New year new plans: I and my friends decided that once a month we are gonna have one full girls’ day out.
First stop, The Cheaster Beatty Collection in Dublin followed by a fancy lunch. A kind of sex and the city experience except without the sex and the fashion side because considering the -3 degree outside our outfits of the day are more suitable for a ski resort than a NY cocktail bar. Also, it is just three of us and not four. We dropped our Samantha too, that was not a big loss but made us closer to their middle age menopausal late version. Well in fairness our Samantha kind of self-dropped, long boring story for another time…or not. Back to the day of our city escape, despite me still feeling itchy and tired and still unable to wear any makeup ( who cares at this point glamour had already succumbed to the cold)we decided to go ahead with our plan. It was hard enough to find a day all three of us were free. Postponing this was not an option, beside I had it all perfectly organised: I was going to drop the girls at school earlier so to walk the dogs also earlier and be ready to meet my pals at the train station at the designated time, for once. My neighbour, who I share the school runs with, was going to collect them and the travelling husband was going to take daughter number two to hockey practice. I only had to stick with the plan. How hard could it be? Very Hard!!!
That very same morning as soon as I turned my phone on it started to beep nonstop. Friend number one messed up with the dates and might have to go home early. Not the end of the world as the travelling husband forgot about my day out and went to the office so I had to be home early too, to take daughter number two to hockey practice. We just have to jump on the 11.00 am train instead of the 11.30. Problem solved, till I realised that all the texting back and forth delayed me and I ended up dropping the girls at school even later than usual and consequently heading to the dog park far later than planned. “Sorry boys, you’ll have a slightly shorter walk this morning,” I announced to their great disappointment,” but I got you pig’s ears,” I added and I was immediately forgiven. All good and on track if only someone hasn’t decided to race on the ice(because of course the previous night had snowed) landing with the car diagonally in the middle of the road preventing the traffic to move either forward or backwards. The good news was that the recovery track was already on its way.
20 minutes had passed and there was no sign of the recovery track yet. The guy in front of me lost his patience and after slamming his car door run up to the crashed car trying to move it but before he could even get close to it he slipped and badly fell on his back. So now we’re not only waiting for the recovery track but also an ambulance.
It had now passed more than half an hour. I had to get out of there. I convinced the guy in the car behind me to slowly reverse and turn around so that I could do the same. Slowly but surely we arrived at the dog park but it was quite clear that I would have never made it to the 11.00 am train. I rang the girls and after a brief discussion, we decided to not let the adversities win. We would have fought our destiny till the end and made it into Dublin for some fun, we just had to drive instead of getting the train. The whole point of getting the train was because that way we could all have a glass or two or three with our fancy lunch but as I could not drink because still under medication it wasn’t making any difference. All sorted, we saved the day and it turned out to be an amazing day, so amazing that once friend number one received a phone call informing her she didn’t have to go home earlier after all, I forgot about hockey practice too and instead of rushing home we stopped for cakes and tea. By the time we left the city, it was rushing hours and we got stuck in traffic. There was no way I was gonna be home in time for hockey practice but, before I could call daughter number two and shamefully confess my lousy mother’s sins, she rang me first asking to skip practice because she was tired. “Well I don’t know honey….are you sure? Would the coach not be upset? Well ok then, but only for this time and since I don’t have to take you to practice I’ll make a stop on the way and be home a bit later ok?” She is a smart one and would have easily made her maths with the timing, but I played it well, didn’t I?
I believe that in some past posts I already mentioned that down the hill from us there is a big pink mysterious house. Nobody ever knew what was going on there, until parcels started to disappear and so the neighbourhood did some investigative work. It turned out that the house’s owner moved to Thailand and rented the house to a “smart gentleman” who split it into units and sub-rent it to the government for emergency residencies. Nothing wrong with that, aside from the fact that he is making a fortune illegally but, of course, it’s none of my concerns being that lazy woman who doesn’t pick up fights for a principle. My concern is instead that most of the vanished parcels are mine!!! And it’s not the karma biting back my ass because I am lousy, it’s clear and simple dishonesty.
