Thursday, December 18, 2014

Desperate times

When you’re a person who loves Christmas, but it takes you two days to decorate your three foot high tree and you hear yourself saying “Fuck off” to a Christmas tree decoration, you know you’re feeling blue. The short days, the cloudy skies, the rain…they’re all conspiring to make me want to hibernate. I forced myself to go out in the rain on the Trail for a ten mile ride on my bike yesterday and I came home dripping wet but feeling better.

A confession: sometimes when I’m fed up in the winter, I stay in bed late and dip into my favourite bits from one of my Plotting books to cheer myself up. Today it’s been Plotting for Grown-ups and the bits where Sally tells her kids she has got a new man. I love those bits even if it isn’t the done thing to say so.

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Here is an excerpt where Sally attempts to tell her lovable, errant son Sam that she’s moving on:

“It’s about me and Dad. You haven’t been home for so long, I really can’t remember if you know the full story. I mean, do you know that we’ve agreed it’s over between us, and he’s staying in his cabin in the Rockies for keeps?”

“Course I know. He’s really cool, isn’t he?”

Cool? Cool? That’s not the word I would use.

“So we are separated, Sam.”

“Well, yeah.”

“I mean in the marriage sense.”

“So?”

“Don’t you care? What do you mean – so?”

“Well it hardly makes any difference, does it? I mean, you’re both past it now. You’ve fulfilled your genetic imperative and you’re finished.”

Sometimes I could strangle that boy. Sometimes I could strangle Gus. They are so alike, those two! If we’re talking genetics, it’s clear to me that I married beneath my gene pool. I am so much more evolved than either of them. I absolutely am not finished. I was very tempted to tell him about Kit and me and the last few days, but I couldn’t face his reaction. Anyway, is there any point?

3a3 11x7pt2 Light Blue HeartRib Layers CheckedRibon

And here is the next time she broaches the subject:

“I told you that he’s a friend, Sam, but he’s more than that. We’re a couple. An item. And, shock, horror, we sleep together.”

“At your age?”

“Yes, at my age!”

“Oh, you mean for companionship. Like mates. Well, if that’s what you want – cool. So long as you steer clear of the squelchy stuff.”

“Listen, Sam. I know you think I’ve fulfilled my biological imperative and therefore I’m past it, but that’s based on the premise that people only have sex in order to have children. I’m damn sure you and Xanthe don’t want children.” An awful thought struck me. “Do you?”

“Course not. But we’re young. People your age having sex is perverted. I mean – how can you even fancy someone when they’re as old as you? It’s bordering on necrophilia. No offence.”

“I’ll have you know that the fastest growing incidence of sexually transmitted diseases is in the over-60s.”

“Oh, gross. I’m out of here. I don’t have to listen to this. It’s as bad as listening to X reading out the technical bits from Fifty Shades of Grey.”

Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Why on earth did I mention STDs?

Now I’m going to get up, finish the tree, put the boxes away in the attic, and clean. Yes: clean. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

4 comments:

Christine said...

Cleaning? Oh no: surely it can't be that bad, Sue?

Sue Hepworth said...

Oh yes. And I've tweaked the blog post to tell you so.

Anonymous said...

I'm not exactly swearing at the baubles but I'm not full of the festive spirit either. This time of year (winter, Christmas) is always tough. I don't think we are alone but you have to do whatever gets you through - if you need some more cleaning please come here!!

Why are those your favourite bits?

Here's to some good cheer soon xx

Sue Hepworth said...

Hi Anonymous, I have quite enough cleaning to keep me going until next Christmas, thanks.
I like those bits (they're not my only favourite bits) because even after writing them myself, rewriting them, having Jane tweak them, and then having proof read them twice, they make me smile. There is such a gulf of understanding between the old and the young. Basically I still feel young where some things are concerned, even if I look ancient. I realise that it's not just Sam's comments on his mother's new love-life, it's Nina's very different perspective too which amuses me, both of which differ from that of the saner, more laid back Dan.
Yes re the good cheer. the nearer Christmas gets, the better for me. xx