It’s that time of year again. I wonder how many blog posts have started with that opening line. It is that time of year again so I’m fucked if I’m going to deviate from tradition on this one. That’s right. When you get to spend quantity time with extended family before retreating from the trauma to cocoon yourself from the dispirited this Christmas. Time to kick back and tuck into a box-set without fear of the suggestion to watch just one more episode being rejected on the grounds of having to rise for work in the morning. When you can recline and adjust the volume levels to ensure compatibility with the symphony of your snacking; occasionally glancing at your couch companion with deep resentment as he pops open a tube of Pringles. Vital dialogue has been missed, subtle plot lines overlooked, and many a murderous thought hatched to the pneumatic chomp of them. You’ve only yourself to blame for the tortilla nights.
But you dare not complain. Apart from giving off more than a mild whiff of unreasonableness, you’ve already demonstrated your own patience-defying feats with insistence you’ll be there in just a minute. That was half an hour ago but you are up to your delete button finishing a vital blog post. Sure, aren’t they all? “Yeah. I’m coming. Just a sec”. Ah the common refrain of the blogger, Mexican waving its way through the corridors of their domestic domains with mild irritation and an implied plea for flexibility for the writer (!) at work. Between on-the-spot responses to divine inspiration, and quick reads of others, the equivalent time of one episode has already
been squandered passed.
So, top of the list of the must-haves for the blogger this Christmas…
1. A Gift Voucher
The sneered at, but secretly loved, gift that demonstrates an attempt at effort. Might I suggest a custom made one for weekday night blogging curfew until 9pm. The perfect way to introduce some passive aggressive discipline to the influence the blogger has on your life. This way they’ll be finished by 9:30pm, if you’re lucky. Enough time to catch a few requisite episodes of nightly entertainment spanning political espionage/child abduction/drug underworld violence/serial killing sprees/killer vegetables etc. (delete as appropriate) before bed. Valid for 12 months.
This voucher cannot be exchanged for sex.
A blogger is always poised to pillage your mishaps, forage your funny ways, and sell your soul. So be a good partner, and inspire them. Make it one of your New Year resolutions to apply yourself better to this task; mindful to always stay just on the right side of endearingly OCD, clumsy, forgetful, charming, irritated, psychotic etc. (delete as appropriate).
3. Mind-reading and silence
“Did I tell you my head went septic earlier and I nearly lost an arm?” If the answer from the blogger to your attempts at initiating conversation is “Sorry?”, that’s just code for “Look I’m in the middle of a really important thought, please be quiet for at least ten minutes”. And if you have to ask the blogger if they’d like a drink and/or some tortilla chips then you really don’t know him/her at all. Periodic snacks and a variation of warm and cold drinks are mandatory.
This might seem counter-intuitive if your ultimate aim is to contain this infectious disease and curb the influence of it on your partner’s duty of care to you/themselves/the family/the household etc.; but like all bloggers, they need validation. *Bruce Forsythe voice* And what does validation equal? Fuck knows. I haven’t thought about it till now. How about.. a need for even more validation? Either way, it won’t kill you. Don’t overdo it either with excessively flattering lines about converting their writing into something more lucrative and pointing out the bottomless pit of their talent. They’ll only believe you and blame you when it never happens. And eventually cotton-on to the intensity of your delusion being consistent with your lack of interest in going out for a night. “Don’t delay, Darling. Get to work on that novel. And fetch me some Pringles on your way through”. Hmmm.
5. Cold turkey
No. We don’t mean another round of sandwiches from the interminable seasonal bird. No, I’m not talking about Julie Andrews either. If the blogger is exhibiting signs of disinterest in the chocolate you leave by the keyboard, and unkempt hair, then it may be time to stage an intervention. Either lock the blogger or the computer up, so long as you keep them separate. The first three days are known to be the worst. A straight jacket is advisable here. Much thrashing about and ranting about stats will likely ensue. This is the mind re-adjusting. Lock all doors and windows to prevent the blogger from running away to an internet cafe, and remove their phone.
6. Your own blog
Alternatively, you could just join in. That way you can arrange the forthcoming week’s parenting/shopping/snack schedule through your respective comments sections.