The house has the same name as our Estate except we are numbered but now that the gentleman in charge had split it into units they are numbered too and so we have duplicate addresses that if didn’t fool for one second the Amazon driver, completely disoriented the poor new young postman. And that my first two parcels were swallowed by the pink house.
It took me a few weeks of official complaining with the post office to get to the bottom of the matter but in the end, the poor new young postman admitted to having delivered my parcels to the wrong house accepting an X as a signature on the receipt. He accepted responsibility for his actions, apologise and went back to the house to get them back but it was too late. Either those who received it were not living there or didn’t remember taking in the parcels. End of the story, nothing I could do about it, except secretly hope that Mr and Mrs X would choke on one of the macaroons my cousin sent me from Lyon while scratching themselves mad because my Italian cashmere jumpers gave them a rush.
Unfortunately, over the summer the duplicate address fouled a navigated courier too and this time was our summer shoes to disappear.
-Your parcel has been delivered to your gate because nobody was home.- More or less this said the email I received from the courier company.
The travelling husband was in the office that day and I was working from his study so I had a clear view of the front of the house, and no van came up. Unless it did while I went on my toilet break. So hoping for this outcome I went out and check the front gate, the side gate, the front gate again and the side again. I went in and checked the gates from inside thinking that maybe the driver just threw the parcels in. I went out again and checked by my neighbours’ gates because maybe the driver left them there. The parcels were nowhere to be seen. And just like that, I knew it !!!
I went back behind my desk to email the courier company back but of course, it was one of those”no replay..” emails.
I then rang the helpline and after 23 minutes of waiting, the operator asked for my order number and candidly told me that my parcels have been safely delivered at my gate!
Trying to stay calm I explained the situation, AGAIN .
“I understand madam, and have you tried to check with your neighbours? Because here it says it was delivered.”
“Of course, I checked with my neighbours what do you think, that I am an idiot? And yes the parcels were delivered but not to me.” No Much success in staying calm, no more!
“I understand your frustration madam, but at the moment there’s nothing we can do. Just leave it with me…”
“What do you mean there is nothing you can do? Your driver got the wrong address, on top of that he didn’t wait for someone to sign for the parcel so call him and tell him to come back because I know where the parcels are…” and so I explain the problem with the duplicate address, but the most simple solution was not doable.
“Helpline my ass!” I mumbled under my breath and hung up.
As I was, still in my dressing gown, slippers and pins in my hair, I stormed down the hill straight to the pink house. No parcels were left at their gate. Someone must have gotten them in. I rang the bell but nobody answered and so I started heavily knocking on the windows till someone came out saying they haven’t seen any parcels and I should not trust couriers because they are all lunatics. Said the one who smelt of weeds at 9 in the morning!!
“You f…..g liars. I know you got my parcels because it’s not the first time and I am f…..g sick of it. I am going to call the guards and your landlord. You all will see ….You m…r f…..s…” I am still not sure what possessed me but I lost it. To be honest, I didn’t even know I could put so many “F” words in the same sentence but I did! And I kept swearing all my way back home.
As soon I closed the front door behind me I saw 4 eyes looking at me half in shock. Daughter number one and two had their windows open and not only saw me marching down the hill, but they also heard everything.
“What was that..?”Daughter number one asked. I blushed in shame but before I could blame it on the hormones (or lack of them), she added: ” It doesn’t matter. You were amazing, outfit apart.”
“I did make you proud, eh?” No more space for shame. It was the revenge of the once lazy woman incapable to get properly angry. I was a woman on a mission to get her shoes back and to make the extra cost of the next-day delivery worth it. But most of all I was a woman desperate to have her sandals to go to a boiling Italy in two days.
I called back the courier company determined to fix the issue. Unfortunately, they were not so determined and kept bouncing me from one operator to another until I had enough and gave them their fair share of “F” words too. The adrenaline was pumping in my veins…I could not stop this anger spree.
The last resource was calling whoever rented the pink house. I remember my neighbours, who got one or two stolen parcels too, saying they had contacted the man directly. I did a bit of digging, got his number and before it could even finish saying “hello” I puked on him all my frustration. He didn’t seem surprised and said that he would ask the house manager to check the surveillance tape for me and would let me know.
