“What are you up to tonight?” I asked my friend at work the other day.
“I’m going to my sisters for a takeaway, and I’m off tomorrow so I’m going day drinking in town with my friend,” she replied. “What about you?”
“Oh,” I replied seriously, without missing a beat. “I’ve got to urgently move my cheese plants from the window ledge, because I’ve discovered that they don’t like sunlight.”
My friend stared at me expectedly, awaiting the punch-line to the joke.
There was no punch-line. There was no joke. The joke is me, I am the joke.
And you know what? I did go home and move my cheese plants, in-between arranging my new cutlery tray (its bamboo - ooooh!), and watering my Boston Ferns. That was literally as wild as that night got, and I was KNACKERED after such commotion.
This was not how it was supposed to be.
Think back to being a kid, when we would defiantly declare that we ‘couldn’t WAIT to be a grown up!!’
... WHY? Why the actual hell did we waste our youth wishing our lives away into the depressive state that is adulthood?!
‘I can’t wait to not have my bedtime dictated by my parents and have loads of late nights!’ I once trilled.
Mate, if I crawl into my pit any later half nine, I feel fatigued for a year. I wish my Mum did still insist that I got my precious, short-lived eight hour slumbers – I reckon my grey hairs would reduce a bit!
You know what my summer plans are? Cleaning the oven, painting three bedrooms, wiping dog piss stains from the carpet, and looking into the quickest way to secure a divorce and claim full custody of the hamster.
Receiving mail used to be a somewhat thrilling occasion: could it be my new Oh Polly dress?! Or had Aunty Charl's birthday card and money finally turned up, 9 months late? Whatever is was, bill-less, montage-less me would undoubtedly discover something interesting beneath the envelopes.
... Came home the other day, opened the mail, pulled out a letter from Curries about the fridge guarantee, and an equally uninspiring leaflet about our recycling bin collection dates changing.
What a life.
This time five years ago - this EXACT time five years ago - I was spending my summer working and living in Ibiza. The only drama to grace my existence during that blissful period of time was that of reminding guests not to fart in the face of hotel staff (seriously), and ensuring that the two lads I was dating from the same hotel up the road never crossed paths.
Ibiza life... I jumped off a boat into the sea. I went on midnight dates to the beach. I went to watch the Vengaboys at the Hard Rock Hotel. And when I wasn't working, I even managed to be a full-parent to Admiral Bubbles, the apartment goldfish.
As much as I detest the expression, I really was ‘living my best life!’
Why did I ever want to grow up, get married, and get a house? Seriously?
This house that we ever so smugly proclaimed to be ‘ready to move into’ with ‘no work needed’ has proceeded to rinse us of both our remaining savings and sanity. (Goodbye money... There goes my plan to do a midnight abscond to Trinidad & Tobago and live out my days on a yacht, dancing to Sean Paul and eating corn on the cob for three meals a day.)
Everything is of Snow White fairytale quality when you view your ‘dream house’ for the first time. All of the current owner’s lovely trinkets and furniture are in place, giving the whole place a homely feel, PLUS, it smells distinctly of cupcakes...
Take all of that out, and you have a literal shell of SHITE that stinks of a combination of grubby hamster and Dettol. You discover, in horror, that the furniture was in fact hiding a suspicious brown stain on the cream carpet, and there are actual holes in the wall where the previous owners have viciously ripped down pictures...
When we bought the house, I initially booked three days off work, and I genuinely believed that every last thing would be in order by day three. I had visions of myself skipping into work, bright as a button, smelling of lavender and honeysuckle, handing out fresh flower cuts from my garden.
In reality, I was forced to request an extra two days off, during which I actually had a quarter life crisis.
There was no skipping; more like lumbering, attributable to the amount of weight I gained by eating takeaways all week.
There was no scent of lavender; anti-bacterial ‘apple orchard’ spray became my new whiff.
And there were no fresh cuts form the garden. No, I was far too busy clearing the rockery of snail shells, which happened to be the dog’s new favourite delicacy that week.
That was two weeks ago, and the house is actually less liveable now than it was back then!
I have been back at my Mum’s for the past few days, because her house has alllllll the basics – you know, working broadband, an endless supply of pasta, and Paddington 2 on DVD.
I’m starting to think that I’m some sort of bad omen to my house. Every time I visit, I end up in an argument with some appliance or another, and to be honest, I just don’t have the energy for this level of confrontation anymore.
I finally succumbed to insanity, and had a full blown meltdown at a washing machine. I spent a full hour trying to work out how to work the bloody thing, before somehow managing to set it to a pissing 9 hour spin... 9 HOURS! I was full-on sobbing, sprawled on the kitchen floor, using a tea towel as a blanket. It wasn’t my finest hour, I’ll be honest.
Then, I attempted to cook myself some pasta for tea (plain pasta, as we have NO condiments in whatsoever, aside a jar of hot chilli powder...). Clearly egged on by the washing machine, the hob decided to play up, and refused to light. In a rage, I picked up a handful of pasta spirals and launched them across the kitchen like javelins.
I felt like a 5 foot, 6 and a half stone Miss Trunchball. I even had the greasy bun to match.
I would say that the animals have provided us with a beacon of hope, but sadly, that is not the case.
Last weekend, the puppy decided to share his teething woes with us at 4am on Sunday morning. This escapade consisted of him biting into random objects around the room and then loudly crying out in pain to emphasise his point. I might have spared some sympathy had he not sunk his teeth into my pyjama top, narrowly missing one of my ‘breasts.’
He then started hankering to go out, so we took him downstairs into the garden.
He sat on the back step and looked up at us quizzically.
We took him back up.
Seconds later, he’s at the door again, whining to be let out.
Off we go again, downstairs, through the bomb site that is currently our living room, to have the same silliness repeated at the doorstep.
Again, we took him back upstairs, where he boldly squatted down and pissed all over the only carpet in the house that we’re not replacing.
I could have sworn I heard the hamster cackling from deep, dark depths of his lair in the downstairs bathroom.
The weirdest thing is that Marzipan has actually gone near-enough fully grey (makes two of us). I am not even exaggerating! I don’t really know what he has to be stressed about – that lad lives a life of luxury, and nothing less! Christ, I wish somebody kept me fed on chocolate drops and took me on days out to a cardboard beach!
Honestly, I really do despair!