The Last time I saw Dick

The last time I spoke to my husband was a year ago, he contacted me- first time since the separation hearing- because he got a letter informing him that he had to pay property tax on our flat, and it wasn’t fair. As I read his name, there was a flood of emotion. Not hatred, not hatred. Just the memory of when his name went with mine, when we were tied up together. His name, his name, the name I was forced to sign after my own on the act of sale when we bought the apartment, even though I didn’t take his stupid name because I didn’t want to, and I already had my own double barrelled name anyway. But they were all men around the table.

There was the ancient white haired notary, impeccable, ivory hands like a pope’s, latest in a long line of king’s lackeys, Oh the money that man skims off the top. The cream of my life’s earnings. Then my father, shaking hands and knocking his fist on the table, asking if it’s mahogany, one piece? What a table. One solid piece of wood. One of these for the office, eh? Waggling his eyebrows at me. So alien to us, the legal, the formal world. He’s a businessman, there’s a certain amount of respect for him even though he’s scruffy and unconventional with bitten cuticles and a battered leather briefcase. Me, dressed up nice, makeup, well groomed for an Irish woman but not quite up to Italian standards. I was just a little girl to them, playing house, peering over the shoulders of the men. And there we were, my dad, my Papi, who was getting more estranged from me every day, and my husband, and then the owner, a weasly man waving his hand sickly to indicate all the properties he owned, who regarded our odd little family with some disgust. Foreigners, and an Italian who didn’t drive or dress in the style he could clearly afford to. Those men, they just looked at me blankly as I said I didn’t want to sign his name after mine on all the documents.

Why should I?  I elected not to take his name when we married. Isn’t a signature something important, something expressive? How could I SIGN a name that isn’t mine? They just looked at me and said “that’s how we do things in Italy.” I said no, it’s not my name. There were so many pages in that document, each to be signed. Each page. And it wasn’t my name. But my dad said this isn’t Ireland, this is how it goes here. I bristled. The little notary added, trying to help, trying to move it all along, because his time was more money than I could imagine, he said “it’s so we know who you are, who the document is talking about.” Without my husband’s name at the end, presumably, I could have been anyone, anyone. I wonder if an unmarried couple buys a house, how the hell anyone knows whose name that is, with the female name, the name unattached to any man mentioned. Who is she, if not someone’s wife?

But this feminist blather, I couldn’t even begin to verbalise. I was outnumbered, and making too much of it, so I swallowed the bile and gracelessly signed around 80 times, 80 times, like I’d been a bad girl, 80 times to drill it into me, Abby Natascha Di Gianni Flicker in Garcia Ramirez, over and over as the men watched until I had hot tears stinging my eyes, and I fell into a place where the words had a beat, and it drummed through my fingers, Abby Natascha Di Gianni Flicker in Garcia Ramirez, again and again and again and my fingers cramped and seized up, it wasn’t fair, nothing was fair, I was buying a lousy little apartment that needed work, and I was the only one of us with any money at all, and I was putting my every penny into the notary fees, to pay the little man, and the estate agent fees, so Graziella could have her Jimmy Choos, the odious woman, almost deformed by her sense of style. Blue mascara and perma tan and frosted lips, and everything so bright and lifted, a sad caricature of youth.

All my money, my grandparents’ generous gift to me, into this apartment with this man, and I loved him still then, but then I know that I had learnt to love alongside hate, too. Stubbornly, because I didn’t want to let go of love wherever I found it, it was too intoxicating. And I sort of always hated him, from the beginning, when he was awful and cruel and used me. And made me feel stupid, or invalid, or like a silly woman, when I was so much cleverer than him. Perhaps that was why he did it.

So I handed over the money, all those thousands, I never saw money like that before or since, and the notary thanked me but it was nothing to him. It was just some kids playing house, plankton, and he had such big fish. But it was all the money I ever had. And then three years later, a year ago, maybe, he emails me, this man whose name I signed with mine, his name brings me back to that table made from one piece of mahogany and impregnated with the metallics of sweat and money. And after his name, after I let myself float off into venomous memory, it subsides, and I can read the message.

We haven’t spoken in so long, it’s surreal to converse with him. Scary, because for so long he’s inhabited a world that’s unchangeable, fixed- that is, the past, but now he’s writing to me and I remember how volatile and poisonous he became, so I’m very aware that this exchange now is not fixed, this is all being written as I write, as I choose my reply. Choose carefully. He holds some power still, to fuck with my life. So I read and reread, and think before I type. He says they’re asking him for property tax, but it’s not fair, because he doesn’t even live in the apartment, so why should he pay? Oh, fair. That word. What is fair? Who teaches us the word, even? What use does it have? The last time you could judge a thing to be fair, I believe it was a birthday party and somebody was cutting the cake with Pythagoras theorems and a spirit level. I point my index finger at the computer screen and its neighbours squeeze tight into a fist. It’s a strange gesture, I’ve never made it before. But I must be physical, or I’ll burst something in my head. My jaw is clenched too.

Oh you you you… Not fair. Not fair to leave me with the whole mortgage, and all those old bills, and never pay, knowing if you don’t I will, and if I don’t, my father has to, because he’s our guarantor. And all the money I put in, and all the money my dad put in, and then you say it’s not fair I get to live in the apartment.

When I told my lawyer, the bitch with the sexless frame stamped in Versace, when I told her he moved out, and never paid me another cent, she told me firmly, you’re a fool. she didn’t think much of my dad or I. She was polite to him, and talked to me like I hadn’t just got married too young, but more like I’d come over from Estonia and given my passport and money to a man in a van who claimed he was a modelling agent. She glared at me as I spoke, her jaw sharp enough to castrate, and I never knew if I was giving her too much information or too little, but she thought I was a damned fool for not trying to get anything from him when we split, and not just that, but to lose money too.

I asked her if I could sue him for the money he owed me, but she said no, there was no point, it would cost more to sue than I’d get back. And he could just skip the country anyway. That wasn’t fair. Debt is an awful thing, it hangs around your neck like a bag of rocks, and it hurts because it’s heavy but also you remember when you picked up those rocks, and you remember that you made that choice for yourself, back then, and you didn’t care it would hurt now because it was good then. It was hard to be stuck in Italy for a year on my own, with a separation, having lost my closest ally in the country, and custody of all our friends, and with my little sisters wanting to cheer me up but lacking the tools, because they were too young. And with that debt, but it was worse still because it wasn’t my debt, and I hadn’t picked up the rocks.

They were his, him, the man with the name, the name they slapped on me, and he left when he wanted, he moved on as soon as he was ready, he met a new girl, kept the visa from our marriage, met his new girl. An Italian. She’s older than me, less attractive, simpler looking. The kind of girl a man would go crazy to love, because she’d make him happy. Not me. I don’t make men happy. I drag them down, and up, and down again. I’m sweet sometimes but then maybe too sweet, and then I’m all claws and pathos and I need, need need. And I’m not sure of anything but I’m passionate about it all, passionately optimistic, but nihilistic, and obsessive and compulsive and impulsive and lazy and hopeless and full of scorn. A woman like that, all simplicity, grounded, real; god, I’ve looked down on that kind of wman but she could make a man happy.

I don’t feel jealous, no, he’s a stranger now, I look at his face and I don’t even know if I remember anything about him, anything I used to know, his secrets, his face, the lines… Oh yes, but there were lines under his eyes, in a sort of network, I remember looking at them, scrutinising his face and thinking he’s older than me, he’ll die first, and I’ll be so lonely without him. But that was another face, and another version of me. there isn’t a grain left of the girl who loved him or cared if he lived or died. I’m not jealous, not of that petty, greedy, mean bully. I’m not jealous. It just feels sad, sometimes, that the people who aren’t good enough for me, supposedly, well, they’re much more capable of finding happiness. Simplicity, and perhaps humility. I find it harder now,because I want so much, and I start to wonder if all my self satisfaction isn’t just self soothing, and maybe i don’t have anything to offer a man after all.

Maybe I’m just young, and men are attracted to me, and I’m intelligent, so I tell myself I’m this full package, this wonderful woman, too good for most I meet. But I’m lonely, now, sometimes. Not in my own thoughts. It’s the physical space, it starts to feel like time for me to move on, onto someone, try it again, more sensible this time, less of a fool, or a different kind of fool. I’m not jealous he moved on, I’m just sad that he’s better at it than I am, that I’m the one still recalling these moments with anger because he’s the last person to share my life, and I haven’t found someone to fill that space since, not really. And tonight, he wrote to me again, a year since we last exchanged some curt, emotionless words, and tonight he asks not for money, but for information. When are we getting divorced? When can we apply? Can we already? Are we good to go?

It occurs to me, he wants to marry his girlfriend. I tell him October. We’ll need a lawyer. A lady told me we could share one, if it’s amicable. I snorted.

Amicable, like our marriage. He never hit me.

He never hit me. But I took a fucking pummelling.

Tonight I tell him October, and I’m about to say we need a lawyer, but I choose not to. I don’t need to enter a discussion with him now. I can’t bear to let him back into my reality. He’s boxed up, fixed, sealed, he stays the same, in the past. If I engage with him now, I can’t… it’s all old. It’s all been pored over, I’ve woven all my own justifications around the past, processed everything, and now I’m firmly in the right, and I didn’t hurt him, no, he deserved it. And anyway I was hurt too.  And he got a visa, and I got his debt. So it’s all set in stone, and let it rest. Please.

But sooner or later i’ll have to not just engage, but speak face to face with him.

With husband. Dick.

The last time I saw Dick was Italy, two years ago, and I had lost weight and given up smoking and I felt so good and happy to be casting off the things that held me, that saddened me. I wore a blue dress I’d bought before our wedding, that I’d considered getting married in but it was a bit tight and then it got too tight altogether as I put on weight.

