Hello. Had a break in London, ate too much, drank too much, but did see some great films and old friends. I realised on day two that there was something I really missed about Whitstable! Where we were staying did not have Chinese take-aways. For real! Thank god there was a Waitrose.
As promised, here is my blog on the three archetypes of DFL women. Now before anyone gets all testy, I would like to point out that I am married to one. I have run this past her and she has given it her blessing. And she’s extremely scary, as you will find out.
The reason I’m writing this now (and not about my awesome 3 hour kite surfing session late morning today for example) is becuase of a recent meal out with two other families that became almost a tableaux of DFL living. We were like a DFL microcosm, the six of us, representing/distilling most of the iconic or if you will, stereotypical aspects of coming from a big city to a small, very parochial village.
So we were out to celebrate my wife’s ‘proper’ return to Whitstable with two other families that I don’t really know. I’ve met them at bbqs on the beach and various dinner things but their children are much smaller than mine and, well, I didn’t even really like my own children at that age, so….you get the picture. Anyway, I thought dinner would be fun, until I heard that all the children were coming too. That did include my youngest, but at 13 I’d hardly say she’d have impinged on our evening. I was a little disappointed, until I realised the devious and slightly irresponsible tactic they’d deployed (and had used on many an occasion):
We – the adults – were dining in the seaweed place.
They – the children – were dining in the Italian run by the Eastern Europeans opposite.
Genius! Turns out one of the couples had employed one of the leggier girls as a nanny until she got pregnant (more about this later) and now she was part time waitressing there. They have an arragement where the kids all sat in the big table in the window so they could wave to their parents and eat crap generic pasta, while the parents are able to have a relaxed evening enjoying food that is way too good for kids. The waitress got a bit extra to babysit them while they ate, gave a signal when they were all finished and that’s that.
Apprently they do it all the time.
On this particular night, there were six children ranging from 4 to 13. My daughter the eldest by three years. We went out at 7.30. Any of you up to speed? What are 4 year olds like at 7.30? I know what mine were like. But, of course, that’s the point. We didn’t have to listen to it. The whingeing, the whining, the crying, the shouting, shreeching, screaming, tantrums, the tribulations, the procrastination, the conflagration of emotions, the final, terrible keening that would lead to at least three of them falling asleep in their spaghetti. We were oblivious.
I’m going to leave the telling of this while I revert to my main topic, becuase it was whilst I was sitting with the two other men (who I don’t know that well), waiting for the wives to ‘settle the children in’ that I began to formulate my archetypes. I’d always vaguely thought of them – DFL women in genres, but as I watched them march/jog/stride across the road, it was a bit like watching the opening sequence of Sex in the City (the ‘sex’ we’re referring to here will be analysed in reference to the archetypes in time), each woman being an entirely different creature, yet all so thoroughly DFL it was astonishing!
So here are my three (feel free to conradict me if you think there are more!) DFL female archetypes:
1. Fierce DFL
Now, my wife is very much in this category. She’s an executive. She’s a doer. She’s academic, smart, capable, assertive. She’s fierce. This can be good and bad. I’ve met many, many women like this in London, but something weird happens to them when they come down here, the fierceness goes underground. And then comes out on MUMSNET. Or coaching their children and employing extra teachers for the 11-plus. It comes out in competitive, unecessary over-yoga-ing, interior design, dinner parties, parenting (different from my next archetype). They are like men, in disguise. No! They are how DFL men would like to be, if only they hadn’t been completely emasculated and neutered by the move to the coast. Here’s an example of a woman many Fiesty’s might admire:
There are very few women I knew who were childless and fierce in London who had any intention to move to the coast. Why would they? Fierce DFLs are a unique phenomena. Missing the cut and thrust of whatever their glittering career was, they transfer their considerable skills to community stuff. And to just being women.
Seriously – if you’ve never been on Mumsnet, sneak on when the wife has left it logged in and just have a browse around. Don’t, however, DO NOT, pretent to be her and leave a message. They will know INSTANTLY that is it you and you will be run out of town.
