzer’s boobs, so pert they managed to stay inside their flimsy gilded covering, had been surgically enhanced. The Deluded One thought not, but I assured her there’s only so much toupee tape can actually do.
Outfit Number Three, a hip-hop tracksuit someone had cut the middle section out of, displayed yet another perfect part of Cheryl; a set of abs a Geordie grandma could have scrubbed her whites on. “My stomach looks a bit like that,” said the Deluded One. If I’d had a chip left, I’d have choked.
I was the only one who seemed to notice, or care, that the apparition before us had a voice flatter than my hair. There are obviously some things even L‘Oreal cannot reach. Did it matter? Well I guess not; these days, it’s all about the X Factor.