A couple of weeks ago the traveling husband came to bed showing off a brand new elasticated elbow support.
I looked at it, said nothing, and kept reading instead. It was only when he used any excuse to annoyingly branding his arm in front of me, that I realised he wanted to be asked.
“What’s that?” I ask in the end.
“Oh, nothing just an elbow support I bought at the pharmacy …” He answers theatrically bending up and down his arm.
-Seriously?- I think, -Do I have to beg to hear what’s wrong when it’s clear you are dying to tell me?-
“Did you hurt your elbow playing tennis honey? Do you think it’s a tennis elbow?” I ultimately give in doing my best to sound concerned.
“Don’t you see it’s my right elbow? I play with the left!!!”
Damn, I totally missed that! Quite clearly I was not giving him the attention I should have , or else I should have noticed which elbow it was. Now we both knew what a lousy wife I am.
In my defence though, because of the way he waving his arm in front of my eyes, to get my attention, I simply and obviously wrongly, assumed he was not in so much pain.
What was going to be really painful, instead, was to learn what’s behind his strapped on elbow. That conversation, in fact, now that I had pissed him off, was going to take FOREVER.
-Karma is a bitch, when you are a bitch- Daughter number one’s favorite motto resonates loudly in my head and so, although all I want is going back to my book and find out who is the killer, I instead lift my reading glasses over my head, close my book and turn to face the traveling husband.
“Are you that much in pain honey? What you think it is?” I ask.
He waits a couple of seconds, just to be sure to have my full and undivided attention, and then goes: “It’s the watch!”
“But you had always worn your watch on that wrist, and never had a problem before,” I say quite puzzled.
“It’s the smart watch,” he explains, “I think it’s the movement I do to wake up the screen.”
-Oh great- I think, -I have to sleep with the Garmin boy flashing at me again!-.But then I notice his naked wrist and think:-Great! I have a spent a fortune for a watch that is going to stay in a drawer indefinitely. Even worst!-
Technology 1- Traveling husband 0.
But it’s just a battle… the war is still on and …in the end.. there can only be one!
In her lovely blog, “Keep it alive”, Sadie was asking if and how people celebrate San Valentine’s day. I am going to come clean here and confess that the traveling husband and I we celebrate it, but discretely. We contribute to the lucrative San Valentine’s business but only with cards and cakes.
Truth to be told, the cards are not the major priority and, in fact, twice I had received a card that said “to my lovely husband”. I have said nothing and simply assumed the traveling husband had bought it in a hurry at the petrol station near home; the alternative was that he had he mixed up my cards with the one for his partner of his parallel life. Another example of when in a relationship ignorance is a blessing. The cakes, are the real deal of the day! Every year I religiously buy from the local bakery five of their San Valentine’s cupcakes: One for each human of the household and one to share for the dogs, (for the record, the dogs share not because their mother is mean with money but because she likes her carpet, the color it is.). That’s our tradition but, this year , our tradition was at risk because of an unplanned business trip. Actually, the business trip was due on the 15th but because there was some family business the traveling husband had to sort out he left a day earlier we could both share the joy of 4 am start (because it would be very hard to keep sleeping while someone switch on and off the bedroom light and shout at you from the hallway asking where is the blue jacket, that he hasn’t worn for two years but just decided this is the perfect occasion to bring it back to life).
To be perfectly honest with you, I was totally fine with that, but there was one thing that bothered me: There were still be San Valentine’s cupcakes or not? Absolutely yes! After all, he is only one element out of a pack of six and the rest of us were all staying and spending San Valentine’s together. Not to mention that while we were all enjoying those delicious red velvet cakes, he would probably enjoy a fine five course meal in a luxury restaurant in Milan. Still it felt wrong. It felt like the ultimate betrayal of the tradition so hardly conquered and built over our 23 years together. Thankfully, there was a simple escape: we were going to celebrate the evening before and because he arrived home so late from the office by the time we ate the cupcakes it was nearly bedtime and when we got up, the following morning, it was so early that the taste of the cupcakes was still fresh in our mouths and it has been a bit like if we ate them on San valentine’s day. Life has always its way t sort things out!
