After sitting with my girlfriends over coffee and talking dramatically about ‘oh god no money’ and ‘oh man so bad at budgeting,’ I happened to walk past my favourite little boutique. And you know that feeling when your knees go weak and your heart starts … Continue reading Lace
‘Maybe this is the time to experiment with drugs,’ I suggested to my difficult friend while talking about the whole awful cunt Trump thing.
The problem with difficult men is that they have no sense of humour.
‘What do you mean Violet, this is not a time for drugs, this is a time for deep reflection, for looking inward, for…’
‘Oh for fucks sake, I’m kidding, I’m trying to find ways to deal with the world, a bit of LSD…’
‘Reflection, Violet, reflection. Lets see why people voted this way, what they…’
Jesus. I just want to talk about something light. Fun. Quirky.
Anything that is not Trump.
‘No drugs then. Fine. What else can we do?’
I made a few more suggestions…
Write a play together?
Rob a bank?
Join a cult.
He looked at me like I was mad.
‘The thing about Trump,’ he went on…
‘Polygamy,’ I tried.
He was very quiet for a while.
‘You know I don’t believe in marriage Violet, I’m never going to have one wife, why on earth would I have two…’
WHY DO I EVEN TRY.
He has no fucking sense of humour.
He is not funny.
He doesn’t want to do drugs.
And I meant polyamory not polygamy but everyone gets them mixed up and who cares.
It’s very hard to like a man without a sense of humour.
But I do love him a little bit.
And that does make it tricky.
I wrote about girls yesterday; how delicious and fabulous and easy to be with they are. What I did not write about was the difficulty of boys and dear god they can be impossible and sometimes there are especially difficult circumstances where I feel if someone gave me permission I would be easily swayed into killing one and hey let’s see how this day goes and if it’s long and hard and tricky I will not be held responsible for my actions.
Still looking for a husband by the way.
Oh Hi, hi, let me kiss you hello, kiss kiss, hug, hello, oh man you look gorgeous, hi, hi…
This is me, overcompensating a thousand percent when I bump into my ex-husband’s new girlfriend.
Strangely enough I do not kiss my ex-husband hello, even though I know him a zillion times better than the new girlfriend.
Even though we are technically friends. And even though she has been in his life for a few years and is not technically a new girlfriend at all.
I do not gush at him in any way. I say hello, very casually.
Hi hi hi oh hiiiiiiiii, new girlfriend, wow, hi….
I try not to get the giggles. It’s awkward. I think it will always be awkward. It’s okay when the ex-husband and I meet to talk about the kids or money. That’s always done quietly, one on one, at home, in a comfortable situation.
But in a social situation it gets kinda odd. When there are mutual friends around, when you have to make small talk and when you have lives that were once shared hugely and are now no longer shared at all.
And I wonder if it will ever get easy. Which is what I would like very much. For everything to be relaxed.
I guess I will just keep gushing at the not so new girlfriend until one day I realise I don’t need to gush at her at all.
That we are kind of okay. The three of us.
I’m sitting in my coffee shop trying to write about poverty and politics but there are wedding planners at the table next to me and it’s been pretty hard to focus.
They’re talking dresses, flowers and cocktails and well, I’m getting very bloody excited.
The bride’s going to wear pink, the groom white, and the Boston Terrier is bearing the rings. The wedding planners are flouncing about and super enthusiastic. They’ve totally taken over my table and I’m tasting wedding cake and trying out champagne too.
I have become a Wedding Planner.
Every time I agree with them I shout out YESS YESS and I guess because they don’t know my history of weddings and planning and dresses, men, husbands and disaster, they’re taking me very seriously.
We’ve just decided on Japanese whisky, tons of rose petals and flower crowns.
This is going well.
It’s a yes to the extra salmon as the groom just loves salmon, also caviar linguini as there has to be a carbohydrate in the mix.
And lobster. Anything lobster.
But it’s a no to the extra tier on the wedding cake and suddenly this has become a sad wedding.
How can anyone say no to an extra tier? Especially when there are only eight.
Especially when it’s chocolate raspberry vanilla cream.
‘We’re trying to keep the costs down, Violet,’ Chief Planner Number One minced at me.
‘Remember our goals.’
Fine, fine, I said, although I have no idea what our goals are and I suddenly remembered that I was trying to write about poverty and injustice and had somehow become waylaid by merriment and meringue.
I decided to leave them to the planning.