Warning. If the fierceness of the Fierce DFL is not tempered somehow, they could end up like this:
Don’t be fooled by the shoes. This woman is the epitomy of FIERCE. I watched my wife cross the road from the Italian run by Eastern Europeans and she was marching, grim faced, in control. She was wearing cropped, gold statement trousers and a coral silk top with May like kitten heels. It was terrifying. If you saw that marching towards you across the boardroom, you’d shit your pants.
2. Mumsy DFL
Aw Mumsy! These are women unburdened by the sudden lack of status the Fierce Girls feel so keenly. They are able to accept things will be different, however, this doesn’t mean they aren’t using motherhood at every opportunity to showcase their London heritage. No! No lie, they’ve had to build a whole new Kath Kidston factory just to produce the reams of pastel, paisley and gingham bunting that’s festooned from gazebos, their £120,000 beach huts (they HAVE to have one) and back gardens. They like mis-matched antique crockery, they might even be a bit Christian (Jesus H Christ!), into cupcakes, too many cupcakes, they love Boden. Really into baking, But, they are great mums. Unless they’ve had wine. Which is all that matters really. I’m just glad I’m not married to one…Kirsty is the epitome of DFL Mumsiness. But I wouldn’t.
The shoes say it all. What infant wouldn’t want to bury their face into that generous bosom! Mumsy’s get all a bit flirty when they’ve had too much Rose too. Which can be fun. Bit of a double edged sword if you’re as hot as me though…
Warning! Mumsy might find it hard to let go of the Mumsy thing even when there are no children left. She might also be unable to let go of her chronic food issues and end up cooking ALL THE TIME. She may even end up looking like this..
There’s are two other things apart from bunting the drive me nuts about Mumsy DFLs – these
I know I don’t need to explain why…
3. The final archetype is split into two sub-types –
a) Slutty DFL (Alpha)
This woman is top totty, or at least she was in her twenties and she is doing EVERYTHING IN HER POWER AND THE POWER OF HER HUSBANDS WALLET to maintain her looks. That’s the key word here, maintenance, because she was already as good as it could get. Her hair is bra length, ‘honey’ blonde with a feathering of extentions, she is still a size 6/8 (but battling the 16/61 issue daily – good lighting is of the essence – you NEVER see them between 11am and 2pm), she has had a discrete boob job (is there such a thing?), has subtle fillers and has a personal trainer, IN LONDON. She probably dabbles with healing crystals and sprituality and bemoans the lack of Bikram Yoga classes in the town. She doesn’t cook apart from raw food. She likes to dance, especially when she’s a bit drunk. Her daughters look just like her. Or rather, people mistake her for their slightly older sister all the time. These women are quite rare – they don’t often move here (for obvious reasons) but there are a few dotted about. They tend to be the bitchiest of the three – shun Mumsy (who is likely to be oblivious) and compete for ranking as Alpha female with Fierce (no competition).
A typical Alpha Slutty might look like this:
We’ve all seen women who look like this on the school run. Mostly, these Alpha types wouldn’t dream of sending their offspring to a state school but occasionally they do. You’d think they’d stand out like a sore thumb but no – not in Whitstable! Alongside Alpha SLutty, looking just as tall, groomed and ridiculouslyl over-dressed are the local hotties (although usually pramfaces – not desperately trying to hold onto it all). They’re just back from a shopping spree at Primark where they got exactly the same get up but for a fraction of the price! Go local girls!
Yep. Say no more.
b) Slutty DFL (Beta)
She’d like to look like Alpha. Maybe she even thinks she does. Maybe. It doesn’t matter. She gets more action. The other DFL women know the difference though. I’m going to go out on a limb here. The difference between these wannabes and the other DFL lady’s isn’t class, it’s brains. Or lack there of. They just try too hard but on the wrong things. All the same applies to Beta as is does Alpha, yet…yet. We’ve ALL met those public shool girls who only went to public school becuase they were too stupid and deviant to stay in state school. Think vicar’s daughters. Money does not equal taste.