Even for this year the tradition was safe and nothing else matters, not even the fact that while he was luxuriously dining in Milan I was eating popcorn in a semi-deserted cinema watching an idiotic pseudo horror movie with my youngest child. So who I really missed the San Valentine’s was not the traveling husband but good old Freddy Kruger.
Happy late San valentine’s to you all, and don’t forget: Love is for every day!
Stay tuned , next post Episode 2 of The avenge Of The Tech Man.
Those of you who read the blog for a while know that the travelling husband, despite working with three full screens opened in front of him and one on the side, doesn’t particularly enjoy technology. The travelling husband doesn’t believe in the power of artificial intelligence, he believes in the power of Excel spreadsheets!
Now, although Excel sheets are still used for EVERYTHING, (business or family related), over the years his attitude towards technology started to change.
It al started with the arrival of Alexa,that I gifted him a few Christmas ago. The idea was that he used it as an alarm clock so that she could wake him up and give him the latest news from the world. That happened only twice, and then he deactivated any function but the good old classic alarm one. “Why?” I asked, quite disappointed because, if I knew he was just using it as a simple alarm clock, I would have bought him something far cheaper. “The damn woman talks too much. I like quiet in the morning.”. Fair enough! And maybe after all these years together, I should have known better…Unless he was just using it as a metaphor and by the -damn woman- he meant me. Possible, but I just preferred not to enquire further. Like with teenage kids, even with husbands when it comes to what they really think is far better to stay ignorant.
Anyway, still determined to make him appreciate Alexa and her multiple skills and features, I decided to try something else. I bought a smart plug and a couple of smart bulbs so that with a simple voice command Alexa could switch on and off his bedside table lamp and the main bedroom light. That, was something appreciated indeed; especially after an entire evening at the pub when you eventually make it to the bed and the last time you want to do is get up and walk to the other side of a spinning bedroom because you forgot to turn off the light and your insensitive wife is complaining.
Unfortunately, good things never last and one day while vacuum cleaning the bedroom I realised he had unplugged Alexa.”Why?”I asked, again. “The damn woman was acting funny lately and never really got what I was asking. I had to repeat the same order over and over again.” “Well, if you say so..” I drily replied thinking that was no way to speak of a present I gave him but also thinking that if he was going to enjoy and appreciate Alexa no more, I was more than happy to take her. The problem was, how to say it without making it look like I was trying to get back a present or worst that I might have given him the present only to ultimately use it myself. And so poor Alexa was sitting there unable to perform her duties and express her personality for months until close to Christmas last year when the travelling husband expressed interest in a smartwatch. And once he had his Garmin watch on his wrist there was no happier man on the planet,(my wallet is still very sad instead.), and I got to inherit his Alexa and, so far, she never failed me. The travelling husband says that’s because I am a woman, and between women, there is always a certain solidarity. I think that it is simply because I don’t call her names if she can’t make sense of what I am saying half drunk at 2 in the morning. Anyway, as they say, the truth is always in the middle! What is on the contrary unquestionable, is that Garmin boy should use some training. As the prodigal watch never leaves the husband’s wrist, except to be charged, it comes to bed with us, and like his owner, (or should I say “master”), it makes annoying sounds. I now have to share my bed with a heavily snoring man and his extra caring watch who, diligently informs us with a loud beep every time there is a software update or his owner’s heartbeats are too slow or too high or just right or when he simply reach his r.e.m sleep phase. Lucky him! His wife, on the other side, is still dreaming of reaching that stage of sleep because every time she is about to, a beep reminds her something unmissable in the world had happened.
Yes, the answer to your question is yes! The travelling husband didn’t figure out how to silence his new mate yet !!!
Yes, the answer to your other question is yes too! I thought about silencing them both …with a pillow……!!!
The day when your oldest children act like they are the parents comes to every household, sooner or later. In mine, it arrived a couple of weeks ago.
Last summer, I bought tickets for the Dublin Megacon Live to go with daughter number two and a friend of hers. At the time I had no idea what it was but the two of them seemed so excited about it that I felt I had no other choice, and after all, I had seven months to educate myself about this mega convention for the anime, comics and fantasy saga/games/show lovers. That’s what it is, I later found out.
