When Mediocre times go Bad in a significant fashion

At some point today, something is going to go wrong for you. It might be a small disaster, for instance putting some really noticeable dents in the front of your car because you failed to notice a small yet significant wall as you attempted to drive to the supermarket; or it might be a big disaster like running out of tea.
It therefore becomes necessary to learn how to deal with disaster in a calm and adult fashion so that when something untoward does occur, people don’t get the impression your hobby is doing Kate Bush impersonations.

I am rather lucky in that I was blessed with a Mammy who regards virtually anything as the end of the known universe. Ask her what she wants for dinner and she will end up with her head resting on the table, weeping quietly and saying that she doesn’t know but that she definitely doesn’t want any of the 18 things you’ve just suggested. This flair for melodrama is also present in Strider who has a tendency to huff grumpily and roll her eyes before shouting something about chavs and pikeys. It is also present in the local wildlife. Murders of crows flock overhead and caw balefully down at me whenever I venture from the house.
I have learned to be somewhat more laid back about things. I could spend my days getting annoyed by all the things that don’t happen as they are supposed to but when disaster occurs I find it far simpler just to deal with it. There is no point in shouting at people. It makes them unhappy and gives me a sore throat. What’s done is done, say I, just try not to do it again.

It also helps that I am deeply pessimistic. Whenever a disaster occurs, I can immediately think of lots of other things that could be going wrong and be grateful that they aren’t. So there’s a savage dog biting your leg? At least there’s only one of the little blighters! Your boyfriend has been having it away with your best friend? At least it wasn’t with a man named Clive! Your car appears to have been designed by Frank Gehry? At least it isn’t on fire! And so on.

Sometimes though, things happen about which nothing can be done. They cannot be fixed. They cannot be made to go away. Instead there is only the prospect of a future in which you strive to be strong enough for the people who can’t be strong for themselves.

I spent much of yesterday afternoon in the meat aisle of the supermarket looking confused. I spend so many of my days neither in the meat aisle nor looking confused, so it was nice to have a change. I also found myself reciting dialogue from 1984 in an effort to work out how many packets of sauce mix I needed. My list specified litres but the mix claims it makes a pint. Odd looks were sent in my direction.

The Boys who have been visiting think I’m a sad old wench but are too polite to say anything. I like to think they were impressed by my ability to crack walnuts with my bare hands (it’s all about technique and oblivion to pain). They weren’t but I like to think they were. They’ve gone off to Cork and Clare and will be back at the end of the week.

Anyway. My Great Aunt in Canada is imminently expected to become somewhat vitally challenged. There is nothing I can do for her.

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