I had never worn it before, and he didn’t know it was nearly my wedding dress. But I knew, and it gave me a secret power. I wore it confidently, looking great, looking much better than I looked on my wedding day. I felt better. I felt free, or closer to it than ever. In the pit of my stomach was a little twisted piece of pleasure, because I was wearing a dress I couldn’t wear while we were together, and now I was better, a better version of myself without him. We met outside and walked in, the Palazzo di giustizia, big awful hideous eyesore, reminds me always of the Ministries in 1984. Minitru, Miniluv… We walked past staircase A, B, C… it’s a huge complex. A path runs all around, and it takes ages. Lawyers everywhere. The invisible strings of money and power whipping past as heels clicked neatly. Ball stomping heels.

We made small talk. Waited outside the courtroom, finally were ushered in. An old man, a beautiful old man with crinkled eyes and an appropriately gentle smile for us,  in a little room. He was the judge, apparently. I expected an amphitheatre of a court room. Of course it wouldn’t be that. It was a little office. We sat in rows facing the judge. Mari Angela, my lawyer. Dick. Me. I remembered our wedding day. The stony faced registrar asking do you, and Dick bellowed “ABSOLUTELY.” And I was embarrassed, a little, and annoyed that he did it and not I, and then I was going to be the boring one who said I do.

But the judge read our statement made nine months before when we had really split, and the terms of the separation, which I craned my neck to see because I remembered his tears falling on the page and a sick part of me wanted to see the smudged writing. We agreed and signed, and I signed my own name, and then the judge said you are now legally separated, and I wish you the best of luck. And his eyes were on mine as he said that, and I got a feeling of his wishing me well, specifically me, and his understanding, in those eyes, of what I had escaped from, the sad stifled life. I felt he must see so many couples do what we did, and he must catch these glimpses. But his eyes sought me out, and I thought he recognised me and understood. And I felt the whoosh of freedom, and my mouth stretched out into a grin, and I begged myself to stop grinning, to switch it off, go back to the sombre divorce face, it was so rude, so cruel to grin, god, no, and Dick there looking sad and lost. I couldn’t stop smiling so I smirked, but that was awful too, so I strained and strained and covered my face with a hand and scratched my nose, desperately. But the smile leaked out anyway and I was just grateful my body didn’t break out into a dance, or leap into the air, because it felt like it might have.

Oh, to be truly free. October, October. How long will it take and how much will it cost, to get there?

To finally leave him behind, Dick, his name, his face, his part in my life.

If breakups are like sex, and they’re not, then this right here is the orgasm

I just came gooey closure all over the place.

I’m a free woman!

Well not really, but I AM CONSIDERABLY MORE FREE THAN I WAS!

He signed, the bitch ass mofo I’d regret ever having met if I didn’t think I’d make this mistake anyway with someone else, he signed and now I’m a legally separated non smoking tooth FLOSSING (yeah I bought floss, word!) ass kicker and it’s my birthday in less than 3 weeks and someone’s bound to give me money for that or buy me shoes I get to pick out myself so YEAH! Right on!

I’m so freaking happy.

This morning was sunny and warm but there was a mad multi-directional wind stirring up the fallen leaves and grit and dust with an eerie howling. This city is a freaking dustbowl so wind is decidedly unpleasant. It gits in your eyes, it fucks up your hair. But I was walking down the street with my dolphin folder (the only folder I have that keeps my documents in presentable condition) and I felt like Storm, I was feeling badass and purposeful and I looked good and the weird wind was stirring shit up around me as I walked so my ego supplied the “it’s because of my powers” bit and it was cool.

I tried my new dress with leggings (I like leggings, I wear them whenever a dress is too short and somehow if you wear tights it’s slutty but leggings are ok even though you show the same amount of leg/buttock) but it looked shit because my only leggings are black or brown and the skirt of the dress is black and I considered being a total badass and doing brown and black but in the end I will admit, it looked shitty. Not that all brown and black looks shitty, but this did.

So I fumbled and panicked and thought holy crap what if I’m late for court because I have nothing to wear? But then I tried on this blue dress that was just long enough to not be in any way unsuitable: I had this paranoia that the judge would be like “I find your outfit to be in contempt of court!” and bang his gavel and I wouldn’t be allowed my separation because I looked too slutty. So I wore this blue dress that was kind of like something Kate Middleton would wear… if she didn’t have any money. And I put a little cropped jacket on top of that and a pair of flat black pumps that make my feet stink because they are plastic imitation leather but as long as I don’t take them off in court, no one would know! In fact I took them off now and man that is nasty shit.

But I looked good if completely unlike my usual self. I arrived early and just in time to see husband in a WHITE SHIRT that was kinda too short for him (he borrowed it, but I appreciate the effort, it’s surprising) and worn but clean jeans and oh man cringe, a belt buckle that is actually a knuckle duster. So they were taking the weapon from him and putting it in a locker because obviously you can’t bring that shit to court. But no problem, we met and it was friendly but I was wary because of last time we met and he was friendly.

We went to a vending machine because it was the only thing to do, and I bought water and he asked for a water so I bought him a water. Then I was fidgeting and thinking maybe I would need to pee if I drank too much water and hey I’m already halfway through it, so I bought a kinder bar and it got stuck on the spiral and wouldn’t fall out. We were inside the building full of lawyers and I wasn’t sure what the general consensus was on tilting vending machines. Husband saw my plight and stepped in, shaking the damn thing like a madman until I got my bar and the lawyer appeared at that moment.

My bitch lawyer was tied up in a more important case so she had sent her colleague to show us where to wait- she joined a few minutes later. It’s this monstrous ministry of justice type Orwellian structure that takes up about 3 blocks on each side, so it’s about 9 blocks of this terrifying fortress with all metal detectors and more lawyer than you could shake a stick at (and it’s not advisable to threaten lawyers, let me tell you) and it’s not easy to find the different rooms and offices and whatnot. We walked past lawyers and lots of them were hot. Later! Later I will be free. I wish it was like tv, where every time you see an attractive person they will invariably ask you out or at least flirt with you. Damn Californication and Sex and The City, if the USA is really like that then I’m wasting my time here. If it’s a lie, they should TELL US. It’s not fair making us depressed because we don’t live in the magical land of promiscuity and phone number exchange and true one night stands. Anyway. A sermon for another day perhaps.

We chatted amiably, the lawyer getting a few details from husband for some forms he had to finish. When asked occupation etc, husband threw out some bitter, spiteful replies like “oh I USED to work for my father in law, but until he threw me out on the street!” and I was freaking out he was going to pull the same shit as before and I was glad I hadn’t worn mascara in case I had to cry again. I steered the conversation as good naturedly as I could into neutral waters.

He noticed my dolphin folder with a pang, I could tell, because I used to laugh like a dolphin to entertain him. I noticed him seeing it and thinking of that, and he noticed me noticing, so that was kind of awkward.

I have a tendency to smile giddily when I don’t know what to do, or when I’m uncomfortable, so I was constantly trying not to look too happy in case he got all upset and decided not to sign.

I kept a sober look on my face but a smirk kept creeping up on the wizened side of my mouth and I kept having to knock it back…

The lawyer started ranting about the poor distribution of wealth in the world today. “If we don’t stop eating the world, there won’t be any left!” He said, holding a manilla folder flat on one hand. “Look, this is a piece of meat: If we eat that, and we all eat it, there won’t be any left then!” he swiped the folder away drammatically and hid it under one arm.

“This is what the world is doing! There won’t be any left! Either we go on like this, or we stop!”

I found it really odd that he chose this moment and totally out of the blue, to go on a tirade against the society bent on consumerism, especially as eh… he’s a lawyer for fucks sake, he’s got more than his share of the meat.

But maybe it was just to distract husband or something from more personal subjects. We were all able to chime in with a few generic, oh its a shame, the world today, huh! kind of platitudes, and then my real lawyer arrived, the megabitch. I think she hates me. I don’t know exactly why but I get a strong vibe of hatred from her. I think because last week I cried copious amounts in front of her and she started asking me stuff as I was trying to inhale snot back down my oesophagus without her knowing, and I was like can I have some water or something? And she looked really pissed off and brought me a plastic shot glass with water in it, and then she had to call me twice yesterday which she REALLY didn’t like because I stupidly sent her some scanned papers in a “mysterious, unopenable” format (JPEG) and had to resend in pdf.

But anyway, I don’t care, she’s my lawyer, we pay her, me and my dad. (well, just my dad)

I think she hates my dad too, because he got all passionate about my ex being a rat and she just wanted to ask pointed questions about important stuff.

Anyway she’s the megabitch but I love her with all my heart because she added this thing into my separation agreement that I didn’t even know existed, which is that normally married people, if they want to get a new passport, they have to get the signature of their spouse as permission! Or else, no passport! WTF? Draconian, much? Is this a muslim country or some shit? But my megabitch lawyer put a thing in that releases us from that obligation, we both give full consent to the other to get a new passport. WHAT THE FUCK KINDA LAW? Good thing I got my lawyer. I wanted to hug her after we left, but I shook her bony skeletor hand. It was cold. I imagined hugging her would probably be like hugging a collapsed tent.

The hearing itself was a joke. I wasted so much energy worrying about not looking Ally MacBeal enough for the fucking amphitheatre with all the wood and wig-wearing judges and random people in the viewing gallery for some reason… But it was actually just a little office with a desk covered in papers, and four comfy pleather chairs on one side and behind it, a little old man with a nice crinkly santa face and a tight lipped female secretary.

