1. Discovering our wee one is starting school with the boss’s daughter in the same class. Insincere smiles across the sandpit on induction morning and lousy ventriloquist alert to my fella etc. We all know where this is going. Despite every conceivable intervention, they will inevitably end up best mates, *winces* play daters, college roommates, and married. I’ve a pain in my face thinking about the pain in my face all this uncharted civility will give me.
2. Being discovered eating those new Crunchie biscuits straight out of the packet. At 9 in the morning. I’m not going to bother justifying that one. Suffice to say there were a few hormones involved that gate-crashed the pity party that rapidly got out of hand.
3. Getting caught doing a mildly exaggerated impersonation of my Mother-in-Law by her son to his Mother-in-Law. I did an impersonation of him doing an impersonation of my Mother to my Mother in a hole-digging effort to even up the score. We’ll never speak of it again. Had it been the other way around, I’d have saved it for an argument, but he’s so offensively reasonable it’d have any maladjusted person scrambling for the crunchie biscuits.
4. Pretending to kidnap another child at our one’s childminder’s and being unaware of her mother witnessing the performance. I rarely see this woman, but I have fallen in love with her daughter and if I can’t have her, I can pretend to have her. When her mother isn’t around. I got that glazed smile and the suggestion that I speak to my husband about my needs as she calmly reclaimed the child.
5. Being asked if I’m pregnant. Again. It’s always worse for the person casually asking the question so to diffuse any tension, I didn’t contradict her.
As the man said, if you’re feeling listless make a list. I’m not sure which man it was exactly. Possibly the same one who said it’ll not be so long till after a while; and it wasn’t so long since a wee while ago. Speaking of wee *Keith Duffy voice* i.e. as in small, as opposed to the informal word for urine, my mucker Wee Blue Birdie over at Little Steps to Somewhere has threatened her followers with an invitation to write a list, if they can be arsed. The absence of pressure combined with my take-it-or-leave-it attitude means I’ll not rest till its done.
The theme is Loves Hates i.e. as in things one loves and hates, as opposed to the gritty Dublin-based gangland drama. So without further a do, I’ll get to it with the usual caveat that the parcel is up for grabs. If the music’s just stopped and it’s landed on your lap, rip off the next layer to see what neurosis lies beneath with your name on it.
To avoid an outbreak of veteran list-maker’s agony, I’ve confined these to this week.
1. A job well done. Probably because it happens so rarely and when it does, I could coast on the rewarding feeling for days, and the adjusted optimism is infectious enough to affect other compartments of life. The two I live with don’t mind this particular mood-swing, and wonder “Why can’t you be like this all time?” while having the good sense not to ask me directly.
2. Finding something very important I’d convinced myself I’d lost before having one final rummage. For the umpteenth time. There’s the surrender to the worst case scenario, and the clearing of the throat while dialling Ticketmaster in preparation for a grovelling exchange on the possibility of having tickets replaced before disconnecting for one last look. And just when serious consideration is being given to subcontracting luck out to someone with enough superstition and faith who knows someone who knows a man whose cousin’s neighbour is married to St. Anthony, it’s located behind the wardrobe. I may have had to enlist that person’s services on previous occasions. But we’ll say no more about those saints and their corrupt money-lending enterprises. One of the worst forms of elder abuse unspoken about in this country.
3. So I’ll be going to that music festival next weekend after all. Three days of incarceration in a field with the threat of torrential rain will always trump a week in the sun. Bring on the bonhomie, the communal good cheer, and the ever elusive magic of living in The Moment. What’s gonna happen? Haven’t a notion. Where would the thrill be in knowing? I’m rubbing my hands in anticipation. I’m that low maintenance.
4. When good weather ignites the best of memories. Sitting at my desk day-dreaming out the window, school leavers scuttle by without a backward glance to where they’ve come from. They wouldn’t know it from looking at my miserable face, but there’s a festival of memories going on in my head. This month it features the time both families got together to celebrate our little one. A sunny June day just like yesterday. I smiled and almost welled-up at the memory of…no-one so much as slamming a door never mind starting an argument. *dabs eyes with handkerchief*
5. Hearing a great song on the radio from start to finish that I haven’t heard in ages. Tony Fenton (RIP) could always be relied on to pull me out of some vicious ruminating with a periodic spin of Phil Lynott’s ‘Old Town’. I miss him for it. By the time the bouquet of trumpets were quietly assembling to swoop in and steal the spleen-warming finale, I’d be smiling away to myself and somewhat inanely at the occupants in neighbouring cars. This week’s in-car head bopping was brought to you by this. I am as free the wind. For a few minutes anyway.