I moved to a different table. But not before suggesting I perhaps come to the wedding to officiate. Or at least give a speech.
I feel that by now I know the couple well.
They’re taking my offer under consideration.
Maybe I’ll crack an invite. Maybe I’ll get to try Japanese whisky.
Maybe I’ll just write about poverty.
Yesterday I was at my local cafe, sipping lemonade, reading a book and twirling the daisy I’d placed behind my ear.
A man with a great haircut and wearing a good linen shirt sat nearby. He had a book too.
He kept looking my way, clearly keen to strike up a conversation.
Picking a flower from the vase on his table he walked over and handed it to me.
‘For the other ear,’ he said.
Why thank you.
I indicated for him to sit down. I liked his looks. I liked that he was a reader.
‘You’re alone,’ he asked. ‘Why?’
Hey, why not. It’s a beautiful evening and it’s just too hot to be inside. Besides, I like it here.
He was okay with that. He was on his own too.
‘Divorced?’ he asked.
Yip. For a few years now.
He shook his head.
‘How could a man, any man walk out on you?’
A bit presumptuous, I thought.
‘Oh. I’m so sorry. What happened. Did he die?’
No. No. Not that.
I left him.
Dead, deathly silence. And then:-
He took back his flower. Downed his drink. Downed mine too. Started sweating.
‘Oh okay, right, get back to your book, sorry I disturbed you, there’s my friend, I gotta go.’
He tripped over the chair in his haste to get out.
It’s okay for them to leave us. It’s never okay the other way round.
In a moment of emotional fragility, I signed up at the gym. The staff, all super enthusiastic with tight bottoms and huge white smiles, weighed me, rolled their eyes at my body mass index, and then with great joy and jubilation, they recognised my surname.
‘Ah, your husband comes here too, lekker to have you as well’ said Ivo, a huge man, the personal trainer I’d just met.
‘No, no, we’re divorced, I just haven’t changed my name yet, you know….’
‘Eish. Oh kay. Well then. We have work to do. I’m going to make you look so frigging good, your ex husband will regret the day he left you.’
I raised my left eyebrow.
‘Actually, I left him.’ I said, in a very even keeled tone.
Dead silence. And then the big guy, the very strong one, the one with all the enthusiasm, left the room. Never to be seen again. Clearly, women should not leave men. And clearly now, I did not need to look fabulous.
Anyway, I called my ex to tell him I was joining the same gym and checked he was okay with it.
‘Sure’ he said. ‘Just don’t come on Saturday mornings between 7 and 10, when I train with my girlfriend’.
We were both very mature about it. Until, on Day One, I bumped into him in the sauna. I love the idea of unisex saunas, although I find it ridiculous that we have to stay covered up. It’s 2014 for God’s sake.
But I digress.
There, in the sauna, sweat dripping into his paunch, was my ex husband. And next to him, his girlfriend. Not a single drop of sweat dripping into her paunch. Because she doesn’t have one. As I sucked in my stomach, I remember thinking ‘Dear sweet Jesus, I should’ve brought my hip flask’. As well as – ‘Who is her personal trainer and how can she look so fucking good in a sauna?’
Anyway. I sat down. Gracefully. Elegantly. Quickly. After slipping in their sweat, burning myself on the coals and stumbling up the step.
I am never at my most attractive in a sauna. My face goes bright red, my hair stands up on end, and if I wasn’t wearing a full bloody stupid swimming costume, sweat would pool into my paunch too. But I am also never at a loss for words, even in a 300 degree hot sauna.
‘Don’t either of you work?’ I said. ‘It isn’t Saturday. You’re not meant to be here. I think you should leave.’
As my ex husband was about to get snippy, something he was always good at doing, there was an intervention.
Ivo. The big trainer, the one with no sense of humour, walked in. He beckoned the girlfriend. ‘Ten minutes up’ he boomed. ‘Time for your lengths.
’ She wasn’t leaving without my ex, who according to Ivo, had another five minutes to go. I wasn’t leaving either, it would’ve seemed petty. So we all stayed. Ivo too. And sweated, and sweated. Until we slowly started talking. And it was all pretty good and grown up and groov.
! We agreed to meet at the gym again, but in the steam room next time. Ivo won’t be there. He has a new job as a Mediator with divorce attorneys. I’ll be there. But wearing a bikini. Because I’m going to the gym every single day, five times a day, until the next time. No sweat is going to pool in my stomach in front of her again!