We took our seats and said good day a few times. I think I said good day about 7 times, I was really nervous. It was so unlike what I expected, I broke into a sweat thinking maybe there was some massively important piece of judge etiquette I was ignoring, like saying your honour or putting my hand on my heart or something, but the lawyer didn’t look more pissed off than usual so I sat down and grinned manicaly and my husband sat down and slouched and I though oh my god can you not just sit up straight for two seconds, he’s a JUDGE? But I grit my teeth and thought this is the guy you’re divorcing, you’re divorcing this slouchy, had-to-borrow-a-shirt, knuckle-duster-belt-wearing cowboy.

The cat-arse-mouthed secretary woman asked a few confirmation questions like name, age, date of birth, address… husband was just like “yeah,” or said the name of the city instead of address so I had to prompt him.

The kindly faced old gent looked up for a second, asked “are you sure you want to get separated?”

I said YES with 10 months’ pressure behind that word.

Husband must have nodded but I was facing santa so I didn’t see, then santa read over our agreement in one breath. …contracted marriage 06 June 2009 swear they are self sufficient and renounce the right to maintenance cheques, grant each other permission to renew passports etc…. dadadadadada and now sign here and you (to me) sign BELOW your husband. With a flicker of elation I realise that is possibly the last time I am shunted to the back, because the man goes first… fuck that. I’m an independent woman now. WOO WOO!

So we signed and he said, good luck with your separation and gave me a smile that was just short of a wink, but I felt like he could tell straight up what kind of messer I had gotten involved with. I was looking all classy like a poor man’s Kate Middleton, and I showed up with this slouching too small shirted guy, and I had to answer most of the questions because husband seemed kinda stumped.

I couldn’t believe it.

We left the office and it was like, that was IT?

I shook my lawyer’s icy claw and received a vigorous hand-pump from her anti-consumerism colleague, and exited with husband because it seemed rude and bad form to not leave together after everything.

He was walking fast like he wanted to get away, but I knew it was the last time we would talk and it was better to possibly encroach on his personal space and wish to be left alone one last time than to leave things weird like this.

So we chatted, I repeated a few things like “oh the papers will be ready in a month but you don’t need to come in to get them, it’s just a formality.” and whatever. He threw a few little digs about how my dad and I kept changing our minds about what would happen to the apartment and stuff, and that was why he wanted to drag things on. I decided to ignore the slightly-off logic of that because he knows there was nothing else we could have done, and I’ve talked to him at length about this. He just wants to blame me for shit. but it’s over now. I’m not arguing, he can think what he likes.

Then we kissed on the cheek and wished each other luck and said laughingly “I’ll see you around the clubs!” and it was friendly and then he crossed the road through some gridlocked traffic to get his bike, and I went to get the bus, and the face I left was a smiling, laughing one. Whether it was really happy or horribly depressed I don’t know really, but I’m glad we left it like that, like us, because we always did get along well, we’re just totally at odds with each other morality and worldview-wise. But I’m glad we parted like this, and it kind of takes the edge off the fact that last week he had me wishing I was stronger so I could beat the crap out of him, and wishing he would just spontanously drop dead.

I’m done. I’m out.

I’m not divorced, I’ll be eligible for divorce in 3 years from today. But he doesn’t have to show up for that. I can get the divorce without him being in the same country even. His input is no longer required.

I feel like I’ve betrayed the me that was in love with him three and two years ago, but then that me back then didn’t think too hard about how it would affect this me, so she can fuck off.

Two and a half years later, I’m looking better than on my wedding day, I feel better, I’m stronger, I’m happier, I’m not smoking, IM GONNA GO GET SO FUCKING DRUNK TONIGHT.

P.S. Thank you guys for all the support.

: )

I got 99 problems and a bitch is, at the very least, 1.

It’s the final countdown doop ba doo bop, doo ba doop bop doo,

etc.

I’m like a kid on Christmas Eve, except in a household where receiving coal is a real possibility.

Whether I’ve been naughty or nice doesn’t come into it either. In this metaphor I am at the mercy of some very emotional parents.

Anyway. I will now abandon that metaphor. Methaphors don’t really get us anywhere. I actually find reading metaphors irritating. Sorry then for using them like they’re mini tampons. Sorry again for the tampon imagery. Where was I?

I got up at 8am this morning to get these documents for my lawyer, just in case husband aka smegface aka soon to be my ex… no wait he’ll still be my husband… Estranged? Estranged, is that the word? That sounds a bit underwhelming to me. Like we had a fight and may get back together. NOT A HOPE OF THAT.

So I feel all purposeful and like I’m seizing the day, because I got up at 8am which is half an hour before my alarm normally goes off but 1 hour 15 minutes before I actually get up.

I feel like I just seized the day, kissed it firmly on the mouth, bit its lower lip, pressed up against it and made it wish it had a rubber.

I even had breakfast, a pot of yoghurt.

I had to throw out the muesli which was uncool because I had a whole load of different mueslis. (Well, half the bag of each left… I eat all the papaya bits in the first few bowls and then the granola bit bores the hell out of me so I buy more muesli. Actually I don’t care so much because it was all granola I had to throw out.)

There appear to be a couple of moths left in the kitchen but I have to say my kitchen has never been this clean, there isn’t really anywhere to hide. It’ll never sparkle like a cleaning product ad “after” kitchen, because it’s got those horrible tiles that never look clean….. and I know there are layers of dust on top of the fridge that my feather duster couldn’t dislodge because it’s partly oil from cooking… I will have to give it a proper go with cillit bang some time, but I’m pretty impressed with the change.. it’s a massive improvement.

I just hope those bastards don’t have eggs anywhere. I want them gone so I can buy rice again.

URGH! I was pretty upbeat, and then way to ruin my mood:

STUPID BITCH CUSTOMER!

This woman comes in and to be perfectly honest, which is how I roll dontcha know, I am mostly pissed off because I realise I was a big ole bitch to her too.

She made me be a bitch, but I could have been nice. See she came into my shop where I was peacefully writing my blog about feeling pretty damn good, and she comes in with a sour face and itching for a fight. She comes in where I’m tolerating my day and bursting with the desire for it to be tomorrow already. She comes in and starts giving out to ME for some shit my colleague may have told her, that her receipt would be ready in 15 days or something which sounds very unlike my colleague because these special fattura receipts are really fucking hassley and only the boss can do them, so saying it will be ready for this pain in the ass customer in 15 days is like answering “3.5cm” to the question how long is a piece of string. The boss will do it when the boss will do it. We are legally required to do this shit for customers if they ask for it but it’s a stupid law no one obeys and it’s a clothes shop, so I don’t know what nitpicking moneygrabbing fucker is claiming tax back on clothes.

The people who ask for the fattura in my shop are usually part of amateur drammatics societies buying costumes for plays. This instantly chafes my social receptors because I am suspicious and queasy around people who are so fucking motivated that they actually think up hobbies to keep them occupied after they get home from work.

It sickens me, who do they think they are, prancing around for free, doing shit that makes them happy while mmy hobby is to wallow in my own filth and feelings in the comfort and safety of my own home? Of course if I liked theatre it would be different. But this is my brain we’re chugging through, if I wanna be hypocritcal and suspicious of anyone who likes different things to me, it is, in the words of Britney Spears, my pre-ro-ga-tive.

Anyway this bitch comes in all guns blazing and I parry her bad vibes with ice bitch impatience and lack of empathy. You come in here all angry, fuck you. I’m not here to help, I’m not customer service who’s gonna be all “I’m so sorry ma’am, what a frustrating experience for you”, you can actually go fuck yourself, my job here, what I’m being paid to do, is unite people with money with things they would be willing to give me their money for.

That is all.

Here by the way, is one of my favorite series and depicts one of my recurring dreams.

Pretty rampant in the world of customers is the attitude that the people in the service industry are somehow the servants or even employees of the customer. This is incorrect. We are the employees of the people who employ us, the boss, the capo, the jefe if you will.

We are nicer to customers than they deserve because this is in line with the empoyer’s guidelines to maximise likelihood of money being relinquished by customers.

When we say yes ma’am thank you ma’am, it is an empty platitude. We smile with our mouths and not our eyes, if you haven’t noticed. If you think that shine in the eyeball is a shine of happiness or genuine interest, don’t be so foolish. Even glass shines.

Sometimes we really are being friendly out of the goodness of our personalities. Sometimes we say “it suits you” and we mean it. Sometimes when you spend a decent amount we know our boss will be pleased with us, and we sincerely thank you very much and hope you come again.

But we are not the modern day equivalent of your fucking chambermaid. Customers like to think they are in some higher class than waiters, barmen, retail assistants and such. I’m a customer too, in other shops. This isn’t Gucci or some shit. I shop in more expensive stores than my own, so I know nobody in here buying shoes from me is totally minted.

It’s not like in the golden age of everyone who was anyone having servants: the people who serve you in a shop or restaurant can afford to eat in the same restaurants and shop in the same shops as you. It’s not like shop assistants are born to peasant parents who call their daughter “Bessie” because she’s gonna wear the frilly cap one day and marry a nice stable lad.

It really sticks in my craw when people without realising it, act like I’m some lowly servant because I happen to be doing a job that doesn’t require a degree. It’s particularly irritating because I consider myself a very smart individual, so this whole “you suck cause you didn’t go to college” bullshit is a sore point.

I’m happy with my undergraduate course in the university of life, but there are little moments of sensitivity like people going OH when they ask what I study and I say I work. (CUNTS)

Anyway. This woman pissed me off with her belligerent attitude and readyness to go ranting to me about some minor error of my colleague. So I was extremely rude. she was taken aback. I said I have nothing to do with it, I never said 15 days, etc.

