Sunday, 12 August 2007

Suspicious Minds

Keris Stainton’s Smug Married column about couples not listening to each other rang a few bells (not wedding ones, Mother). While chuckling away I vaguely wondered what important thing The Australian has been trying to make me hear this week (I studiously ignore anything about finances, organising stuff, DIY, and Steve Jobs), and today I found out what it was.

Me: Why are you still on that laptop?
Him: What do you mean? I’m trying to find us somewhere to stay on the way down to the campsite – all the hotels in France are booked, I’ve been telling you this FOR WEEKS.
Me: No you haven’t.
Him: Are you kidding? What do you think I’ve been doing every single night for the last fortnight?
Me: Erm, picking your nose and reading tedious articles on
Him: *withering look*

To stop him blathering on, I told him I’d sort it. I regretted the promise immediately but managed to hide my fear by packing him off to the Farmers’ Market to purchase very hard bread, mud-encrusted vegetables and extortionate butter. And then I set to work…

Approximately six and a half minutes later, I’d booked a room. Considering the fact that he has been Googling auberges for about a fortnight and had no luck at all, I think we can assume that one of the following has occurred:

1. I’ve booked it for 2008
2. The hotel is an utter dump
3. It was a bogus booking form and I’ve just handed over my credit card details to a bunch of scammers
4. I’m a genius

I so badly want it to be 4 but with my track record it’s unlikely. Once, we nearly made an emergency phonecall to the building manager because of a ‘strange buzzing noise’ in our flat – turned out I’d left my ‘revolutionary’ Gillette Venus Vibrance on the glass shelf in the bathroom, ‘on’. And earlier today I poured an entire glass of water into the bin: I do these idiotic things with alarming frequency so I can’t have booked us a nice place on the right date for a decent price in under ten minutes . . . can I??

Also, I’m becoming increasingly suspicious of things that happen too easily. For example, it was very easy for me to secure my first agent. I didn’t even have to write a whole book to do it. And where did that get me? Wailing over a Dear John letter and back to Square One.

On the other hand, take birth – the one thing I can say I’ve done really well in recent years (though my mother is still complaining about ‘All the muck’ that apparently shot out of me and onto her nice new top during the most recent delivery). When I was pregnant with The Girl I went to a birthing class where I was told that Pain Is Positive. Bollocks, I thought, but now I know the midwife had a point. You just can't beat the elation of 14-hours of excruciating pain finally coming to an end- the knowledge that you did it, even though it seemed impossible along the way. And there's a baby too, which is nice.

This weekend, I managed to push out a small but healthy picture book (we’ll call him Finley), and I’m pleased to say that there was pain involved, and that the only medication I used was Earl Grey tea brought regularly by The (Very Obliging) Australian. My new policy is that if it’s not difficult, it’s going to bite me on the arse eventually. And with that in mind I've got a rewrite to be getting on with . . .

Meanwhile, The Australian showed the utmost faith in my hotel booking abilities upon returning from the market. He said 'I trust you, of course I trust you!' and looked me in the eyes while his fingers madly Googled the booking details. And to think that touch-typing was one of the first things that attracted me to him.

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