Maybe don’t declare you intentions THAT honestly.

I got a message to day from someone on a dating app (yeahhhh I gave in and signed up for that malarkey), which said “You’re quite pretty.”

Quite. I know we’re all supposed to be gung ho about truthful communication, being open, letting people know where they stand blah, blah, blah… but really!

You don’t say someone’s ‘quite pretty’ if you want to get anywhere beyond a icy glare. And what are you supposed to say back to that? “Cheers for the honesty matey, you could be more repulsive yourself.”

Or, “Do you really think so? That’s awesome, usually I only date guys who say I look like a bulldog.

Although if you’re going to return honesty with honesty maybe you should just say, “Cool! Let’s date whilst we both wait for someone better looking to come along.”

 

 

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Under pressure!

I was left alone to make decisions today.  Decisions about building, and landscaping, laying foundations and the effect thereof on tree roots and property aesthetics. All of these decisions need to be made about a property that is not mine, using money that doesn’t belong to me, so therefore I cannot do what I think is best. No, I have to use ESP to decide what someone else would think is best.

I’m really not good with this type of pressure.

I also managed to piss off my mother as a by product of being left to my own devices. You’d think after all this time she’d be able to anticipate my short-comings, but apparently she still has faith in me. Perhaps I should practice more consistency in my ability to disappoint.

Talking of pressure, I found out last night that sea floor spreading (due to underwater tectonic plates moving apart and core pressure -there’s the link! – forcing magma up through the rift which then cools and forms new sea floor) was accidentally discovered by a chap called Harry Hess who was using sonar to search for submarines during World War II and ended up mapping the ocean floor at the same time. So when someone next sings at you, “War. Huh! What is it good for?” You can respond, “Furthering our knowledge of the planet’s geological formation actually. And population control, it’s horribly effective at that.”

When you don’t know what to say to make your friend feel better.

A few weeks ago, a good friend of mine told me they didn’t know what to say to me to make me feel better about the serious health issues that are affecting my loved ones.

My friend was really upset about this, she felt guilty, and very worried she came across as uncaring, insensitive and selfish.

I know there’s a lot of people who feel helpless in similar situations so I’ve been mulling this over and came to the following conclusions.

If you haven’t got any personal experience of grief it’s impossible to know what to say, Even if you do have experience you still don’t know what to say, you just understand that your loss for words doesn’t matter.

The fact is there is nothing anyone can say to make things better.  Neither pointing out the blessings, nor painting a bleak picture, will  raise the dead or find a cure. It’ll be easier if you just accept that, and don’t beat yourself up about it. As a friend, it is not your duty to change reality.

What you can do is give them your time.

Initial grief and/or a shock event will elicit an outpouring of support. There’s a lot of hugs or being close in some way, and facing the immediate problem. That’s good, be close, give hugs. Be unafraid to show your friend you love them.

As days, weeks, months goes by the sense of emergency and shock lessens. Friends go back to their daily lives, you get on with yours, which is as it should be – wallowing doesn’t help – but that’s when grief and fear of future grief become horribly isolating emotions. You can’t shut them off, but you don’t want to experience them, and you know they make other people feel awkward, so you try to suppress/ignore them but you can’t. They are there, they make you feel broken and a diminished person, which in turn makes you withdraw from people who are already struggling to communicate with you.

So if your friend is going through something, keep giving them your time, because they won’t ask for it.  Include them in invitations, not only to group stuff (which may appeal to them but could also fill them with dread). Invite them to have one on one time with you, or to hang out with a couple of people that you know they’ll enjoy.

Extreme emotion is exhausting by the way, so make spending time together easy. If you’re heading over to their place to watch a movie, tell them you’re bringing the snacks. If you’re going out, choose somewhere close to them or go pick them up. Don’t force them into a position where they feel obliged to make a lot of effort.

Small gestures which require no effort on the recipient’s part are always welcome. Email/text a picture that let’s them know you’re thinking of them. If something feels too frivolous to send it’s probably the perfect thing to send. I’d love it if I got a random picture of Chris Hemsworth. Or if someone messaged me to say they had a date last night where they ended up leaving early through the bathroom window, that would be very much appreciated! And it would take zero hard work on my part to reply with a crying laughing emoji. The point is it’s the type of interaction you have with someone who keeps you in their mind constantly, that’s a great boost.

As a friend, you can’t change the shit in someone’s life, but you can show them you like them, that’s what friends do.

The Word of the Day is BILIOUS

It is 1:43 in the afternoon and I am still achingly full from yesterday’s Thanksgiving dinner. I could not sleep on my side last night because my stomach was too heavy. At five am I stared at the ceiling and thought, “Is this what it feel like to be pregnant?” Followed by the thought, “Bloody hell, have I eaten the equivalent of a baby today?”

My ribs are doing a great job of keeping the upper body in place, but as soon as those curved side bones open up my torso swells out like a balloon being inflated inside a cage.

Drip feed until Christmas.

My check engine light appeared on Sunday. Despite my most fervent hopes that it would bugger off, the light was still there this morning (Tuesday).

I hate it when that happens, because on the one hand you could be looking at a faulty dashboard light – not a big deal, or you could be looking at a car getting ready to explode. Bigger deal.

Anyhoo, it turns out my transmission is on its way to the big scrapyard in the sky.

I have dusted off my bicycle in preparation.

