Thursday, 10 June 2010

Sleeping with Jeudi

Thursday, as M noted today, is the seemingly lovely boyfriend you want to believe in, the one you believe to be one of the good guys. Then, once he's lulled you into a false sense of security, he tramples all over your heart in hobnailed boots. And throws away your first editions of Nancy Mitford.

E: But Thursday's supposed to be one of the good ones! He's my guy!

M: That's just what he wants you to think.

E: I see. So Thursday is the moustachioed evil OCD boyfriend in that Julia Roberts film. What was that called?

E and M simultaneously, not for nothing are they brain twins: Sleeping with the Enemy?

E: Exactly. Jeudi wants you to know that whatever befalls you is all your own fault for angering him in this way by failing to align the labels on the condiment jars precisely.

M: Don't fall asleep when jeudi's around. You'll wake up to see him advancing on your neck wearing surgical gloves.

Thursday audit: I do not believe in my book anymore. I think it's probably a heap of old shit and worse still, it is not as BIG a heap of old shit as I had fondly deluded myself. I have been overstating my word count to myself, it transpires. Excellent. I am also itchy all over and have been on the verge of tears all day. I am call screening two people one of whom is a sixty five year old taxi driving lothario (if you are reading this, you are NOT the other person, I can assure you). I made Lashes cry over the thorny issue of 8 x 7. Fingers has developed a morbid fascination with Queen. I have an additional small child staying tomorrow night, one whose father used to take his elder children on a tour of our old house pointing out the mess and laughing in delight at my eccentricity. "Regardez, boys! There's a crisp packet on the floor!". He'll have a field day here. I am in my usual state of administrative denial, domestic inertia and meltdown with a generous sprinkling of guilt.

I have decided (not consicously I should emphasise) to deal with my problems by EATING and am on my fifth fairy cake of the evening. This is of course ultra sensible in view of my totally happy and healthy history with food. I don't even know if I need to worry about this. I thought I was done with this particular strand of neurosis. I still think I am. Whatever. My body feels that life would be easier with another three chins and who am I to argue?

If any of you were my mother - tricky, what with her being dead - you would now be asking me the following question. If you're feeling clever, you can guess now.



My mother would be asking "is it your hormones?"

I would be rolling my eyes and flouncing and saying "UUUUUGH NO. IT IS NOT MY HORMONES. GOD. WHY IS IT ALWAYS MY HORMONES WITH YOU???.

(It is not my hormones)

I do not see many solutions. I outline them below.

1. Nervous breakdown.

2. Emigrate.

3. Join some form of witness protection scheme.

4. Get some guts and sort myself out with the application of sharp and frequent kicks to my own shins.

5. Trudge on without getting vastly more sensible or competent or grown up, hoping that things will gradually start to improve in tiny increments.

6. Nervous breakdown. I keep coming back to this one. I like the total abdication of responsibility it implies. I am allowing myself to take the possibility out of the dark recess of my mind where it lives and stroke it, but only because I know I can't really do it.

We all know the only thing that could possibly happen is 5. I am going ahead with 5, hopefully with the highly intelligent but thus far elusive addition of sleep.

Avanti! Slow, tedious, repetitive avanti!


H said...

I vote for some sort of breeding between number four and number five. At least you didn't cry in a one-to-one with your Boss and then tell her that you're not even premenstrual at the moment like my, erm, friend did. Pat yourself on the back.

Em said...

Oh, how good would a nervous breakdown be. If just for the sleep which I think you are allowed. But you are quite right, you WILL get through this, fairy cakes or not (don't dwell on those) and your book WILL be just right when you have finished it. Recognise that you are a woman who loves a crab hat. That is a very good thing. Go with it x

And what is it with dirty old taxi drivers?

soleils said...

Sleep. Yes, sleep plenty. Sleep really is underrated.
Sometimes an extra hour or two seems to solve all my problems, for a while, at least. I have a huge sleep debt, courtesy of three early-rising boys and my own stupidity and refusal to go to bed at normal times, because the evening is the only time I can think and reacquaint myself with myself, FFS!
However, occasionally, I allow myself a long afternoon nap or force myself to be in bed before 11pm and the former in particular really makes a huge difference. It is also during those blissful intervals in the land of nod that I have had my best ideas and enlightening dreams. Et je n'exagère pas. Bonne nuit.

Bryony said...

good quality sleep and the sure and certain knowledge that it is unfathomably rude to comment on the homes of others - outrageous!!!

katyboo1 said...

Do not bother with the breakdown. It is over-rated. I had one and one of the side effects was not being able to sleep. Which made me feel cheated, somehow.

Do five, add more cakes. You are gorgeous and slender and can eat at least fourteen tonnes of fairy cakes before catching sight of another chin. I promise.

Queen as in Freddie Mercury? I am developing a weird affection for Brian May since I saw him interviewed on television last week. He's wonderfully eccentric. The boy could do worse.

Margaret said...

What an asshole to comment on your housekeeping! If he does this again, maybe you should consider a Fit. "Fine! If it's so terrible, then you can take your kid and my kids to your house tonight!" and then glare at him. As long as you're contemplating a breakdown anyway, why not try it?

Anonymous said...