Sorry, did I do anything wrong? Did I not just tell you to call before you come in next time so you don’t waste a trip? I don’t care, come back tomorrow if you want but IT PROBABLY WONT BE READY.

So she storms off snorting in indignation, all wide-nostrilled like a crazy horse.

She pointedly, loudly mentions to her friend just outside the door:

“THE GIRL THERE IS VERY POLITE!”

Sheesh, my pocket sarcasm detector just vibrated so hard, I almost came.

Anyway I was calming myself with “be nice, fuck her, she was a bitch before you were, don’t worry about it, stop beating yourself up, and fuck it people must realise when they go around giving each other shit, I’m not just some smile without a face standing here in the wings of existence, waiting for a customer to observe me and spring me into their personal reality like the sound of a tree falling in the woods. I have my own crate of shit to carry around, if angry cunts like that are gonna get all up in my grill, it’s gonna get ugly.

So I calm down and promise to be more empathetic next time and stop with the personal crusade against rudeness fought primarily using my own rudeness.

Then in comes a muslim woman in a headscarf and matching floral mumu.

Ugh. Groan. Now I get to feel terrified of somehow offending this woman with what I imagine is my stench of atheism and flash of sexy legs, while I show her scarves and shit, all the while firmly aware that she thinks I’m some demonic hussy who should be pelted with stones. My hair is long and loose: I wonder is the experience of shopping here, for this muslim woman, comparable to me shopping in a place where the salespeople go topless? I wonder what it’s like for them.

She wants to see a scarf. I show her the scarf.. She asks what material it is. I check the label, say it’s rayon.

She’s like, what’s that? I wikipedia’d it ages ago and don’t full understand. It’s a semi-synthetic, semi natural fabric. I don’t know what that means, too lazy to look it up again and figure it out.

Also did you know Wikipedia has ceased to run its Italian version? There’s a new batshit crazy law that says that anything published online, if it’s about someone (and regardless of truth or falsehood) has to be taken down and corrected within 48 hours if requested by the person it’s about. So for example as a blogger, if hot barman comes across this, he could be like “hey I’m not hot, change that shit” and I would have to edit my blog to change all instances of him being hot with him being ugly, which isn’t true, but then everyone would read this and think what was all the fuss about with this ugly barman? And also, no one would know how truly shallow I am.

Anyway. So I’m like… ungh… it’s semi synthetic, I think it’s made from a natural fibre but it’s treated or processed somehow…

She’s highly suspicious.

I’m deflated, I couldn’t be arsed selling rayon to her with enthusiasm or a saleswoman pitch.

I shrug. It’s not itchy or anything, it’s soft like cotton.

She tries it on. I am treated to a naughty glimpse of hair under her current scarf. I wonder is it rude for me to look? I understand the thing about hiding the hair though… I feel a prickle of taboo when her scarf comes off, like I’m actually seeing something more exciting than some flattened stragglers of reddish brown. I should whip out my penis right now and be like “FOOOOOLED YEWWW!!!”

That would be cool.

Except if her husband caught me looking, she’d be due some lapidation for allowing her hair to show in front of a man. Is that the correct term for being pelted with stones? I think so. If so, wow finally I get to use it lapidation in a sentence. It’s a first I think.

Anyway.

She starts asking me if it suits her. I am like, yes it’s nice. She doesn’t trust me. She turns to another customer, some bitch who was going on about her supposedly flat feet and how hard it is to fit them into shoes. I’m like, wow real interesting, maybe increase the shoe budget a bit and quit looking in the bargain basement section? But I don’t say that, I just smile and nod.

Anyway the other woman tells her it’s a lovely scarf. The muslim woman thanks her as Flatfoot makes a swift exit with panicky eyes.

“I know you’re being sincere!” she tells the woman’s fast retreating back, shooting me a sidelong “the same doesn’t apply to you” look.

I can’t help that I’m the help, I can’t be more sincere or less sincere… Really, the scarf is nice. Honestly I don’t give a crap, but I’m the salesperson what am I supposed to say I hate it, you look like crap, why don’t you throw in the towel and scarf and leave your husband and buy some chairs to sit on when you eat instead of that cushions on the floor crap?

Sorry is that too sincere, right-o, I’ll keep my sincerity to myself (and my blog) and just limit it to the fact that yes I think the scarf suits you as much as any shroud for your sexuality possibly could. You work that metaphorical condom against man’s lusty thoughts. Oh and keep up that “it’s not repression, it’s just a way to praise god” shpiel… real convincing. I like to praise god by keeping my toenails hidden from view, but that’s just me.

But the scarf objectively is nice on her, so I wasn’t being fake or anything. Maybe my enthusiasm wasn’t at the correct pitch, well I’m sorry but I’m not in the right mood. I was this morning, but stupid receipt bitch ruined that for me.

Anyway she doesn’t sense the flatness of my spirits right now and complete lack of the will to be involved in interactions beyong open till insert money remove coins close till force a smile thank the customer be left alone again breathe sigh of relief.

She starts HAGGLING.

€7.50 is too much.

I’m like, well sorry there’s nothing I can do.

€7.00, I’ll give you €7.00.

I’m sorry I can’t, it’s not my shop, I can’t give discounts.

€7.00, ok?

No, I can’t. Sorry. Look I scan the label, the price comes up, I can’t do anything to change that (even if I wanted to, which I don’t)

I don’t have the energy, I retreat to the till before I become a bitch again. I don’t want a jihad on my ass over this fucking scarf.

I do my traditional rustling of papers to look busy.

She starts inspecting the scarf for flaws with her hawk eyes.

She asks what colours would go with the scarf. I give a noncommital, oh lots of colours, black, brown, beige, green… any colour really, it’s very neutral.

I firmly believe you can wear any two colours together in theory, as long as it’s with an attitude and obviously it’s not a fucking rule, just because one green thing goes with one brown thing doesn’t mean all green and brown go together.

She snaps at me because of my vague answer.

“OBVIOUSLY NOT ALL COLOURS!”

I sigh and look at her sorrowfully. Why does everyone want to argue this shit with me? I work here, I will agree with you as far as I can, but my own personal taste is so fuckng different to yours, there’s no way we can really talk honestly about clothes.

I agree, sure, not all colours… fine.

She insists on applying her own personal taste as a blanket over all of clothingdom.

“NOT WITH BLUE OR GREY, OBVIOUSLY!”

Right… so yeah the blue item she is wearing looks terrible with the army green scarf, but like, I know blue jeans would probably look nice with it. I rebel against all application of universal rules to clothes. That magazine advice over what not to wear makes me wish we just lived in the Star Trek world and got one colour to wear for the rest of our lives. It’s one of my pet hates. (I have a fucking animal sanctuary of hates you know)

All the rules of what to wear can be bent, I repeat, it’s a matter of attitude and personal tastes. Brown and black used to be the biggest no-no, and if you’re completely clueless with clothes, then fair enough it’s a good rule of thumb. But sorry if brown and black clash so badly, then how the fuck do you explain people with dark skin wearing black, or anyone with brown hair wearing black? Or black haired people wearing brown? Does black clash with my hair? No. So brown and black are ok together. I mean not all black things and all brown things, but having a no this with this rule is just stupid. They are colours, for fucks sake.

Anyway enough of the rage.

She haggles again, I insist I can do nothing, wearily.

She flings the scarf at me and snaps “fine, I’ll take it” like she’s doing me some huge favour but she’s not happy about it. I have done nothing wrong, I wasn’t even remotely rude this time.

Fuck off.

And then imediately behind her comes this miserable sweaty middle eastern dude who wants to show me jewellery he’s selling, and I’m like No no no thank you not interested no no no.

And he’s like just have a look, and I’m like no no no sorry.

Just have a look, I’ll just show you some…

I’m like I SAID NO! DO YOU UNDERSTAND NO?

And he’s like, ooooooooh sor-ry!

And he goes all offended and then my dad comes in and catches me typing my blog but I manage to really unsubtly exit out of it before he can see anything but still I’m internetting when I shouldn’t be.

But I ignore that because he doesn’t say anything although I know he’s not happy because every time he springs in the door of the shop, I’m typing away and I can’t close the window quick enough… damn. But I can’t resist the pull of the internet or the temptation to spill my guts live from the scene of being hassled by people.

So then this OTHER middle eastern guy who also stinks of B.O comes into the shop and starts offering us brooms he is selling.

My dad and I in unison start chanting “No, No, No Thank you, no, no, not interested, no.”

And he repeats, do you want a broom? Brooms? I have mops? Dustpans?

We’re like no no no ad nauseum, and he keeps insisting.

This makes my blood boil. I’m getting hot feminist rage flushes all over because this is exactly the same bullshit that the guys in nightclubs pull, it’s like respect my first answer, you’re not changing my mind, no means FUCKING NO!

My leg hairs are standing on end like a motherfuckin hedgehod. I’m glaring fiercely at this sweaty fucker, and it’s probably hugely amusing to him because my fierce angry look is about as convincing as Victoria Beckham being snapped eating dinner.

My dad is pissed off too, so I let him have the floor as my voice is high pitched and lacks any real authority.

The guy starts flashing his stupid seedy teeth.

“Oooh mister, you need a aspirin? You need a aspirin for your stress? Ha ha!”

And he’s standing there leering and my dad is yelling at him to get out and I just close the door slowly so he automatically steps a bit back and then I shut the door on him and he shouts in to us that we need to chill out.

But like, seriously if it was just one guy fair enough we are an uptight little family unit.

But it is CONSTANT.