Facebook Taking the Blunt Approach.

Facebook has a drop down menu to send someone a message. You know the one, it’s in the upper right hand corner of your friends’ windows. Not the one that says unfriend, or hide posts (been doing that a lot since the 2016 election: We love Uncle Jimmy dearly, well not dearly, more hey-we’re-related-and -you-were-always-the-fun-one-at-Christmas level, but the inner workings of his mind are terrifying), the other one. The three dots.

When you click on the dots it gives you the option ‘send message’. There is another option though, one that’s a little more blunt, ‘send money’.

Basically Facebook is announcing what most of us think but don’t say: “It’s lovely to hear from you, but where’s my money, fuckface?”

 

Thank you, thank you SO MUCH.

Well since I’m still awake, you can hear all about how much I love Air New Zealand (again) and how the universe pointed a finger at me, declaring , “It’s you.  Today you are lucky bastard numero uno.”

These days at Heathrow (by the way , thank you also London tube system – all trains in the right place at the right time, well done you), one has to use automated self check. I may have directed a large amount of ire towards the inanimate check-in touch screen: “Why have you frozen again? What the bloody hell is going on? No, no, no, no, no, no – don’t throw me out, I want to choose my seat! Stop that, yes, YES, I want to continue.  What do you mean? I am touching the f’kin’ screen. I want to continue! I – oh you frikking dirty cock-sucking whore. You threw me out again..” After three rounds of this, I asked for help.

I was a little less than gracious as the very helpful Heathrow representative swiftly went through all the  screens that had flummoxed me and within, ooh.. three seconds, had printed me a boarding pass.

Wait, no! I didn’t want that seat.” Ah, here’s me as a toddler throwing her dummy out the pram.

“That’s all right you can change it when you check in your bags.”

But I don’t have any bags to check in.” Now I’ve morphed into a whiny tired ten year old, complete with droopy bottom lip.

“What seat did you want?”

Dunno… aisle?” Hello moderately sulky teenager.

“Okay, I’ll get it changed for you now.”

Thank you, I … look I’m really sorry. I got a bit stressed.. and you’re absolutely lovely, thank you for helping me.” Oh, look! Here I am, mortified adult. Welcome back.

Swift nod of the head, “That’s okay.”

I watch her efficiently walk over (no really, she walked efficiently, she had a very ‘can do’ aura, you could see her in any number of roles where a cool head is needed: Heathrow customer services rep.. hostage negotiator ) to the bag drop rep, with whom she had a special rapport I think. There was a lot of smiling and laughing (possibly at me), and what looked like some well established flirting! (Automatically I start thinking, “Wouldn’t it be nice if they ended up together, they seem like they’d make a very nice young couple.” I have become a tea drinking lady of a certain age who will stop the world for a friendly natter and a gentle gossip. All I need now is slippers that I wear outdoors and a light weight, folding shopping cart, on wheels.)

She returns, efficiently.

“Here you go.”

Thank you so much, I really appreciate your help. I’m so sorry if I came across as a bit snippy.  Ugh you must have to deal with this all day.” My British shame of not being able to maintain 100% control at all times, is rolling off me in waves.

“Okay, have a good flight.” She’s so efficient she hasn’t even allowed herself time to even notice my inner turmoil.  I am in awe of her. I want to be her.

Anyway, fast forward to getting on the plane, and I have a delightful aisle seat, in a great location. I notice I have some weird kind of foot rest but that’s okay, it’ll stop the person’s feet behind me from my touching mine (freaks me out, every time, I mean uggggh, people take their shoes off on aeroplanes, there’s toe contact).  I hear a person in a row opposite me ask if they can move into my row because there’s no-one else in it. “Sorry, no, we’re still boarding and we’re fully booked,” is the response.

It’s at this point that I realise I have a sky couch seat which is this ingenious idea where by all the seats in a row have foot rests that you can raise into a horizontal position and transform three seats into one twin size bed. You have to pay extra for it, but it’s a fantastic idea for families with small children because you can sprawl out, or if you’re feeling flush, for a couple who don’t mind buying a third seat and the extra fee.

So I’m looking at these seats, thinking well… they can’t have sold the other two in my row as a sky couch because that wouldn’t work if I’m with a cuddly couple, so it must be two other people who checked in late like I did.

Or… orrrrrr – do I dare think this??? – I have struck the lucky tree, hit every branch on the way down, landed in the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,  and the lovely, super efficient rep and her delightful fiance at the bag drop (imagination is a wonderful thing, I’ve already got them booked on a wonderful honeymoon flying first class around the world) have given me an entire sky couch to myself.

YES! YES! YEEEEEEEEEEEEES!

Sky couch to myself.. 11 hours, stretched out, watching movies, listening to tunes, having my meals and very full glasses of wine served to me as if I were a Greek god.

The bliss.

I made a valiant effort not to look too excited but the euphoria of having the sky couch and the three pillows and blankets all to myself tipped me over the edge and I grinned inanely at everyone who caught my eye.

Oh and just to really tip things over the edge, I was through customs and security in 10 minutes, at LAX, with a bathroom stop included. Hands down, best flight ever.

I have millions of miles in my lifetime, and I have never been upgraded. This though, was the Macdaddy of freebies. I walked through business class on the way out, and let me tell you they were looking a little squashy compared to my full size bed.

Thank you universe.xxx