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Are our men really in a tight(s) spot?

Maggie knows that she is a sucker for the marketers but it doesn't stop her succumbing every time. The other day she was rabbiting on about mantyhose and how she couldn't wait to see her other half in them.

I confess that I had to ask what mantyhose were and nearly choked on a smidgen of pecan nut pie when she told me.

Mantyhose, for those of you who don't know, is the name given to men's tights. These tights are made by a company called Unconditional and come in a thick 120 denier.

"Why would any sane man want to appear in public in tights?" I asked her. Maggie rolled her eyes and complained vociferously that I was being my usual cynical self before going on to espouse that there has been a huge demand for mantyhose in the past five years and Selfridges in London are now stocking them at £70 (€76) a pair. "Demand from whom?" I had to ask. "From men of course!" she snapped.

I gave her one of my deadly stares -- the one that suggests she has gone off her rocker. She wasn't in the least put out and went straight into brainwashing mode.

"It's because they give men's hips and thighs a nice smooth line, so stuff that in your pipe and smoke it," she pouted.

For a second I thought I was in La-La land. "Maggie," I sighed. "Have you, by any chance, met any man in the past five years who has expressed an interest in wearing tights?" Eventually she mouthed a 'no'.

"And do you not think that someone out there might be trying to make a quick buck by creating a demand for men's tights by saying there is a demand in the first place?"

She then changed the subject by taking a small tube out of her handbag. "What's that?" asked Josie. Maggie explained that she'd had a cleansing and rehydrating facial that morning and that the beautician told her she had some fine lines around her eyes -- of course she does, she's nearly 50 for God's sake! -- and that this particular eye cream would go a long way towards reversing the signs of ageing.

Here we go again I thought, the marketeers have convinced her but I said nothing lest she think I was picking on her. Patsy then asked her how much it cost. "€89," she replied. We all drew in a collective gasp of breath.

"But there is enough to get at least a month out it," she said when she saw our faces. I couldn't resist. "For that price I'd want enough to be embalmed in it." She didn't see the funny side.