The Sorrow and the Pity

A couple of days ago, a woman I like immensely but rarely see got in touch out of the blue and, after a very few texts, we’d arranged to meet for brunch. Lovely. Then I went all paranoidy and started wondering if she knew, somehow, about my situation and was only asking me because she felt sorry for me.

This has become something of a habitual thought pattern for me over the last couple of months, since I found out about my husband’s affair. Anyone who was particularly nice, anyone who said, ‘How are you?’ in way one reserves for the particularly unfortunate, anyone who appeared to look at me with concern, I immediately assumed they knew and it would throw me into a spin. My major concern, at that point, was preventing my children finding out and, of course, the more people that knew, the greater the risk that it would get back to them. That was part of the reason it bothered me – and that sounds rather laudable and unselfish, doesn’t it? But that was only part of  it.

I hate – absolutely HATE – feeling like the object of pity. Maybe everyone does. I don’t know. To be honest, I’ve ever asked anyone. Maybe I should. And I think my freakishly calm reaction to this whole being-dumped-after-so-many-years-of-marriage thing has been conditioned by that sentiment. I’m all, ‘I’ll be fine. Of course it’s very sad, but I’ll be absolutely fine. Don’t you worry about me!’. Pride, you see. It’s the original Original Sin. And it comes before a fall, doesn’t it? Maybe that’s why I’ve ended up in this situation.

Anyway, it’s almost time to come out in the open about my situation, and anyone who doesn’t know, will know. And there’ll be plenty of ‘How are you?’s. Plenty of kindness and concerned looks and invitations out of the blue for brunch. I’ll be an object of pity. Of course I will. I’m the betrayed wife. The one they made a fool of. What could be more pitiable? But I’m learning … I hope. I’m going to shift my point of view and park that stupid pride for a bit.

Because how lucky am I, in the midst of all this mess and heartache and sorrow, to have people around me who care enough to pity me? Who care enough to invite me for brunch, to ask the awkward question, to text me just to check how I am, to see past my stupid glib assurances and my pretended strength.

Very lucky. Very lucky indeed.

And now … the weather

I confidently predict torrential rain on Wednesday, no matter what those amateurs at the BBC may suggest.

But why? How can I possibly be so sure?

It’s not the (non-existant) barometer in my hallway. It’s not the (also non-existant) seaweed hanging above the door. It’s not even a funny feeling in my elbow.

It’s my sister.

Wednesday is the day she goes to collect the Christian Aid envelopes she delivered last week and, going on the experience of previous years, she’ll be in for a dousing because, as we all know, no good deed goes unpunished.

She doesn’t seem to mind, phlegmatic little thing that she is. People are more likely to be at home, she reckons, if it’s raining. And, again on past performance, if she turns up on the doorstep looking like a drowned rat, she gets the sympathy vote and people seem to donate more.

That’s what she thinks, anyway. I hate to shatter her illusions, but their charitable donation may not be quite as pure and selfless as she imagines.

(This is not my sister, by the way. I borrowed this one. Mine is a hundred times more gorgeous.)

Things I never thought I would end up doing (part 1)

The other night, one of my cats brought in a mouse. It escaped for a moment and seemed to be salvageable so I thought I’d salvage it. Unfortunately, my cat (Smudge) also had the same idea and grabbed the mouse before I could get to him.

This is not my cat, by the way. Mine is a hundred times more handsome. And very determined.

So there I was with this wretched cat clamped between my knees and my left hand cupped under his mouth ready to catch the mouse when he eventually let go or loosened his grip, at least.

And I waited. And I waited.

And all the time Smudge is doing this furious growling thing.

And I waited. And I tried to lever his jaws open, to no avail.

So, in desperation, I held his nose.

That’s right – I held a cat’s nose.

And eventually, he dropped the mouse and I released it outside.

There – you heard it here first. I have held a cat’s nose.

 

You know, the worst of it is, this actually enhances my CV. God! I’m so proud of myself!

Duh …

 

I’ve just spectacularly failed to put a Justgiving widget into my sidebar (yeah, it’s all Greek to me too), because (apparently) the text widget won’t accept anything fancier than straight html.

Yeah – whatever.

So i’m trying again here:

Oh blast! I’ll just have to settle for a link for now.

Anyway, the point is my son is lucky enough to be taking part in one of the OXJAM events: a newly devised youth production of Pink Floyd’s The Wall at The Dream Factory, a purpose-built (and quite wonderful) theatre for young people in Warwick. It’s going to be fabbydabbydoo (and I’m obviously quite unbiased) so come along, do. Or if you can’t, you can always sponsor him (but until I can work out how to do the widget, just click above). Pretty please. 

Damnit! If I had a brain, I’d be dangerous!!!!

(Haha and tralala – I’ve managed to get A widget in me sidebar – ooermissus – but not THE widget – the very posh one that shows you how you’re progressing towards your target. If I had, you would see that a vair vair nice man has been vair vair nice already.)