Dear Jaywalker,

Do what most of us do - aim for No 4, and settle for No 5! As for the prissy father, just smile sweetly at him and ask if he's making any headway with the OCD yet.

screamish said...

what is your word count, anyway?

are you counting blank spaces? or just words? and is AND a word? all those things.

give us a rough estimate..words per day..I bet you're doing better than you think you're doing...

Emma Burns said...

Small, manageable steps. I'm serious. Like: leave the keys on the hook every day for a week, instead of stashed wherever. That is ALL you have to manage this week. Next week, move on to another small step, like eating one green thing per day.

Small, manageable steps, or it's all going to overwhelm you and you'll cry. In, cough cough, my experience.

Actually I think articulating it here is already one big step, so hurray! Check off this week: you are done.

Jane said...

Sleep and some nourishing soup. (Choose soup not made of fairy cakes).

The Spicers said...

I vote for nervous breakdown. I think I may be headed for one myself and I fantasize about the possibility of abnegating responsibility.

Lisa-Marie said...

Dude, it's normal to eat 5 fairycakes in a row. They are TINY. Maybe eat some soup or toast though?

I think you'll be ok. Do your interview today, and then have a nap! The book is more than likely better than you think it is too!

Bath bun said...

4 and 5 get my vote with the addition of a bag of Hema vanilla fudge per day or mini honey waffles. Add in a good tear-jerking movie from time to time to let off steam and you're sorted.

Alison Cross said...

You've really got to sort out this stalkery taxi driver thing, Em.

All joking aside, I don't want to see your lovely wee face popping up on the early evening news, if you catch my drift.

If you've asked him to stop calling you and he's still doing it, then you need to get some Belgian advice as to what the next course of action is.

Seven times table is an absolute c*nt.

Sonshine has been struggling with it for weeks. 6x is fine, but there's just too many confusing things from 42 to 70 in the 7x for this small boy's brain.

Struggle on in increments - and don't worry about the fairy cakes. I'm down to eating a full packet of jaffa-cakes and calling that a balanced meal (what? they've got orange in - one of my five a day)

Big hugs

Ali x

carolinefo said...

I'm hugely in favour of brief, nervous breakdowns myself because going into fugue mode and simply stopping CARING about everything for a couple of days can really be quite refreshing, and after a short mental holiday things can seem a little less overwhelming.

However, since this may be difficult for practical purposes, I'll go with what Maggie said: small, manageable steps. It's the only way to keep going, sometimes.

I may have said this before but there's a rustic character in one of the later Barchester novels who gives some advice to an unworldly cleric accused of theft and in a state of near-suicidal despair:
'It's dogged as does it'. I often think of that when everything gets too much.

One very small step at a time.

bbonthebrink said...

When you write you manage to cover a range of styles - funny, moving, sad, touching, sentimental observant. I'm sure your book is going to be a corker. (What is it about may I ask, or is that top secret?)
RE: 7 x 8. Had the exact same blockage with my 8yo. We overcame it splendidly by me slapping my forehead every time I asked her what 7x8 or 8x7 is. Now, if anybody asks her what 7x8 is, we all slap our heads in unison, giggle maniacally and she answers with a perfect '56'! Maybe I should have been a teacher...

Elizabeth said...

Word counts are chimerical. you CAN write volume - look at this wonderful, wonderful blog. The rest will come in fits and starts, slowly and painfully, littered with random crisp packets, just like real life.

MargotLeadbetter said...

Re: is it your hormones?

My Nana would always say 'it's your age' about anything and everything that was wrong with you.

Cocktails? New shoes? PG Wodehouse? Hot bath? Good night's sleep?

Nicky said...

I want your book!

From Belgium said...

I don't know, sounds like hormones to me?
(I'm kidding, I'm kidding)

Betty M said...

Sleep plus 5 adding a bit of 4 if you get any sleep and remembering fairy cakes are medicinal with any of 1 to 6 ( although too much icing n sprinkles not so much).

Betty M said...

Sleep plus 5 adding a bit of 4 if you get any sleep and remembering fairy cakes are medicinal with any of 1 to 6 ( although too much icing n sprinkles not so much).

IsabelleAnne said...

Dear Jaywalking Waffle-
If only you could learn to love yourself as much as your readers love you(I can't help writing this,I'm American).Your ability to write of your pain(& joy)with such a humorously sardonic slant is a true gift, sort of Dorothy Parker-esque, but still very much you. Just, please do take care of yourself (Dorothy didn't).
My Rx:
I recommend professional counseling or a wise friend, without an agenda of their own, who will listen to the vulnerable part of Waffle on a regular basis(I can't help suggesting this-see American thing above). You have some real challenges to deal with,and despite them you press on, pretty successfully it seems to me. Certainly your writing is an outlet, but sometimes one needs the immediate affirmation and support of a wise, kind, objective, & present human. I truly admire you and wish less distress for you. For us, your faithful readers, I wish the continuing privilege of reading your unique take on your life adventures. xx
PS: if you don't like my advice and decide to go with your own suggestions, please remember:"all things in moderation"(said in motherly tone, with affection).

A Woman Of No Importance said...

What IsabelleAnne said, with more bed, tea, cakes and added Weepette for soft, silky stroking of ears...

Sanity is over-rated, mind, as no doubt your sweet mother might have said. x

GingerB said...

I think you should eat more cheese. Cheese improves virtually every situation and mood, and goes nicely with relaxing beverages.

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