Claudia Winkleman: Take It From Me

'I've always been a bit dithery...Forgetting stuff is human,especially when other things are on our minds'
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The Independent Online

In the last week I've looked for my sunglasses when they've been on my head, I've searched the whole house for my phone (while I've been talking to someone on it) and I left my handbag in a chemist for a full three hours before I noticed that I didn't actually have it on me any more.

I have always been a little bit forgetful. I couldn't tell you my wedding anniversary (although I seem to remember it was in June. Or maybe July. Definitely a month beginning with a "J", anyhow. But not January. Um. I think) and people I went to school with get extremely fed up with me when I bump into them in the street and have absolutely no recollection of their faces. I believe I've been to Seville on holiday but I couldn't be totally sure, not unless I went there again, and as for A-levels - I'm assuming I did English and a few others but, quite frankly, it could have been French.

Bonjour. There, you see. It is completely possible.

But this is all rather normal and just shows that I've always been a bit dithery and it's only going to get worse. By the time I'm 50, I assume I'll have to wear a dog tag round my neck with my name and address on it so that I can find my way home. Forgetting stuff is just human, especially when other things are on our minds.

Women... and this is not going to be an 800-word man-bash - but, let's be honest, what's the point of a column if I can't examine the female condition and have a laugh at the boys?

Anyway. Women. We're always thinking, thinking, thinking. We're making sure our boyfriends are OK, that our children are well fed and happy. We're also aware that the council tax bill is coming in a week and that the car needs to be serviced. A lot is going on. We can't be expected to make a stew, have an eyebrow wax (oh yes - I have some facial hair issues), light some random candles round the place, go out to work, teach the kids the difference between a marmoset and a tamarind (don't ask) and then keep up to date with where our sunglasses are.

That was certainly the case this week for Madalina Nesan from Romania. She's 29 and is a busy bee. She had 10 minutes to spare in Constanta and zoomed to the local shopping centre to buy a pair of bargain shoes. After the purchase her pulse quickened and she went straight home to try them on. A couple of hours later she tried to find her car, couldn't and then reported it stolen.

The police were just about to start a major search (I'm guessing that means write the number plate down next to other number plates of cars that have gone missing) and then Madalina realised that in her enthusiasm about her brand new footwear, she had left the car at the shopping centre.

She phoned the police, high on excitement about the realisation that her car hadn't been nicked after all.

She expected the following response: "Ah! Noroc! [Hello!] We totally understand, madam, a new pair of shoes with 50 per cent off is extremely diverting, no problem. Ce o mare descoperire! [What a great discovery!]" But instead they said something along the lines of: "You crazy mad woman. Don't you know we're extremely busy and you've wasted our time? We're going to make sure others don't do this so we're going to make an example out of you. Yes, that's right - we're going to give you a massive fine."

A fine? She's going to have to pay out a load of cash just because she had a few things on her mind? Poor Madalina is devastated. What should have been a jaunty but thrifty shopping spree has turned into a nightmare. She has had to apologise to the police and she's got to come up with the cash.

This needs action, NOW. Would anyone like to go on a march with me to show support for our Romanian sister? It's not like she mislaid her car after buying some apples. This wasn't a planned trip to the chemist for floss.

People - this was about shoes. There was a sample sale. If I put it in capitals, does it help? SHOE. SAMPLE. SALE.

All the styles were being massively discounted. There were high, strappy ones, low, casual ones. There were studded courts and spangly ballerinas. This was about footwear. Shouldn't a woman, after the climax of buying the perfect pair of shoes for a low sum, be allowed at least 24 hours to, you know, forget about all the other stuff? Now. Where was I?

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