Gypsies coming in to steal… old women coming in to beg…. those Bangladesh guys selling roses….. window cleaners trying to bully me into paying them to clean the windows that I clean for free every couple of days…. nuns trying to sell calendars (I am rudest to the nuns)… disabled people trying to sell pencils for 2 euro (I don’t understand the deal with the pencils, it doesn’t help that it’s like actual… what’s the word… special people trying to explain the deal with the pencils)… greenpeace…. actual customers…

it’s non stop… oh and then last but not least, those assholes who dress in white and paint their faces and arms white and then go up to people on the street and expect money for some reason.

And if you don’t give them money and laugh and shake their hands and appreciate the shitty little half a mime bit they do, you’re an asshole and they tell you you need to chill out.

My whole life philosophy, or whatever philosophy I have managed to sculpt for myself from extensive hermitage and repeated watchings of sitcoms, is that you live your life how you want to and you don’t step on other people’s toes or stand in their way and you certainly don’t get off an escalator and as soon as you are no longer standing on a moving step, just stop right there and look around you while people pile up behind because all you’re thinking about is yourself. To me, that’s just one of the most self absorbed piece of shit behaviours I have ever come across. Yes I’ve lived a sheltered life perhaps…

But seriously, my moral code says first and foremost, do no harm unless you have to do harm. You can’t help being an asshole sometimes because sometimes the way a situation is structured, the only room you have to move without screwing yourself over, is to be an asshole. I seethe with hatred and indignation when I see someone who is in a bad mood seeking out someone to offload their shit onto. I may sometimes offload MY shit onto people, but I will hide away on my own when I’m in a bad mood so as to internalise most of my negative energy. I know that’s not always good for me, but it means I only snap at people who come up to my cage and start poking through the bars. Me in a bad mood, I will stay in my place by myself until I’m feeling better, and then I will seek out company. But other people, some of them are real dicks and they look for trouble with other people. Conflict saps my energy, but some people get off on it.

Anyway I had a load of these people today wrecking my buzz.

I wrote this at work but couldn’t post because I was afraid my daddy-o would come back in and catch me writing angry blog things at work, I would be in so much shit.

And after work I went and…oh don’t judge, I know I’m terrible….

So the other day I picked out a few of my items of clothing I don’t like or wear, but that are basically brand new and that I just bought in a fit of shopping hysteria, and I brought them in to work and put them for sale. My co worker Gabrielle does this all the time and I’ve always thought it was really bad, selling people used clothing as new stuff… but then I was just jealous because she gets some cash for those clothes she shouldn’t have bought. So anyway first day I put my stuff on the rails, I sold a dress for 40 euro. YAY! It was actually really nice but I never wore it, but now obviously I will miss it like mad.

Anyway I celebrated byyyy…. GOING AND BUYING A NEW DRESS!

Yes. I feel a little foolish but it’s a pretty dress. It’s quite classy and sober looking but short and flattering enough that I don’t have to worry I might once leave the house without showing off my fuckability.

It’s too short for court though. OHHH SHIIIT I still don’t know what to wear.

Right better get onto that.

Tomorrow I will let you know everything obviously.

Wish me luck, or whatever.

I’m so excited, I feel like tomorrow is my big day.

I feel like tomorrow is really my ceremony of marriage to myself.

Like I’m saying, I promise never again to settle for some fucktard with thick arms just because I’m afraid to be all alone and weird. I won’t forget how much better I am on my own. I won’t forget how much I love to dress slutty and I won’t forget how even guys who like me slutty at first, always start getting all posessive afterwards, and how it’s not flattering- posessive, it’s just oppressive like you’re his property or some shit.

:)

YAY!

Spoiler: I cheer up somewhat at the end of it : )

What goes up must come down.

This time I am not suffering from internal loop the loops of emotion.

My state of mind was GOOD. I was feeling empowered and awesome.

I had a meeting with foreskin-face (the artist formerly known as husband) and my lawyer.

I skipped to my meeting all confident and wearing no makeup for the first time in months, not smoking… man I was so innocent and happy.

I met husband outside the lawyer’s. He leant in to kiss my cheek. We exchanged words. Friendly friendly friendly. He mentioned that he was out last night with Hank Scorpio. Ugh. Anyway we went into the lawyer’s office all friendly and conversing and I thought hey I’m being the bigger man here, I am seething at the audacity of this scumbag owing me money for bills and hanging out partying with Scorpio and unknown girls and stuff, and I’m being all friendly.

We sit down. Lawyer starts reading through some papers just to make sure we have everything in order for our legal separation hearing in court on Friday.

Foreskin-face nods, says nothing.

I ask him something.

He nods, smiles… then nonchalantly mentions that he has no intention of coming to court on Friday.

My head spins. It’s still spinning.

What?

He doesn’t want to go. He thinks I made him suffer by breaking up with him and by being like, yeah we can’t work together any more, so you need to start looking for another job. (I GAVE HIM HIS JOB, HE WORKED WITH ME RUNNING THE SHOP!) I didn’t throw him out, I just said that obviously splitting up we couldn’t stay working together, it wasn’t going to be good for either of us.

He said, I made him have a shit time, so now he is going to make me suffer. By not giving me my separation.

He looked so smug. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I have waited 8 months for this separation date. I have been waiting desperate to get the paperwork done, so I can start my new less naive life without him in it.

Now he won’t show on Friday, so that means it’s no longer a consensual separation. Now I will have to start the process of requesting a separation all over again and we will both need lawyers, and it will DRAG THE FUCK ON.

He sat there, shrugging like he didn’t give a shit.

I explained to his numb skull that if he signs this shit on Friday, he doesn’t need a lawyer, my dad will be willing to wait 3 more years before putting the apartment in his name (it’s complicated, but my dad has a signed affidavit or something that gives him power to take control of the property as the guarantor for the mortgage) and that way husband won’t be liable for the few thousand euros of fines he would have to pay for giving up the apartment within five years of buying it.

If cock features doesn’t show up on Friday, he will need to pay a lawyer. He will be dragged through all this unhealthy bullshit litigation, he can’t hope to gain anything because he has no right to anything. I could, if I were an asshole, ask my lawyer to charge my husband maintenance and the mortgage payments. but I am not that kind of person. Also, my dad will be fucking furious with his scumbag son in law, so he will use his affidavit immediately, meaning husband will be fined a shitload of money for giving up his property.

I told him this, he shrugged.

I burst into tears. My dreams of a stripper-filled bachelorette-again party went up in smoke.

I warbled at this smug stranger sitting next to me,

“I married you because I loved you, and so that you could have the same rights as me in Europe. I did that for you. Why would you do this to me now? I haven’t done anything to you.”

He gave me some nonsensical answers about how he had nothing against me, it was my dad that was “whispering things in my ears, like how to screw him over” and that he “wanted to get his revenge because he did all this ceramic tiling on the balconies and all I made was a fucking curtain for the bedroom” and that “he was left on the street and now I should suffer too”

I’m completely baffled. He seems to have lost it completely. I’m a little scared, but mostly miserable and dejected and feel like my whole world has crumbled underneath me again. If he wanted money or something I’d understand, it would make some kind of sense.. this general whining about tiles on the balcony, what the fuck?

I thought I was nearly free.

Now it all starts again, and this time with a spiteful horrible asshole setting out to make things hard for me.

He doesn’t know how I have suffered too.

He has all his friends, I have one friend now after 9 months alone crying and beating myself up about things. He has friends and they are good friends too. I have one friend and we’ve only become close in the last once or twice we have gone out together. He thinks I’ve got it all, I have a whole lot of shit. But he’s clever too because I was building myself up and I was doing well, even without a whole lot of anything solid, I was feeling good about myself.

And then he goes and with one devastating blow, he’s got me right back to his level. Or maybe not, because I haven’t smoked or wanted to. And if I don’t smoke now when I feel like shit’s ugly cousin, I’m fairly confident I’m not smoking any more. And I had a chocolate milk but that’s ok, it’s just a little one it’s not going to make me fat. So I have made some headway that isn’t going to evaporate just because pubeface plays his ONE usable card.

What a cunt though.

The thing that makes me feel tiny, absolutely worthless, is that… I can improve my self and my situation, but until I finish this litigation business and get that document that says I’m free, I’m still The Wife of the most petty, vindictive and heartless bastard I have ever met. I’ve had flatmates who stole my money, I’ve had friends who’ve stolen the guy I liked. I’ve had co workers who ratted me out to the boss for my slutty clothing. But I have never crossed paths with a truly awful person before. I know desperate times can make people do bad things that are out of character, but I don’t care. I can’t possibly condone or forgive anyone, ever, for inflicting pain on another person ON PURPOSE.

If he stood to gain from hurting me, then I can understand it although i would hurt the same.

But he doesn’t. In fact it will cost him money and energy and sanity to pursue this petty vendetta.

But he’s doing it anyway just to hurt me. He admitted this in his own words in front of my lawyer, who was incredulous. She asked him a few questions as to what he hoped to achieve. He had nothing answers like “I dunno” and “whatever”. He just wants to make us pay, he says, and “us” is me and my dad because yes when I left him my dad tried to get me to protect myself from potential dickery like this, so he insisted on a lawyer and stuff. I was always honest and open with husband, and I never did anything to try cheat him out of money.

I hurt him because I broke up with him, I broke his heart and I broke mine too. We had a sweet, loving relationship but if you scraped away at it, at the core we were two different people with different ways of seeing things.

When he proposed to me he told me he loved me for the way I had of looking at the world. He said he had never met anyone like me, not at all… he said it was so wonderful how I saw things, he wanted to be with me for the rest of his life.

I never said that back to him. I always felt that how he saw things was a little bit skewed and wrong. I shouldn’t have married someone who had a different lens, but I didn’t think I’d come across another fisheye like myself so I made do with someone who at least appreciated my way of seeing, even if he couldn’t see that way himself.