As I didn’t have much hope in the guy to call me back, I decided to ring again the courier company trying to get a number for the driver because at that point the easiest thing was for him to go back there and retrieve the parcels but of course, they cannot give the drivers’ number to customers and so I was back to square one.
To my great surprise, the pink house guy did ring me back, but not with good news. He said they didn’t find anything on the cameras and I should think twice before throwing accusations. -Cocky little insolent-
-WHAAAAAT? -I was fuming and so I thought:-What would Wendy do in a situation like this? –
Yes, you heard me, I am talking about that Wendy! Wendy Byrde, the lady who went from desperate suburban housewife to queen of money laundry. Wendy would never let them go away with this and neither would I, but because I don’t own a funeral home and can’t burn bodies as I please as she did, I couldn’t go as far as she would have but I could still use my voice to stop them from bullying and mocking me. I had enough!
“Now, listen to me, if the house manager is that f…..g junky who was smelling of weed this morning at 8.30 I wouldn’t believe a thing of what he says or saw. This is the third f…..g time that happen and I am f…..g sick of being robbed by your f…..g people. I know they have my parcels, the courier told me (big white lie) and this time I am going to call the police.”
And that was the magic word, “police”.
“Hey wait a minute, no need to involve the police here. We can fix it between us.” Said the guy dropping his attitude.
“It’s a bit f….g late now don’t you think? Besides, I already called the police even a couple of nights ago because your people were far too loud in the garden. So you are already under their radar and unless this time you want me to call also the tax inspector and the social services you better bring me back my f….g parcels, one way or another.”
“Hey, chill lady, no need to go that aggressive, listen to me…..”
“No, you listen to me..” And now was my real chance to play Wendy, “Unless you want me as an enemy, and I can assure you you don’t, you better keep your house in order, or else I will turn the entire neighbourhood against you and you don’t want to go down that road, do you?” Wow wow wow, did I really say that?! Yesss!! I did and I could hear the poor guy’s saliva going down his throat loudly and painfully.
“Ok, we have an understanding here. Any complaint you have you ring me and I will keep a closer eye on what’s going on there.”
-Well you better, it’s your house, you moron- I thought but what about my shoes? Frankly, I couldn’t care less what’s going on in there, I JUST WANTED MY SHOES BACK!!! Men, will they ever get the point of things???
Well, apparently, sometimes they do because later that afternoon the courier brought me back my parcels apologising for his mistake. Eventually, I could relax and go back to my good old me.
Being a Wendy is indeed an empowering feeling but it’s also exhausting and time-consuming. Being angry and confrontational left me drained, and I was also starting to feel bad and ashamed for my rudeness too, to be honest. Are there actual people acting like that all the time out there? Jeez, how can they do it? I did it for one day and can’t wait to switch back to me lazy, lousy me.
So here I am, happily wearing my new sandals and dunking biscuits in my coffee when I hear a knock on the door.
“Hi, I just wanted to be sure you got your shoes back.” The man from the pink house in person was at my doorstep sweetly smiling at me.
I “wiggled” my toes showing off my sandals and when eventually I managed to swallow the biscuits I still had in my mouth, I introduced myself (like he didn’t know who I was…) and invited him deeply apologising for my previous behaviour, ” you know I am normally not like that, and I normally don’t use that language either…”
That evening when the travelling husband came home was immediately informed about my performance of the day: ” You should have seen her going down the hill…” one daughter said.
“Yes, I have never seen mum like that. She was awesome! ” The other added, and I must admit that despite still feeling ashamed for the bad example, I also felt kind of proud. -Hey, I can be a proper asshole too, you know…just like your father..-
“Yea, but then she invited the crock in for coffee.” And that was the end of it. I disappointed them again.
What can I say , may be I am just not cut out to be a Wendy!