Eventually, the day of the Megacon arrives and I am in my bedroom getting ready when daughter number one barges in. “Excuse me can you put on something please?” She says rolling her eyes, “We need to talk!” I just want to tell her that I am in my bedroom, my space (as she and her sister always like to stress about) and I can stay with as less clothes on as I please, but her face is so serious that I say nothing and just quickly throw my bathrobe on.
“I just want to be sure you are well prepared for today.” She says with a quite intimidating tone,” First, don’t be your usual chatty you, you don’t want to give them the wrong signal and end up stalked by some furry person. ..” I am trying to object to something but she stops rising her finger to my face and goes on, “You don’t go into the cosplay room, no matter what. God only knows what they are doing in there. And ultimately, you do not accept anything to eat that is not factory wrapped.” I am touched by her genuine concern for her mama but I have to stop the none sense,”Honey I think you are exaggerating. Do you think if it was a dangerous place I would take your sister and N?” “No, I trust you of course, but we all know how naive you can be sometimes and I am telling you: there are going to be lots of weirdos there, starting from the one child you are taking with you.” (Oh boy, I suddenly am the poor naive mother.) For the record, the one child I am taking with me is one of daughter number two’s oldest and dearest friends. To me, she is like family but unfortunately, she is at the top of daughter number one’s blacklist since first grade (seven years ago) when she had told her she had bushy eyebrows. The poor child doesn’t even remember the episode but obviously, someone else does and forever will!!!! “Don’t worry honey, I can do this and I promise I won’t talk to anybody who looks even remotely weird,” I reassure her and she seems happy enough. She reminds me once again to keep to myself and not accept hugs and candies from strangers and to my relief she leaves.
Looking at all those kids and adults, lots of adults, dressed up like characters from movies or comics, I am starting to think that maybe daughter number one a bit right was. I kind of feel like I am in an episode of CSI Vegas and for the first half an hour I just go around looking for a body to discover until I realise everybody looks incredibly happy and content.. including me actually. Feck daughter number one’s paranoia and let’s embrace the Megacon!!! And so like I found my freedom of spirit I chat away with the actor who played Flash Gordon, I talk to a guy who carries around a full-size gremlins puppet and also take a series of selfies with them both. I graciously accept a free hug from some random masked guy or girl… I am not sure. I shameless ask for selfies with anyone is wearing a costume I like. I play cards game and dungeons and dragons in the gaming area. I browse around buying any sort of strange gadget, trying on elf’s ears and chatting away with fantasy writers selling their books and, of course, I exchange socials accounts with them, feeling quite confident that nobody will stalk me.
Nearly five hours later I am exhausted and while waiting for daughter number two and her friend to finish their last shopping spree I sit close to the stall of a lady exhibiting the finest handmade costumes I had ever seen. I don’t know which fantasy series they are from but they are beautiful and I can’t refrain from talking to her and enquiring about her creations. She is lovely as much as her costumes and it turns out she is also in desperate need of a loo break. I am for once in the right place at the right time and straight away offer to hold her fort while she has gone to the toilet. She gratefully accepts and so here I am wearing the most amazing hat ever seen and showing marvellous garments at the Megacon live.
“It was amazing. so many interesting people, and so much to look at. I also tried on some dress and guess what? We already booked our tickets for next year and we are gonna go in fancy dress!! ” I excitedly tell daughter number one once back home and I proudly show her all the pictures and selfies I took. “A new world had opened to me!!!! ” She is not impressed and makes no effort to hide it. “Come closer.” She orders me. “What are you doing?” I ask. “I am checking you have not been injected with anything. I told you those people cannot be trusted and neither are you apparently!”