I spent a lot of time and energy trying to broaden his mind in arguments. I stretched my head to fit his point of view too, and even if I didn’t like it, I would try see where he was coming from. I can see where he’s coming from now, and it’s not some innocent point of view that differs from mine. It’s a desperate, small man’s pathetic last scrap of power over someone. He used to have me in his power, because I loved him, he had power over me. I lived to make him happier. I sang to him. I have a terrible flat voice but I sang to him and I used to laugh like a dolphin for him because it made him smile. He would ask me to do it. He’s say, “come on please, laugh like a dolphin,” and I’d open and close my jaw while tilting my head back and smiling. He loved that.

And now all he can make me do is feel like shit, and cry, and hate him.

Asshole.

For the first time in my life I really don’t feel empathy for someone.

He’s a dick.

Everything he lost, he lost himself, through his own fault.

I was 21 when we got married. I tried my very very best to make him happy and he got lazy and he didn’t try to make me happy or excited. When our sex life went stale I dressed up for him and he made me feel like a fool.

I used to wake up at night and cry because I had a nightmare that he died.

I can’t imagine anything that would improve my life more than if he did die. That’s awful, but if we each got one free hit, to use as we please, I’d use it now.

I’d probably be foolish to waste my free hit so young, but man… anyway if we each got a free hit he’d probably use it on me. I don’t know.

Ugh I don’t even want him to die, I just want this person he has turned out to be, to not be part of my life. I accepted the guy I knew and loved as my husband. That guy wouldn’t do this shit. But hey it’s the same person, I just didn’t pay attention before. I never saw this side to him because before we were on the same team. Now I’m the enemy. I will not make that mistake again. It’s not just how they treat the waiter you should watch out for- it’s whether or not they will kick someone when they’re already down.

I was just naive. I still am naive. Oh it’s so awful, I just want to move to England and I can’t. I’m stuck here and I have a husband and he’s a horrible nasty human being. And I wasted 3 years of my life, and 3 years of enthusiasm and bright eyes and hope and unrestrained love and joy on a piece of shit person who is probably capable of being such a dick because he’s realised he was extremely lucky and he blew it by being ungrateful.

I will never be that girl with anyone else. I mean I can’t know that. Maybe I will be that girl again but I feel like I don’t want to be, but also that that girl was the nicest freshest version of me that I’ll ever get to be. I might be being drammatic here but fuck my head is all over the place, I feel like I’ve been crossing off the days in my cell for months and now I’ve just been told with a week to go in solitary confinement, oops no you have months and months left to go. And fuck you, by the way.

I’m sorry to be going on all mopey here, I didn’t want to seesaw all over the place, I wanted to stay all happy and optimistic  but really this blog is just me dealing with my divorce in all the corners of my life. Today is the unexpected shitstorm. I was happy this morning. I’ll be happy again soon, probably. But today is shit.

I cried on the bus home from work. All the way, it was really embarassing. I didn’t really care though, I was just aware of the embarassment. I talked to my mum on the phone and I gave myself a monster headache. I had a hot lemon paracetamol drink and tried to call all my friends.

No one home. Oh well.

Lucky I have my rant-vent place right here.

: )

It’s a tough day. Sorry to drag you along on this rollercoaster. You know I’ll be back up soon…

 

AAAAAND WE’RE BACK!

I just had a quick chat with one of my bestest buddies in the world.

She told me a couple of obvious, brilliant, simple things…

Lifted my spirits so I’m actually pretty ok.

I mean I’ve stopped bawling my eyes out, so that’s good.

Good arm hair, bad conversation.

First, let me list my achievements. It’s kind of a big deal for me…

Last night I put my coupla days not smoking to the test- I was excited about it actually, not dreading it. I didn’t smoke, I didn’t WANT to smoke. I’m over the moon. So I didn’t want to smoke, that doesn’t mean I didn’t THINK about smoking. I did think about smoking, and I talked at length about not smoking. But I didn’t want to smoke really, I just sort of observed smokers engaging in their oh so familiar ritual as if it was through a pane of glass, or like I was reading about people smoking and not actually seeing it in the flesh.

I’m not sure I’ll never smoke again, but I have never been this convinced I really didn’t want to smoke. I get what the book says about not needing willpower: I don’t feel like it was a strain to not smoke all those individual cigarettes, although it wasn’t 100% easy as snapping my fingers and not wanting a smoke, in fact I can’t actually snap my fingers so it was much easier for me. Anyway.. I don’t know, maybe I’m cured maybe I’ve a long way to go, maybe I’ll snap… But I’m very cheerful about it. It feels good. My breath is still horrible though. So it wasn’t just the smoking, I realise I have actually got bad breath too. Oh well.

I’m coughing up a lungfull today but I think it’s the beginning stages of the gunge expulsion. Excelsior!

The point is, even if I haven’t hit my biggest most harmful vice a knockout blow in a few painless days, I have at least give it the almighty finger. I have at the very least, called its mother a ho.

Anyway. I have awarded myself the congressional medal of non smoking, let us move along and sink our hyper-analytical paranoid little chompers into the soft belly flesh of the evening.

I’m talking, socialisation.

Again: I deserve top marks. I wasn’t exactly super entertaining, but I made no waves and offended no ethnic groups. I inspired a few giggles and witters and didn’t mention my divorce to anyone, at all! I didn’t even brag about having to meet my divorce lawyer today. Boom, I’m getting the hang of this. Admittedly, only had 3 pints of beer. But still. I was good. I could have been so bad on just 3 pints…

Unfortunately, apart from Andrea (who scores top marks for awesomeness. I finally have a proper friend, yay!) the company was about as exciting as a night in exfoliating my feet. (This was the alternative timeline for yesterday. Some time last night, a parallel universe version of me made a decision, pulled down the shutters, stuck on the Joni Mitchell and scattered foot flakes like Edward Scissorhands up in his house doing an ice sculpture.)

We met with a group of Italians (alarm bells, yo) who Andrea had pre-warned me, were not attractive. Well… she squinted… they are SHORT. She is short, so this means… they were SHORT.

I was dressed in a few too many colours to really attract an Italian  mate anyway. The Italian is a peacock, the male is meant to display his coloured plumage, the woman to cluck impressed and feign disapproval from the safety of black boots and jeans and a white top combo. I had blue tights, a yellow cardigan and a pretty flattering grey dress on. I looked nice, but it wasn’t the right look. Fuck it though, I’m getting bolder. I don’t really want to be slimed on in a black cocktail dress. A black cocktail dress makes my appeal way too generic. And I didn’t look like a hippie or anything, I was quite groomed and had nice sexy makeup on. So fuck you and your undeveloped palate, ITALIANS. I give good head, did you even stop to think about that? No! You see yellow clothing, you think crazy. Well your loss. I don’t even like GETTING HEAD. So really, Italians, you are foolish and you are the ones missing out.

Anyway. deep breaths.

We met this group of guys, one of whom Andrea knew vaguely.

Andrea introduced me to him, and he promptly went to the bar leaving us standing beside a table full of his friends. We exchanged a look, me and my newly-promoted gal pal, that said “what the fuck, he didn’t introduce us to his friends, where’s the bubbly circle of “hi!s” and where’s the gracious and charming offer of bringing us drinks from the bar and where is the pulling over of empty chairs so we can sit?”

So I had already crossed off a few items on the “decent human being” checklist when doucheface came back with his own “fruity as an ass full of pineapple” cocktail with maraschino cherry and black straw.

We were inserted gracelessly into the circle of best buddies whose quickfire back and forth was like watching the Gilmore Girls talk about their favorite detergent.

Groan.

One of the girls… there were two nondescript, mashed potato boring, typical Italian girls at our table. They both looked like they had emerged from the womb middle aged. They had young skin and young bodies, but the expressions on those smooth, sallow faces could probably be found in Pompei, on the igneous casing of a housewife, frozen in the eternal act of reprimanding a foolish husband.

These women are made in a different factory from real women. They come out all shiny and petulant, little daddy’s girls who like the proper girl colour, pink, and eat a proper girl amount of food to stay nice and perfect, and probably grow into proper teenagers who masturbate in a neat and discrete manner, folding ironing and putting the clitoris away after use, making eager Italian boys wait in torment for a glimpse of perfect brown nipple. Tortured Italian boys propose, and become tortured Italian husbands with receding hair and encroaching waist-lines.

And the expression is always the same, I presume. I presume because this is just a fictional imagining of what happens behind the polished exterior I have actually seen.

Italian woman play the game like they’re on a different team from the men. Who knows what kind of depravity they reveal in the privacy of the girl’s only club. But on the pitch, with the jocular men, the women put up a front of girlish sweetness. They giggle flirtatiously through tight lips, repeating their ancestors’ jokes and giving nothing honest away. There’s something menacing and hyper competitive in their wordplay. They’re playing to win. I don’t now if it’s just in my head, because I come from a society where we don’t have to take mincing little steps, we can be- it’s ok to be and it’s GOOD to be, a stampede of personality and a roar of a woman.

I’m not saying everyone should be rowdy or vulgar, but just… this portrait of a lady is mighty old, and very fake. If it takes all sorts, why don’t we SEE all sorts at the Italian bar table? All I say is the same cookie-cutter eyelash-batting future battleaxe of a wife and mother, smelling like a rose that doesn’t fart but hollow in the middle.

I’ve never had a good conversation with an Italian woman in a mixed-gender situation. I’ve had moderately good times with women here, but in female-only environments, like in my shop, or when it’s just a few girls together having coffee.

So I’m getting a bit sidetracked. One of the Italian girls piped up, anyway.

She giggled something about one of the guy’s arm hairs. This is the girl opposite me at the table, and the guy sitting beside me whose name I forget, let’s call him Giaccomo.