6. And since that revved my engine up, I gave in to the frequently given-in-to urge to just keep on driving and slid into the other lane. Through the road works, past my work, round the corner by the speed limit signs until I got to the nearest country roads. Because corners, and farmers’ caps and gear-changes are most compatible with sounds. Barley fields and corrugated shacks to one side of me, orchards to the other; me between thinking I should probably go back to work now after the first four songs of The National’s Trouble Will Find Me. Best filed away under spontaneous sound seeking thrills, and annoying alliteration.
7. Hearing my mate got the keys to her new house after being put through the gazumping ringer and other housing fatalities these last few years. And temporarily soothing her rage at her husband crossing the threshold with their children without her while she was at work. I thought better of telling her about the time I had a mental collapse over my fella making a unilateral decision over our first Christmas tree. These things never equate precisely to same-heres whenever you stand back and measure them against each other. By day four, courtesy and civility had been restored. I think it took us longer. See? No comparison between a plastic tree and a house.
8. The clink of the first al fresco beer after we all bound in on Friday evening, meeting in the kitchen, inching our way to the garden to recline and sip like the sophisticated people we are, and going into combat with flies attacking the chips with all the grace of an elephant on E.
9. Woozily dragging out my bag and packing half my wardrobe for a weekend at the mothership. Including the same unopened books that went in last time. I think these Summer reads were originally Winter reads. Is there a difference? [Save it. This isn’t the hate list – me]. Either way, they’re great for dividing shoes and clothes.
10. Breaking for the border and turning round to the child to tell her she can relax with the anal retention now and release those arse cheeks. Inhale that air. Ah. The glorious scenery and enchanting smells. That’s cheap diesel for you.
There you go. Something else to put with all your other information. I’m too buzzed up for hates, and they prefer their own thread. Hold that eye-roll, and have a lovely weekend.
“Why not join in if you’re feeling listless i.e. without a list of things, as opposed to lacking energy or enthusiasm.”
1. Better telly, cinema, and album releases.
2. Rubber-necking drivers can rarely identify you when out walking of an evening. Does anyone under 80 go walking ‘of an evening’? I’m going later, once my new cane arrives.
3. January is freighted with pressure to radically change. No-one ever asks what your End of Year resolutions are. They’re yours to quietly implement from September and be rewarded for by Christmas. The Feast of St. Dysfunctional Families.
4. That’s it with the perpetual early Sunday morning pneumatic grass-cutting for another 6 months. Thank fuck.
5. So long salad. Healthy, non-labour intensive, weather appropriate etc. You’re no dinner though.
1. Debbie Harry is coming 70
Just keep wearing the shades, girls (and other habits your gene pool may sabotage anyway)
2. Being awakened by my own snoring
Who knew? Nature’s latest piss-take. The one they don’t tell you about along with the bullet-proof nipple hair and the lingering broodiness in your 40s.
3. Two people with ginger hair romantically involved
A first. You won’t think it’s weird until you see it. Wait until it happens to you and you’ll be aghast. I never get to say aghast often enough so I’m just throwing it in here. Nothing personal, good folk with ginger hair. I used to kinda be one. Let’s say I’m 37 per cent ginger. Well, was, until nature gunned me down with grey spray pellets as I legged it through the jungle of vanity.
4. People stampeding to check out the leaked naked pics of Jennifer Lawrence
5. My daughter correcting me referring to the local church as the castle from Frozen. It’s “God’s house ” . Allegedly.
Another adulthood shattered.
1. The women are forced to go through a rigorous process of scrutiny before presenting for adjudication in front of an expert panel
2. The two-dimensional portrayal of women as a homogenous group devoid of all complexities in a bid to uphold the official pageantry
3. There’s usually an irrepressible man dressed in black and white dominating the airwaves with displays of parochial idiocy
4. Frequent cries about the need to “protect our values and our culture” , and the incurable propensity towards propping up long-expired representations of the past
5. It doesn’t exist anywhere else in the world
1.The Rock-A-Bye Baby™. An electronic rocking frame type thingiemejig for a Moses basket to slot into. The ad men are falling down here. I’ve even given them a brand name. Get me the patent office, Morag.
2.Personalised nappies. lf people are willing to root through shelves of Coke to get to a bottle with Aoife on the label, they’ll do it for nappies. Well, I probably would.
3.Doorbells with answer machines. OK, perhaps not. Would’ve been useful in the pre-mobile days all the same. Damn.
4.Split screen domestic TV. One half World Cup, one half Fair City. Like the pizza occasionally shared in front of the box that one half of the couple is slightly huffing about because they got the smaller half. Well, I probably do.
5.Silent Lawnmowers. Like with those silencers for a gun currently aimed at the noisy ones.