And just like that it came the day my eldest kid treated me like I was an idiot child.🤷🏻♀️
The local hardware converted its top floor into a fancy homeware shop and they also opened a nice cafe, where I took the girls for a treat on their last day of school before the Christmas holidays. As it was due to close soon, the cafe was not very busy. A young waitress welcomed us in and instructed us to sit anywhere in the front. We smiled and nodded but as we walked further into the room, it became quite obvious that we had no idea what she meant by” front”. So here we are, standing in the middle of the room deciding which part of the cafe could be considered front, side or back. In the end, we decided on a nice round table by the window with a big comfortable armchair. “I am sorry, but this area is closed.” A voice behind us said before we could make ourselves comfortable. A brief look at the big yellow cones crossing off the area should have actually already warned me but, as it didn’t, once again I smiled, rigorously avoiding making eye contact with my daughters who were already embarrassed, and lead the way back to the centre of the room to pick another table.
“Can I help you?” another young waiter came to take us out of our misery and we followed her to a cosy corner table with a velvet sofa. We could eventually sit back, relax and enjoy our hot chocolate and cakes…and all this phone free.
Now, whoever is used to teenagers’ company knows that is better not to push the phone-free zone too much and so once we had finished with our cakes I suggested going and having a browse around the shop, with relief of the cafe staff that had already started to clean up the place eager to close as soon as we stepped out the place.
Happy and content with our bellies staffed we are looking at the ridiculously expensive and fairly tacky Christmas decoration when we see one of the waiters from the cafe running into the shop waving and shouting. I and the girls briefly look at each other wondering what may have happened but as it has obviously nothing to do with us we ignore her till I feel someone tapping me on the shoulder: “Miss, you have to pay!”
In a flash of a second, my cheeks go through all the shades of red when I realised I just left the cafe forgetting to pay. I profusely apologise hoping they believe it was a genuine brain fart and pay.
“That was so embarrassing. Can we go now.?” The girls are already marching towards the exit and I follow them still with quite an excess of colour on my cheeks but now laughing at my forgetfulness hoping to share the hilarity of what had just happened with my daughters who, unfortunately, must have instead inherited their father an inexistent sense of humour.
Back to the car, we drive, in meritorious silence, straight to the next town for daughter number two orthodontist appointment. The damn surgery is right at the centre of the Main Street where finding parking is nearly impossible, especially around Christmas time. After a couple of drives around the block, I give up and go to the big parking behind the orthodontist’s building. There you are always guaranteed to find a space and not because it’s great parking, but actually, right because the opposite. It must be the only parking left in the county not working with the parking app and with one of those old ticket machines that only accept coins. In between the three of us, we managed to pout put together 1 Euro, indeed enough if only the stupid machine wouldn’t ask for a minimum payment of 2.50 euros. “And now what do we do?”Daughter number two asks while checking the time as we were getting late for her appointment and, unlike her mother, she is a very very on-time person. “Don’t worry I got this” I confidently say and after rummaging for a few seconds in the glove compartment of the car I find what I was looking for. I wave an old parking ticket, in front of the girls’ puzzled faces, and carefully place it half-hidden under the insurance and tax road disc. “I always keep it in the car for emergencies,” I explain to the girls who are now looking at me like I was some kind of genius. “well well, first we leave without paying, now we counterfeit the parking ticket, what’s next then? “ Daughter number two, who lacks humour but not sarcasm, states. “Well, next we get you to your appointment on time and hopefully without a fine.” Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Here we are again, time to pick the travelling husband’s Christmas present. 23 years together and only twice I managed to surprise him. The travelling husband’s super power is, in fact, to always guess what I want to gift him. But this year his power is going to fail him. This Christmas I have it all figured out. Well, maybe not all, but the husband’s present for sure and he is never gonna guess it. How am I so sure? Because I will buy him a smart watch and he never showed any interest in one of those things, at least with me, but I happened to overhear a conversation he was having with a friend.
After some very discreet investigative work including also checking the browsing history on his Ipad, I knew exactly which watch he set his eyes on. What I did not know was the variety of different models. There is one for every frecking sport on earth. What the heck? Could he not just go for a simple Apple Watch or a Fit Bit? For God’s sake, he is not even a fitness/sporty guy. He goes hunting and plays social tennis once a week, that’s all his fitness routine.