Summer of 2021 slowly but surely the country was starting to regain some freedom (at that time we didn’t know yet that we were going to be locked up again for nearly another year), and what’s the first thing you do? You buy concert tickets. Any concert, it doesn’t matter as soon is not Julio Iglesias (who actually I am not even sure he is still alive considering that was my grandmother’s favourite singer and he was already of a certain age back in those days). All you want is to enjoy your regained freedom; be around people; breath on their necks; let them seat closer than 2metres from you. And so here we are my concert pal and I wearing our concert-matching t-shirts ready to go see some bands we never in our life had thought we would go see live. Some of them probably never thought we could see them alive, considering how long those bands were around.
Whitesnake, Foreigner, Europe and Counting Crows. A real blast from the past that brought me back to my teens: first dance, first disco, first kiss and first arrest. Now don’t let your imagination go too wild there, it was not as bad as it sounds but certainly, Europe were the soundtrack of that school trip that saw us all questioned by the German police. Long story short some very fashion-oriented schoolmates of mine decided to try on some nice clothes at the local mall but forgot to take them off before leaving. They did look a bit chubbier when they returned to the hostel and so did their bags when loading them onto the bus to go home but we all had indulged in food and shopping. The problem was that they didn’t stop by the till after their shopping and being just a bunch of 13 years old girls and not criminal masterminds they haven’t realised there were cameras all over the place. It didn’t take much to the local police to find that clever group of Italian students and pull over our bus before we could leave the village. Guess where we spent the entire day and half of the night?!
Back now to our days and the concert, despite all our efforts, the adrenaline and the excitement we remembered from our last pre-pandemic concert was never there . Maybe it was because we were not going to see Pink Floyd, maybe it was because the stadium was not crowded and loud, or maybe it was because we were 3 years older and spent all the drive to the concert talking about how to fill our return tax: how fecking middle age middle class is that?!!!Anyway, whatever the reason , the drill and the excitement were not there. We both kind of felt it but refused to admit it and faking it at our best we approached the entrance. I
I searched all my pockets, and my concert pal, who is a control frick , is already jumping on his feet . “Sorry, I was sure I had them… “, and I was obviously talking about the tickets,” but don’t worry, I have the email to go to the booking site,”I reassured him starting scrolling my Gmail and he relaxed, temporarely, till I fail even the third attempt to insert the password to enter the ticket master site. Because I am a wife and he is an husband ( one of my best friends’ husband to be precise), I promptly recognised the sign of a man on the verge to explode and as quick as I could I handed him my phone so that he could reset the password and retrieve the tickets himself and eventually let us in to enjoy what it ended to be an amazing concert. Great music, nice beer but most of all that amazing forgotten feeling to be young. No actually to look young…..compare to the average audience.
To conclude, I bet you agree with me that some lesson was learnt here: First, teach your kids to watch for cameras if they will ever feel the urge to steal something, especially in Germany where the fact that you are a minor doesn’t mean absolutely anything to the police; Second, go to old rockers concerts and you won’t feel like a pathetic soccer mum who listens to 70/80s music in her car, but you feel a damn young chick, because guaranteed you will be at least 20 years younger than everybody else there; Third, get yourself ready and sorted to avoid pissing the husband off, because it doesn’t matter if it is yours or someone else’s: a pissed husband is never fun to be around.
If I think about it, all of my conversations with my friends happen in front of a cup of coffee. Never mind if it’s deca or regular,it has to be coffee.
Yes, I know all the coffee I drink doesn’t go well with all the yoga I do but, at this point of my life, it is part of my identity.
I am on my third week of holidays in Italy, and starting to feel a bit homesick and friends sick but , may be , I am only coffee sick!
Most of you would wonder how can I be “coffee sick ” in Italy: “for God sake, Italy is the kingdom of coffee!!!”
It is indeed. the problem is the size of the coffee and the cappuccino they serve in the bars :toosmall!
It is fine at home, because I make my own mug of coffee but when out it is a pain!
I cannot satisfy my need of this amazing powerful drink.
And then, lets face it , the heat doesn’t go well with coffee ; unless it is iced coffee .
I have to admit it, Italians make great iced coffee but,once again, it is the wrong size.
So , if in this very same moment , I was home having coffee with my friends, I would probably be enjoying their company as much as the size of my cup of coffee!
In the meanwhile, I very grateful keep enjoying my sunny holidays, drinking fresh soft drinks.