So Giaccomo is like “what? What about my arm hair?”

Giggly wench is like “ooh.. nothing! Yours are … well-formed! Some people don’t have good arm hair.”

What’s this bitch really thinking about? Her collection of ceramic pig figurines? The fact that she posted a comment on a Star Trek fan site, and she’s itching to know if her forum nemesis replied back? Does she have Abba stuck in her head? Is she worrying that she might have got her period, but she can’t be sure because maybe she just leaked a little lady liquid? Is she thinking about the stock exchange? Should she sell her stock that went down two points or wait and see if it goes up again?

These women are a mystery to me.

Giaccomo is now pulling back his sleeves now displaying an immaculate forearm, mahogany brown, smooth coloured and glowing with health and mamma’s cooking, and coated with a thick, even army of black hairs. The hairs lie harmonious against his skin like a mammal in water.

He coos and flutters asking about what she means, what kind of hair he has, is it normal, etc.

The other girl at the table, the friendlier, curly-haired girl, interjects randomly with “please! Arm hair! Really! Can we STOP!” and squeals at the ridiculousness of it all.

I exchange glances with Andrea.

The arm hair conversation spreads around the table, attracting the other men to compare forearms and chuckle and the two girls to be extremely silly about it all, in a clearly contrived, controlled and appropriate way.

Andrea and I retreat quietly to our own conversation in Spanish.

Giaccomo catches a few words and turns to us. “Ah! But you must speak in Italian! I can’t understand you!” Big nice smile. Pity the summary of nice smile, nice skin, nice arms, nice hair, nice eyes… doesn’t add up to an attractive man. Strange, but meh.

I’m quite bored by this group and their shitty conversation. So I’m like

“Oooh… That’s embarassing… It’s just… I was telling my friend, about how awful your arm hairs are.”

He does a double take. “WHAAAAT? MY arm hairs? What’s wrong?” He starts examining his arms frantically.

I’m like, “Yeah… they’re actually pretty horrific. Like, frightening. I’m sorry that’s why I was talking in Spanish”

And the guy is freaking out. He announces he will get them waxed tomorrow. His big brown eyes are puppy-dog-desolate.

I have to put him out of his bizzare misery.

Yeah. It was a joke. How could you have scary arm hair?

All is well. He’s in stitches with my amazing practical joke. Relief circles the table like a giddy vulture. Whew.

My little jest got me in good with the group for a while.

But again, they bored the hell out of me until if I had been any more drunk I would have started announcing weird truths or lies about myself for entertainment purposes.

Luckily I began whispering to Andrea, let’s ditch these lamewads.

She was like… nooo I feel bad, they bought me shots. I abstained from shots because I’m a sensible adult, I know I can’t take shots. I had a cold bottle of beer while the mama’s boys chugged thimblesfull of vodka with thimbles of O.J as a chaser. Fear and Loathing, eat your heart out. I throw myself into not sneering at these lightweights. It’s a bad habit of a previous hardcore party beast, I tend to look down on people who think they are mad bastards for having a cough medicine spoonfull of spirits.

I wheedle at Andrea. Come on, admit it… These guys are super boring. I’m taking a gamble here, she’s a nice person maybe she’ll think I’m a dick. I tell her she can pretend I want to go meet up with this guy I fancy. I don’t care, throw me under the bus! I want out of this Italian version of Friends, except less funny.

She crumbles and admits I’m right. We make excuses and leave.

We need to pee. We are talking about how lame Italians are.

I go on a rant that is luckily well received, about how Italian women annoy me by acting so freaking perfect. Whether or not its true, they perpetuate this idea of women being these pillars of grace and cleanliness and men are these oafish sods who need to be glared at until they sheepishly submit to the will of the woman.

I’m sick of these faux conversations where some bitch with flawless skin squeals about having seen someone pick up food that landed on the floor, or peed in the gents toilet when there was a queue for the ladies like a mile long.

I hate these fake, prissy bitches. The two wenches we were with earlier had left the group for like an hour to “find a clean toilet”. Come on, we queued for ages and got to a hole in the ground with no lock. And my bladder didn’t give a crap (it couldn’t, it’s a bladder)

What kind of joyless masochist would queue for various toilets and reject one with a full pee-sac?

That’s bad parenting, that’s what I blame it on.

I have news for you: I SIT my bare bum on public toilet seats all the time and as far as I know, mr. fucking Monk, I have neither dyptheria nor hepatitis nor bum rabies. So there. Imagine what a carefully places sheet of tissue would do. The mind boggles.

So me and Andrea are rejoicing in our kindred sloppy spirithood, and we decide to pee beside these dumpsters. It’s a very quiet street, poorly lit. There are like 4 big bins. We lower our knickers and hike up our skirts and unleash frothy fountains of joyous piss in unison, giggling like Beavis and Butthead.

Someone’s coming.

He has a reflective shirt on.

He is coming towards us purposefully.

Behind him is a MASSIVE BEEPING BIN TRUCK.

Dang. We force our streams to halt and yank undies back into place more or less cleanly. More or less. and begin to walk past the guy in the reflective jacket.

He’s a binman. They are for some reason emptying the bins right now, the bins we peed all around.

We try to act casual as the bin truck pulls up all beeps and lights. He shoots us a look of revulsion.

“All done, LADIES?”

We power walk past as I fume at the inconsideration of bin trucks, choosing toilet-queueing nightmare time to come and do the rounds. Not fair.

We cemented our friendship, anyway. I know it seems pretty tame, peeing on the street, but in Italy the girls we have met are such prudes, it’s like an act of rebellion…

We moved to a kind of social-centre (warning bells, I know) party where on the strength of Andrea’s good looks and in spite of my hostile arguments, we got in for free.

We found one familiar face and began dancing to the most intense, unpleasant strobe lighting I’ve ever seen. It showed brief unnerving glimpses of the other dancers, like flashes of lightning in a horror movie.

I was just loosening up my funky chicken wings when a flash of illumination showed me a face I had no intention or expectation of seeing…

HUSBAND.

Husband, the broke, no money for bills, selfish lying piece of shit, out clubbing in a pay-in party.

I grabbed Andrea, unsure if I had seen what I had seen. I told her nervously. What? Are you sure?

I shook my head. I turned. I saw my husband dancing with some girl I don’t know.

He was wearing the hawaian shirt he married me in, that later became all tatty and worn out, so I cut out the bad parts and using another favorite shirt of his, I created a new supershirt for him. It’s an awesome shirt. I’m sloppy as hell but this was a labour of love and devotion. He was wearing his awesome shirt made for him by his wife to dance with some stupid looking wench while spending money he owes for electricity and heating he used last year, on drinks for himself.

Andrea spotted him too and yelped. Let’s go! We snaked out through increasingly dizzying flashes of light.

Andrea looked around for any familiar but not married to me faces, and noticed my slack jaw and stunned, lifeless eyes.

Ah… let’s get out of here.

We left the place and those horrible jarring lights and sat on a curb outside.

It all flooded over me as I sat and didn’t smoke, and didn’t really want to…

I was out kind of hoping to find a nice face to slurp all over and then regret the next day, and who do I bump into? Husband, a week before my separation. I can’t afford to give him anything he can use against me like that. Imagine he could go to court and say I was unfaithful? Until we have our legal separation, anything goes. We’re still legally together.

One week baby, and I swore to Andrea, we are going out, I am having a reverse-hen night.

We’re going to go see strippers and I’m getting a horrible greasy lapdance. I’m going to drink a bottle of whiskey and take a 19 year old man child home to my black satin sheets and ride him like a mechanical bull set to “easy”, and if he cares if my legs are hairy, then tough shit, I’ve never been thrown out of bed for resembling a faun before, and if it happens here in Italy, hell it only confirms my theory that men here are an insult to closet homosexuality.

In fact last night we were walking along and one of the guys sort of stroked and squeezed his friend’s arm, and the two were like to us, all jocular, “Ha ha it’s a guy thing, it’s man stuff,” like they were comparing arm muscles or something but man it seemed quite sensual from where I was standing. Yes, I admit I am standing in a sexually obsessed position, but whatevs. I can still use my spidey senses.

Anyway I was sitting on the curb with rolls and rolls of neatly packed emotional trauma toppling out of my secret ignore place, like logs off the back of a Final Destination truck. I sat there moody, considering smoking not for enjoyment or because I wanted to, but for the same reasons I started smoking as a teenager… to say a silent, unnoticed fuck you to someone who had hurt me. In this case, husband. Back when I was 14 or 15, my parents.

I decided I am somewhat more mature now, and that sort of poor me bullshit has run its course. I don’t want to do shit that makes people think “wow, she’s coping SO WELL considering.” I don’t even want people to KNOW the shit that’s going on. No that’s a lie, a blatant lie. I want people to catch little snippets of my personal drama and be suitably impressed with my stoical heroicism in dealing with growed-up shit.

So I’m spacing out and I realise Andrea’s just along for the ride, and I’m like, sorry for the crappy company, it just threw me to see husband out of context like that.

She’s like, wow no worries, I totally understand! Jeez it’s totally expected!

So we sat for a while then shared a taxi which we paid for 50-50, but actually it worked out cheaper and I was going further so I wound up paying less to go the longest journey. I will get her a beer next time to even things out maybe. Hmm, just thinking I MIGHT do that gives me some good person feelings. Nice.

This morning I woke up and felt pretty fine, 4 hours sleep, enough is as good as a feast they say. That’s true although of course I didn’t get enough, but fuck it I have a month left before I’m 24, and I’m perfectly capable of doing 10 hours customer service on my poor feet and a lawyer meeting with husband at 4pm in my lunch hour on 4 hours sleep.

