LIFE SWAP

Do you ever see something on the TV or in a film and think how lovely it would be to live your life like that? Of course you do. I’m sure we all do it, especially women. That’s why romcoms are so popular. Deep down, women want to walk around a stylish beach house dressed only in a man’s shirt with long hair tied up in a messy but ever so sexy ponytail and long tanned legs to die for? I’m sure there’s an equivalent for men – I just don’t know what it is.

I have been pretending that my life was a screen set for as long as I can remember. When I was 11, I wanted to be Olivia Newton John in those satin pants. Then there was Grace Kelly in High Society because I wanted to be put on a pedestal with men fighting over me. After that it was Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany’s because I longed to be inaccessible, quirky and ever so slightly dangerous. Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts have also featured large in my imagination over the years.

I assumed that by the time I hit my 40s I would have grown out of fantasizing about becoming fictional characters but I haven’t. But some things have changed. I am slightly more realistic about what I wish for. My legs are never going to be long and I only have a decent tan for about a month a year. I could grow my hair down my back but it looks awful and botox is available but laughter lines show that I laugh a lot.

I did go through a brief stage of dreaming about houses but ultimately this is dull and a house is only a home because of the people in it. It makes no difference how big it is.

No. These days I’m drawn to relationships – not sexual ones but those between friends. I’m interested in the Sex and the City girls because I love the idea of a gang of mates with whom you share everything. The friendships in Gavin And Stacey send me off in to a wistful dream about when I was a teenager and had someone to whom I would tell even my most intimate secrets. I am drawn to programmes in which they all live in each other’s pockets and wander in and out of each other’s houses without knocking.

But this is odd because over the years I have become more and more anti social, seeking out friendships only with a very small group of people. I don’t give much away in conversation and spend most of my time on my own. I would loath it if a friend was in my kitchen the whole time and the thought of someone wandering into my house uninvited is anathema to me.

So that begs the question, if I don’t really want it why am I drawn to it? Isn’t that the power of our dreams? Something in our imaginations allows us to escape, just for a moment, into a world that we could never inhabit and perhaps wouldn’t want to. It’s these escapes from reality that make the reality more palatable. I am never going to wear a tiara and have Frank Sinatra crooning to me over a glass of champagne but that doesn’t stop me enjoying the thought of what it might feel like if I did.

Sometimes I wonder if everyone plays this game or whether it’s just me but then I don’t care. If you don’t day dream then I think you might be missing out. Everybody deserves a little bit of fantasy in their lives don’t they?

What do you think? I'd love to know...