Dot writes: likes and dislikes are amazingly fluid. Admittedly mine are a fluid more like treacle than water and move quite slowly. This is particularly noticeable when it comes to fashion: whenever the fashion-and-retail powers that be decide to introduce some new revival e.g. sloppy 80s primary-colour jumpers, I start by thinking ‘yuk!’, then go through a stage of ‘hmmm…’ and then finally realise I quite like them and go and buy some, just in time for them to go out of fashion again. (Though I never managed to like slant-hemmed skirts. What was that all about?)
Many of my changes in taste are trivial and some are even beneficial. For example, I am really rather glad that I finally started to like beer – which fortunately happened just at the time when I moved from poncy gin-tippling Oxford to honest-pint-sinking York – and also that I acquired a superficial taste for heavy metal – though only for its most radio-friendly and tuneful manifestations – since people who like heavy metal are often pleasant and interesting, and it is useful to have something angry to play when tackling particularly nasty pieces of housework.
However, sometimes I can feel a change of taste coming on that really offends me; a change of taste that makes me feel my personality is under attack, that I can’t possibly be that malleable and still retain integrity. I refer in the present instance to Ken’s moustache. He wore one for a bit earlier this year. It made him look smug and in need of a slap. I realise that’s a terrible way to talk about one’s dear and beloved husband, but I’m afraid that’s how some kinds of moustaches make people look, in my doggedly retained opinion. (Other kinds of moustache: the twirly kind, for villains; the Clark Gable kind, only to be worn if you habitually carry a rapier; the walrus kind, if you say ‘harrumph!’ a lot and are likely to be found mysteriously shot in the library.) However, he wore it for long enough for me almost to begin to soften towards it. After all, the longer he kept it, the more normal it looked, and the more I started to think of it as part of him, rather than either a horrid blot on his clean face or the last sad trace of a highly successful beard. Now he has signed up for Movember, and the moustache is on its way back. What am I to do?