I crossed off the list all the runner, cyclists and surfers models because he doesn’t either run, cycle or surf. I crossed off the list all the too-chunky ones because he doesn’t like big wristwatches. Ultimately I excluded even the solar survivor models because, even if thanks to your new super-powerful watch you survive whatever extreme activities you had challenged yourself with, you are anyway going to die of starvation as after you had paid for the watch, you will have nothing left in your card for your grocery.
So, now I had just three candidates to choose from and feeling nearly accomplished with my mission, I confidently walked into the closest shop that I knew had them in stock. I only had to look at them, and choose. Since they all looked pretty much the same to me, I just picked the latest version, called for the free salesperson and expressed my will to buy. “Very well mam, what size do you want?” This, I had not seen it coming! Not only there are a ridiculous variety of different models but they all come in three sizes! These are not watches, this are evil matryoshka camouflaged as watches whose only purpose is to confuse you and make you feel stupid an d unprepared. But I was not gonna let them win.
I went home, measured the travelling husband’s wrist watch and the following day I went back to the shop, ready to make my purchase. To my disappointment, I learnt that smartwatches are measured differently from the other type of wristwatches. Thankfully Phil came to my rescue, or so I thought. Phil was the watch expert of the day. Phil was also not trying to hide the fact he would have liked to be anywhere else but at work. Phil hated his job and the fact that they made him wear a ridiculous Christmas jumper with Rudolf’s nose lighting up every time he moved, didn’t make it better. “I am sorry mam but all you can see is on display. All the other models are boxed and we can’t open the box.” “But how am I supposed to choose if I don’t see it?” Phil didn’t need to answer me. It was none of his concern. “So am I just supposed to buy blindly?”I Insist. “OH, but then you can return it, once the box is still sealed, of course.” “But if the box is still sealed that means I haven’t opened it yet, and if I haven’t opened it how can I see the watch and decide if it is the right size?” “I am sorry mam, but I don’t do the rules. I know it’s unfair but it is what it is!” After holding myself from screaming at Phil that this was not only unfair but also stupid and he could stick the watch along with his rules and attitude where you all can guess, I say instead that I was going to think about it and left. Actually, I did not leave. I just hid around the corner until some other unfortunate customer engaged Phil, at that point I looked for an other salesperson who was possibly showing a slightly higher interest in his job and his customers.
Here comes Brad. Brad is young, inexperienced and knows absolutely nothing about watches and even less about the shop’s rules but he kindly volunteers to go to the stockroom and bring back to me the watch I wanted in the different sizes. As grateful as someone who just had been gifted a winning-lotto ticket, I made my choice, thanked Brad and informed him that I was going to buy the watch. “Oh, I am sorry but we don’t have it in stock, you will have to order it online and have it delivered here.” “But you just showed it to me. I am still holding it in my hand..” I say totally confused. “Oh, yes but see because I broke the seal, now I can’t sell it, or the guarantee won’t cover in case something is wrong.”
As daughter number one always says: karma is a bitch when you are a bitch!!!! And this certainly was my payback for cheating on Phil. In the end I had to order the present online and after a week of excruciating painful waiting hoping nothing went wrong , I eventually received the email that the travelling husband’s Christmas present was ready for collection. Well, what can I say, It wasn’t a smooth purchase but in the end I made it. The travelling husband’s Christmas present was safe in my hands and it will be a surprise!!!! Except it will be not, …. Guess who I bumped into on my way out of the shop?
Thinking about it rationally this is one of those categories of people we should not give a f..k what they think about us. Honestly, do we really care how a bunch of stinky teenagers with small brains still in development see us? Most likely they don’t even notice our presence because we don’t come out of their phone’s screen. They just want to be fed and not spoken to. That is how they normally choose the house where to hang out: the one with the nicer biscuits and the most willing mother to make them hot chocolate, ideally without talking too much. Like it would matter what you ask them as the answer is always one of the following: yes, no, maybe, I don’t know; when it’s not s all of them together and accompanied by a lost facial expression that makes you wonder if the noise you hear in the background is their neurones running frantically from one side of their brain to the other in the desperate attempt to make sense to your highly engaging question like: do you want sugar in your chocolate? But that is exactly the point: You don’t want your kids’ friends to see you as a housewife who jumped out of the fifties. You don’t want them to come to your house only because you serve them hot chocolate and biscuits and you are crazy enough to host a sleepover with 6/7 of them and make them all pizza from scratch. You want them to like you because you are cool! Easier to say than do, unfortunately, and wearing your last Metallica concert t-shirt is not enough. They don’t even know who Metallica are. But when you invite them over for Halloween strictly requiring them to be in fancy dress and unleashing your vast knowledge of vintage horror movies, then you might have your chance. Horror movies are a classic timeless cross-generation weapon that always works. Of course, popcorn and hot chocolate help but only if you serve them wearing your bat wings rather than your flowery kitchen apron.
