One of the benefits of being married to a man with an inscrutable face, is the freedom to share certain questionable thoughts without fear of facial reprisal. There wouldn’t be much difference in his responses to say “can I get you a cuppa?” and “I think I’m dying. No, seriously. Help me.”, while adopting a semi-keeling over position in the case of the latter. His expression would remain blank. And he would doubtless insist on completing both tasks himself.
As it happened, my self-diagnosis was slightly off-beam. Rather than suffering a heart attack brought on by the hedonistic lifestyle of my 20s that finally boomeranged to wipe me out after surrendering to sobriety (frequently overheard at my funeral: “And she had just given up carbs and bitterness”. Insert head-shaking and hand-wringing here), the tremors were palpitations and random muscle twitching. A death-scare detonated by excessive caffeine in-take in rapid time. And it hadn’t yet struck ten on a weekend morning, which was more likely the probable cause of my temporary organ failure.
More often than not, it is to his credit that he refrains from erupting into eye-rolls, grimaces and tears. Here is a sample of some of the things I declared with a dead straight face over the weekend that merited one or all:
“I’ve decided I’m going to become a Humanist celebrant”
I truly believed it in that moment. For anything is possible when you’ve had a dire week at work. You can simultaneously punch yourself with one fist for minor failings while caressing your cheek with delusions of grandeur clutched in the other, plucked when listening to a radio documentary on folk who marry and bury folk with such skillful professionalism they make it look easy.
Other recent instances of job envy:
Toll road booth collectors: Some of the happiest people on the planet. Doubtful there’d be enough material there for a documentary, but whatever it is that keeps their bearable cheeriness on show, I’m game.
Postwoman: Recession-proof. Minimal interaction with the public. Uniform. Postman Pat for a role model. Getting paid to exercise and lose weight. What’s not to love?
“I’m going to give that 5:2 diet a go”
Potential perfect get-out clause for those of us not arsed with cooking on a Monday and Tuesday. And there would be no need to waste valuable Sunday evening time preparing dinner for the following day. Time that could be better spent sitting on the sofa running my fingers through the mane of The Fear in dreaded anticipation of Monday coming round. And wondering how I’m going to fill the empty TV void in the wake of The Fall finishing.
“That new David Gray song isn’t bad”
In fairness, I waited an entire week before admitting it. Then backed it up later by reading aloud an article that confirmed he had broken off his under-the-table hand-holding with Telestar and was back plumbing the depths of his remaining credibility.
I tend to pull that reading aloud tactic whenever I stumble on scientific proof the world agrees with me (i.e. one columnist. A blogger will do. What do you mean they’re both writers? Ha). “Listen to this”.. a sure sign there is some righteousness afoot along with unbearable self-satisfaction. Both mine.
“I’m just the annex of your life”
There might have been a cameo appearance from a few hormones, and an invasion of the ridiculous that even I was aware of, but I wasn’t going to back down from a non-argument with anything other than a flourish of excessive melodrama that required me to turn away and conceal my own laugh. I’ve an awful feeling I’m going to blurt that one out accidentally again, the new recurring motif in my irrational line of defense for behaving like a wanker. At least it beats “you’re so remote” that had long passed its expiry date.
“You’ll never guess. I was mistaken for a homeless person”
At an ATM in Dublin of all places. Maybe it’s the heightened level of concern and consciousness following the devastating death of a young man in a doorway close to government headquarters last week, but I couldn’t help but think it was down to my poverty chic. It must’ve been because the bloke just dived in in front of me in the queue then did a double-take and apologised on failing to locate a polystyrene cup about my person. I like to fashion myself on those put-upon, impoverished, rural pensioners and strive to emulate the best with my daring season defining shawl.
It was my opening anecdote when I met my mate five minutes later in the cafe opposite. And was demolished moments after by the contents of a private message she’d just received on Facebook from a guy she was half-trying to work up some chemistry with to see where it would lead them.
“I suppose a shag with you in a strap-on is still out of the question?”
I’m so robbing that one.
“How do you spell that again, Peig?”