Chris struggled with the many faces that presented themselves to the diary, the mirror … and The World. She knew that other women did it but they didn’t seem to find it as challenging as she did. And talking to Claire didn’t help. Her sister was a Daughter, Dentist, Dress Designer, Domestic Diva, Dog Lover and more – but she seemed fine with that.

“It’s OK, Chris,” she said. “Everyone gets overwhelmed – other women just aren’t as honest as you are.”

WHY?” Chris replied, “What’s the point in pretending that you can cope so easily when you can’t. … And then … how are you expected to find a long-term partner when he doesn’t have a chance of knowing what you’re really like?”

Claire looked at her with despair. “Chris, I’m your big sister and it’s my job to tell you the truth about the world. I don’t know when it started – could have been the suffragettes, but it was probably long before that. But once the first woman pretended it was easy, we were done for. From then on, everyone has felt that they were the odd one out. So women have been faking it ever since. … And men wouldn’t have a clue what we’re like whether we’re up front about it or not. They don’t want to know about the details of our lives … or how we feel – and any man that says otherwise isn’t ‘A Real Man’.” She paused and shook her head despondently. “But, honestly, we’re all constantly out of control, switching from one role to the next, almost losing it when they overlap. It’s just what being a woman is. We just don’t admit to it because we’re supposed to be able to have it all. So don’t worry so much. And don’t talk about it – just get on with things as best you can … oh, and maybe give up the rugby – it’s not the most feminine pursuit.”

* * * *


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