This is a nasty category. Very hard to tackle. First of all, they are normally 10/15 years younger than you and you can’t help it but to feel maternal towards them. Suddenly you find yourself addressing them as “dear” or “darling” like you are an old aunt from Essex. That is actually kind of sweet and works with male colleagues, because you are well aware that the battle to impress them aesthetically is lost since the start, unless they have some type of Oedipus complex. The real issue is the female colleagues. With those you need a strategy!
First you need to assess them and all of those ringing just to complain “he” left the office without saying goodbye, and you can hear the noise of the long fake lashes blinking, must be erased . Same story for the secretaries who don’t recognise you and after asking for your name they ask if you have an appointment because “he” is very busy.
Once you made clearance of all those who likes older men, and more specifically your man, then you can focus on the trusty ones, the ones you like and, no shame in saying it, the ones you want them to like you. Now, the thing is , you want them to like you not because you are a cute reminder of aunt Violet from Essex and neither because you are their boss’ wife and they have to like you.You want them to like you because you are cool, fun and nice; so nice that you invite them all over for dinner because food always brings people together.
Unfortunately despite your effort to remove all the copies of Good Housekeeping from the house, like with the kids, the food pleasing strategy has risks. They might see you just like the good old boss (house)wife and that’s not why you spent the entire afternoon chopping, cooking and baking,(even if your sponge cake is very dramatically good as aunt Violet’s). You are you and not only you are fun and cool, you have a young spirit. As young as theirs and that’s when you play your last card to ultimately win them over…forever! “I am going to belly dance classes and loving it”, I casually throw into the conversation with the clear intent of showing off my young open mind. “Oh really?” one colleague did reply amused. What I’m still not sure about is if her amusement was coming from my choice of exercise or from the image of me doing it. Never mind, sometimes ignorance is a bless. “I did too once,” the other colleague added, “we were holidaying in Turkey and they gave us bell belts to tie around our waist, it was very fun and sexy. Do you use the belts?I used to love the sound of the bells while shaking the belly.” I froze for a second thinking how to explain we are just a bunch of middle age women shaking our bellies wearing comfy tracksuits and anti-slippery socks, unless we feel very exotic and opt for leggings and bare feet, but most definitely not wearing bells-belts that, considering the size of most the waistline there, ( teacher included), would weight like hell and dragging us to the floor. “Hmm, no! No belts, it’s more like a course for menopausal women desperate to trim their waistline and exercise their pelvic floor, you know? But we use veils!” Their puzzled expression told me that probably I wasn’t very successful in trying to make my belly dance course sound cool but I was ultimately successful in impressing them…forever!!!
The first Monday morning in three months I didn’t have to go physically to the office and I was already dreaming of it since Sunday night.
I had it all figured out. First, kiss goodbye to the travelling husband; second send off the girls to school with the bus; third, close the front door behind me and sip my coffee still in my dressing gown, waiting for the grocery shopping to be delivered, then work a couple of hours and ultimately walk the dogs to the park. It was going to be like Heaven!!! Except it all went to HELL!
7.00 am, the travelling husband’s driver doesn’t show up and he doesn’t pick up the phone either. While the husband frantically keeps checking between out of the window and his watch, I keep my face down pretending to have a sudden interest in whatever the first page of the newspaper said, (that I couldn’t know because I didn’t have my glasses and couldn’t read a thing). The tension and the panic in the room are now palpable and I can’t avoid the inevitable question any longer: “Do you want me to drive you to the airport?”.
