Rules of life you know to be true – even if it has already been dismissed by science
I don't know if you're aware of the latest bulletin from the World According to Donald Trump, but it's a good one. Apparently Trump does not like to exercise because he thinks it drains the body's supply of energy and ultimately you run out, like a battery. I know.
Sounds like something your fat cousin used to tell you before sending you off to find more biscuits. Trump's biology teacher - if he isn't already in hiding - has some explaining to do. And yet, we sort of get it. If we're being completely honest, all of us have a stock of nonsense life rules: private beliefs that - in defiance of all scientific evidence - we accept as fact. They may not stand up to scrutiny, but we know them to be true from experience. For example:
1. You can't get fat from drinking alcohol
This is absolutely true, for the following completely scientific reasons. Alcohol revs you up and leads to laughing, shouting, arguing, dancing, running up and down stairs, and moving furniture (the sudden urge to redecorate). So long as you only eat standing up (crisps, pizza, cereal), you're fine. You may even lose weight.
2. You can wear almost nothing so long as you have opaque tights
Dresses split up the thighs, skirts around your ears - admittedly this works a bit like the ostrich putting it's head in the sand. The sand is the opaque tights, and once you're immersed in them, you are protected, beyond reproach, living in your own reality. You lose all perspective, basically.
3. Cashmere attracts moths
True or what? Tell me you haven't been thinking it? Back in the days when scratchy Shetland wool was the norm, or at a pinch angora, where were all the moths? Now that you can pick up a little cashmere toplet in Zara for the price of a pair of espadrilles ... mothageddon. Any minute now scientists will discover cashmere is actively luring moths into our homes.
4. It's impossible to connect to someone with perfect white teeth
You think you're doing it, then bam! - the thunderflash smile - and it's gone. Celebrities like Cheryl Tweedy dazzle.
5. Champagne makes you happy
Last week research established that alcohol doesn't make you happy, only brings out the noisier version of you. But come on. Who are they kidding? Just the sight of champagne makes me feel joyful. And once you actually swallow the lovely, toasty bubbles, it makes you more amusing in about three minutes flat. Long established fact. If it weren't true, they'd have been swigging kale juice at the Middleton wedding. And anyone who saw the sneaky heading for their honeymoon pictures know that can't be true. Pippa didn't go from bride-to-be beautiful to screaming hangover hair on kale juice alone.
6. Reading on a Kindle doesn't stick
Likewise reading on a beach. You won't remember a word.
7. All clothes you buy on holiday make you look good
Even the cheesecloth ones on the hangers in the market. Crocheted maxi waistcoats, Thai fisherman's trousers - so long as you're on holiday, it works.
8. Too much yoga impacts your sense of humour
You start to find more things, especially those to do with your own wellbeing, deadly serious.
9. Kilts have special powers
A man in a kilt always feels more manly, and a manly man is at his most attractive in a kilt. Which is a shame, because you don't see it much.
10. clean rain and greasy rain
No telling why, or when, but if you get caught in the greasy sort you need to have a bath rather than just the usual drip dry.
11. Cars are intimacy incubators
Sharing a long car journey with someone is one remove from sharing a bed. You'd be safer letting your husband go on Strictly than letting him get a regular lift with the woman from work. That's what I believe anyway.