Obvious risks here:
Or worse still, one of THESE –
Mind you, Carol Vorderman. I so would, but the other Loose Women – they’re only really referring to their pelvic floor aren’t they? Ugh.
Having said that, meeting these ladies on a night out can be most entertaining and rewarding. 🙂
Now, they are the PURE archetypes, but the BIG trouble comes when one attempts to be another.
Mumsy trying to take on a Fierce in organising a church hall bric-a-bac fete!
Fierce trying to challenge the raw sexiness of Beta Slutty on a night out! (I’ve seen this at close hand…)
Alpha Slutty trying to out Mummy Mumsy at the Easter Egg hunt at the Castle!
All manner of things would go wrong. Finally – imagine if Mumsy or Fierce went out in a body-con dress like this?
They’d probably have to wear one of these (yes the wife does have one and I’ve had to get her out of it with scissors before – not in a sexy way)
And, believe me, they end up looking more like this –
Best to stay true to type…
So first, back to our night out. My wife Fierce and her friends Mumsy and Beta Slutty (the best type) were out. We got there and the kids were ‘settled in’. My youngest giving me forlorn looks through the window and my wife telling me to ignore her. Apparently she was mortified she’d had it sprung on her that she was sitting with ‘the babies’. I did feel a bit sorry for her, but then the good times rolled, the food, the wine, etc.
The majority of the conversation revolved around the this topic of Eastern European nannies. Something my wife and the other DFL women hotly debated all night. Mumsy had not had an EastoNanno as she doesn’t work, but lots of her friends had experienced this. Turns out the experience of Beta Slutty and her husband with the waitress over the road isn’t uncommon. The conclusion they came to, after copious bottles of wine – throughout which I could see my daughter’s face becoming more and more vexed twenty feet away as she looked at me with pleading eyes, was that you should only ever employ the ugliest of nannies. The conclusion they came to after that, was in that case, you were better off getting a local girl for cash in hand and avoiding the EastoNannos altogether. Contentious stuff!
Over pudding, the men started discussing how they could dodge employment law should a nanny get pregnant so the family could just dump her and get another unpregnant one. By then, my 13 year old was beckoning me furiously. Everytime I looked up, my wife said, ‘Leave!’
Eventually, I saw a swarthy looking Romanian in a chef’s costume questioning her as she pointed reluctantly towards our table, across the road. As soon as I saw the look on his face, I sprinted across the road and found the three smallest had been transferred to comfy chairs, while the older three finished ice creams, in sullen silence. Now that’s service!
Swarthy carried two children and I carried the other over the road where he banged his fist on the plate glass window by one of the dad’s heads as he was nodding off. Mumsy started crying and rushed out, blaming her banker husband, Pippa took charge and got the others mobilised while Slutty was flirting with the manager while she paid for the bill. It was all rather embarassing really but, you know, no one died! We gave Swarthy a ‘bullseye’ and he seemed ok with that. Only muttering a bit about social services.
Then we went back to Beta Slutty’s for a party. I won’t tell you what happened.
But what I do have for you is a little game!! It’s called –
GUESS THE DFL’S OUTFIT!
Here are our four DFL’s
Now, you can print these off and try on the outfits!
Which outfits go with which DFL archetype?
Send me your answers and there’s absolutely no prize for the winner! Well, if it’s a lady, I might let you stroke my beard. Lol.
In conclusion, having spoken in confidence with other DFL men, we all hanker after a Alpha Slutty for status but know she’s too high maintenance, we lust after a Beta Slutty but know she’d do our heads in and be too princess-ish.
Secretly we’re happiest with Fierce and Mumsy. Fierce, because she takes care of shit and there’s a certain joy in being absolved of repsonsibility. Mumsy, well, usually because men love and miss their mums (or Eastern European nannies 😉 !