This is my youth baby, I just gotta deal and enjoy that it’s even feasable.

I feel pretty good actually.

I think the feeble amount of beers consumed paired with the not smoking at all and the sensible glass of water before bed, the trifecta of my accumulated wisom…

Totally doable workday.

And then I got a really sweet message from Andrea this morning, being all like hey let me know how you get on with the lawyer today, if you need to vent or whatever I’m here.

I have a proper friend! Looks like I won’t have to go eat those worms after all.

Woop woop!

You see, I must be doing something right.

And tomorrow I’m meeting another new friend for a day of good humoured sunny tourism and possibly catch a film in English.

Go on mah son! (This in a brutish English football fan voice btw.)

I am on a roll of social excellence.

Just one week since my deplorable argument about maturity with some dickweed, and so much is better. So I saw husband, big whoop. I don’t even care. Also I got a big phone bill. Why? Who? When? Pffff. I’m just chillin.

Fortuna, you filthy auld dame, you really are spoiling me with this latest series of spins.

Rock on.

Blerg…

Yay me! Did a little cleaning today. I snuck up on myself, didn’t let on I was about to start sweeping until BAM! broom in the hand, what am I doing? Sweeping. And I considered stopping sweeping but really, it wasn’t that bad. So there, finally found a way (this once, anyway) to make myself do unpleasant shit. Just start doing it, don’t even give yourself (myself) time to weasel out of it… or I would never have begun. Apartment was a disgusting mess, stepping barefoot around the filthy floor was like walking on gravel. Seriously, gross. I have been telling my sisters I’ll make them proper pancakes for ages, by now they have realised there are no pancakes. Their older sister is crap. But I do want to make them pancakes, I kick ass at pancakes. I kick pancake ass. So had to start tackling the mess, so I can invite actual human beings, even ones who love me unconditionally, into my home. And I’m nearly…. nearly there. We’re not quite ready for food preparation, it’s still pretty unhygienic and nasty, but I’ve made some headway. Scraped the debris of my everyday messy life to one side and shovelled it up. I don’t know where all this grey crap comes from. But it’s done now, the floor has been swept. I’m proud.

It sort of progressed naturally after I began throwing away random husband belongings. Shit he won’t miss, even if he does come back. An odd shoelace that has been roaming the apartment wistfully since before we split up. I always pick it up, put it somewhere safe, and forget all about it. It may be that I’m just constantly rehoming both laces, separately, but this time it surfaced and I decided “screw you, blue shoelace, this has gone on long enough.” And I threw him in the bin. Him? It. I threw it in the bin. It’s a shoelace, not my husband… anyway the satisfying removal of his odds and ends from MY apartment began after I came across some dubious exchange on facebook, between soon to be ex husband and “that girl I disliked when we were still together.” You know there’s always one, it’s an ex or a friend, someone HE gets along with but you don’t really see what’s so fun about her, and she’s not even that pretty or anything but still, the bitch-defenses kick in and you make sure she sees you bossing your man around and putting him down in front of people, and kissing him and making innuendos about some imaginary awesome sex life you have. And she knows what you’re doing. You’re saying, Go piss on another tree trunk, this one’s mine. And she hisses at you but your man never cops on that you are anything but the best of buddies.

So he was commenting something on her page that I didn’t understand, and she liked it, whatever it was, an in-joke or some sexual innuendo or just something boring but whatever it was, we’re split up now and it’s weird not knowing exactly what’s going on with your ex-other half. Actually I think he was more of a quarter, and I was like 3 quarters. I am in most of my relationships. My ego takes up space, and I don’t compromise well. Anyhoo, then there was a message he sent her saying “I miss you so so much, girl!” or an equivalent phrase in spanish. So I’m like, dang. They’re screwing. Now he’s across the ocean in his stupid home country but he’s coming back in October. I don’t honestly care if he’s fucking that bitch, she’s not prettier than me- she’s skinnier and more tanned, but I don’t care about that so much. I win anyway, because 1) I cheated repeatedly on husband. 2) I gave him so much shit about ever having had a mildly flirtatious email with an ex, while I cheated on him repeatedly 3) He never suspected anything 4) I’m skinnier now than when we were together, 5) I dumped him.

So I win. But still, it makes me feel shitty (I won’t say sad, I feel shitty) that he’s seeing this vile wench now, or has something going on with her anyway… because… it’s like he has a cool rebound going on, and I just rebounded onto an old best friend’s cock, and ruined shit. And then went back to my friendless dejected life with my buddy the laptop. And I was kind of wanting him to hate me and move on, so I could feel less like a heartless bitch about breaking up with him for reasons of “I want more cock” and “You’re starting to piss me off” which obviously I didn’t tell him. I told him we were growing apart, I didn’t feel ready for responsibility, we have trouble communicating. True too, but… I wanted more cock and he was pissing me off with his…personality. Anyway I felt like a bitch wrecking what he seemed to think was awesome blissful married life, so I was hoping he’d move on and find some stupid wench to be amused at his repetition of anecdotes from 6 years ago. But now that he seems to have done just that… and with a woman I know, and never liked cause she gave him the eye… and I told him that, I was like “dude, that bitch was looking at you, I’ll cut her, and I’ll cut you, understood?” and he probably laughed at that because I was still in the pre-buying, talking about my future swiss army knife period.  So I feel like in his mind, he might feel like he’s got one over on me. It makes me sorta kinda want to smack him back with a, yeah well I cheated on you LOADS. But obviously I won’t do that.

Anyway I feel pretty shitty indeed. It’s like my first bike. Well, tricycle. This is why I never learnt to ride a bike until last year, by the way. My mum got me a tricycle for christmas and it was plastic and has a horse’s head. I loved it. It was my best friend (now I have a laptop) and I used to talk to it, walking around wheeling it with my arm around its neck. My mum said I used to whisper to it and stroke its mane. But I wouldn’t ride it. I think I anthropomorphised it too much, I didn’t want to hurt my horse. Except, sometimes other children would come to play (rarely….so little has changed) and they would get on my trike and ride around. And I would scream and wail and partly I wanted to protect my horse from being abused by mean other children, partly I couldn’t bear that anyone else was using something of mine even if I had left it aside. So I would cry or scream or be a bitch until I got my horse back, and then even though I didn’t want to ride it around, I would cycle it around manicaly so no one else could. Until my mother made me share, or something.

Anyway, I don’t want husband back and I’m not going to ride him just to keep that harpy’s paws off him, but I still feel the mild indignant pain of having one of my possessions used by someone else. It’ll pass- I aint that cut up about it. But it feels weird, you know? We did have a really awesome and sweet relationship for a lot of the time. I wouldn’t have gotten married if it wasn’t special. It’s tough though. It’s a lot easier to break up with someone and then when the dust settles, the clarity and distance from emotion tells you “well that was a fucking good decision, look how much of a dick he was… I don’t know what I saw in him,” and to be honest, yeah, he has turned out to be a total dick in a lot of ways. But he was my total dick! He was mine, I beat him down from an unattainable man who didn’t care about me to a docile pet who was sweet and nice and loving and who tolerated me until I dumped him. And now what, he’s on the rebound? I’m happy for him, except he owes me money. And how dare he get a rebound when I don’t have one. Anyway. I realise you may want to get off the crazy train at this point, so here we go, I’ll stop. You can get off now- I’ll keep on going, you can count on that.

And I’m gonna keep throwing out his useless crap that’s lying around. It’s terribly satisfying.

The least-bad worst things about breaking up

I’m not going to get all feelings-y on you now, so don’t worry. That’s just not how I roll. But I was thinking about the lighter side, the little details I never thought about before. I don’t want you thinking I’m a callous bitch either, just, you know, I’m thinking about this stuff.  Anyway it’s a list, everyone likes lists!

1. My longest ever relationship, and I neglected to absorb any of the man-skills my partner has. He can do all sorts of man things, and it never occurred to me to take notes as he changed fuses (I don’t even know if that’s a thing), drilled things into things, made holes in walls and completed other tasks I’ll never learn. I’ll have to pay someone to do this stuff from now on, and I could have just pretended to be interested. Then I’d have a great set of useful skills and I’d be able to say things like “my first husband taught me to rewire a socket” (again, don’t know if that’s a thing)

2. The mark on the wall needs to be painted over. The kitchen blind needs to be replaced. The bathroom ceiling has cracking paint. I now realise these problems will never be resolved.

3. Can’t be so hostile towards men any more. I’ll have to start listening to their moronic come ons and not just tearing them to pieces when they try to talk to me. I’ll have to deal with waking up with someone way less attractive than my standards, and realising I didn’t give them a fake name, and they know where I work.

4. I can’t open olive jars. A friend told me she bought a utensil that does this for her, some sort of gripping device to put on the lid… but the idea of going looking for one and buying it and having it in my house… is depressing.

5. I’ll have to make an effort again, and every day, because the fish in the sea haven’t seen my morning face yet and so can (and must!) still be tricked with makeup.

6. The piercing ring of silence in the apartment. Leads to microwavable ready meals for one, eaten out of the packet, and pathetic and unsatisfactory masturbation. It also leads to keeping the volume on tv really low because anything loud seems wrong.

7. Will have to learn to perform the heimlich maneuver on myself in case I choke while eating ready meals alone. To be honest I wouldn’t ever eat ready meals, my idea of a ready meal is buying pesto in a jar. I could still choke though.

8. I’ll have to completely rethink how much rice to cook, something I had only just got right. It was always way too much or way too little- now I have to start all over again.

9. Back to pretending I don’t fart.

10. I’ll have to bring the bins out from now on (that was his contribution to domestic life)

Jeez, how gloomy it all looks..