And that was the end of my self-indulging morning.
Back from the airport, I rush the girls out of bed to drive them to school, because of course, they switched off their alarms and fell back asleep while I was stuck in traffic coming back from the airport. One foot out the door, and also the grocery man arrives. I quickly get my shopping in, throw everything on the kitchen counter and drive the girls to school. Once I am back I jumped straight behind my desk, “Just a couple of hours and then we go out, ok?” I say to the dogs who disappointedly look at me before sprawling at my feet under the desk.
1.30 am, those two hours of work became four and I am just about ready to switch everything off and take those poor creatures out when the phone rings. It’s the school, and when the school calls is never good news. Either your child got injured or you forgot to pay the annual “extra voluntary contribution”. Because I am quite organised and precise when it comes to school stuff, I knew already something had happened to one of the girls. Daughter number one fell during her PE class and her shoulder was sore.
After a few seconds of mental swearing, not against the poor child, but against the bad timing and the fucked up morning I was having, I went to the kitchen to at least release the dog in the garden. To my total horror, I also realised I still have my weekly grocery shopping all over the counter. Too bad, sure I did have no time to put it away now, so I quickly stack the milk in the fridge hoping it was not already gone off and left while big years German and the little mad redhead watched me from the window even more confused and disappointed .
Daughter number one is waiting for me in the office with two schoolmates and the secretary who briefly explains what had happened and proudly shows me how she had bandaged the child to keep her arm still on the hips. I thank her, even if I don’t understand why she tied her arm to the hip while the problem is on her shoulder but I indeed appreciate how nicely she had looked after my kid who is now happily chatting away with her friends and looks pretty fine to me …till she gets up and turns around. Then I see it. Her left shoulder blade is all out. It’s sticking out so much that you can use it to hang Christmas decorations. “She might have dislocated her shoulder”, the school secretary says.
“You don’t say! But thankfully you secured her arm still thought.” I think and after thanking her again I drive straight to the closest A&E.
“Her shoulder seems fine to me and she is in no pain. I don’t think there is anything wrong.” The doctor says after barely looking at her.
“I think it’s dislocated, and if you look at it from behind you will see.”I insist.
“No the bone is like that because she has scoliosis.” He sticks to his assumption and turns the child with her back toward him.
“No, she doesn’t! “I firmly say sticking to the facts and with a slight hint of annoyance in my tone.
“Do you know what scoliosis is, mam?” He dares me and continues, ” it’s when the spine is bent, see..” he starts running his finger over her spine with a half-mocking smile like I am an idiot.
“Oh, the spine is perfectly straight!” He eventually exclaims with surprise.
-Who is the idiot now, eh?-
“I told you!!!” I say with no surprise at all but with a full big mocking smile.
“You might be right.” He eventually admits his defeat and asks daughter number one to lift her arm, and just like that, with a loud crack, the bone is back in its place.
X-rays are fine, nothing is broken and all the bones are where they are supposed to be. Two weeks with her arm in a sling around her neck and she should be as good as new.
After dropping the injured child home I go straight to pick up daughter number two from school and finally walk the dogs out.
5.30 pm I eventually have time to store the groceries away and that’s when I realise that those puppy eyes they were looking at me with, were not begging for a walk but for forgiveness.
Four butter croissants, gone; Two blocks of cheese, gone; a bag of mixed nuts, chewed and ripped and all over the floor.No wonder they were not even running that much and were incredibly quiet despite the lack of walk…they were stuffed like turkeys at Christmas! But in fairness what was I expecting….all those goodies were there for the entire day….No one would have resisted!
7.00 pm, I am longing for a glass but I have to drive daughter number two to her banjo class. Thank God the class is only half an hour and by 8.30 pm after scrambling some eggs I can enjoy my cabernet.
9.00 pm I am ready to finally take off the nighty I am still wearing under the jumper and the legging since the unexpected trip to the airport, shower and slip into a clean nighty.
10.00 pm I call it the end of this madly ordinary manic Monday.
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!