The Reluctant Housewife or Dorothy Parker Ate My Puppy

"When I got married, I said to my therapist, 'I want to do something creative.' He said, 'Why don't you have a baby?' I hope he's dead now." Joy Behar

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Why are my ankles wet?

I was washing up, watching the scouring pad chip my newly painted red nails, when I noticed that my bare feet were cold. There's nothing unusual in that - I have the circulation of an eighty year old. Then turned to get another plate from the never-ending stack of dirty dishes and realized that water was pouring in under the kitchen door. Not trickling, pouring: gushing even. Like a fuckwit, I opened the door. Cue very soggy housewife. With an awful sense of premonition I ran to the front door. There was water everywhere. It crept up over the doorstep and through into the hallway.

I thrust my hand into the drain, which involved almost putting my head underwater but couldn't find a block. I did the same at the back of the house and no joy. So, I turned off the mains electricity, heaped the Persian rugs on the sofa & sat on the kitchen worksurface with a cigarette in my hand. All I could do was watch as the water rose about my ankles.

Eventually, of course, I did the only thing I'm good at and used my mobile to call every man I knnow for advice, in various tones of hysteria. The most calming person was my brother but then he's army barmy and used to people gibbering with fear & despair.

Of course, the thunderstorm ended, the drains began to flow again and I mopped up the two inches of water that was left with every towel, bedspread, mop, cushion and tablecloth I own. The carpets still sound a little squishy when you tread on them.

Told husband that Old Friend tried to kiss me the other night. When will I learn? Honesty is an overrated virtue. Of course, he went nuts in a restrained, Germanic way, but I don't see the problem. He asked me never to see old friend again, but I can't do that - I could never do that. He's a thread that runs through my life and who I hope will do so until it ends. He understands me in ways that husband never will, and I can't give that up.

Lastly, read this and try not to get angry. Actually, get angry. The only other reaction is despair.

Later: there's a seam of disquiet running through me today - I cannot identify the cause. Listlessness, boredom, a surfeit of emotions, panic, confusion, it could be any one of these or all of them.

Inevitably, I have come out of my hormonal madness and explore the world again like a five year old. Then, there is the inevitable realization of the time I have wasted being depressed and crazy. This in turn makes me depressed & crazy but in a frustrated, 'how the fuck did it all go wrong?' sort of way. I look at the wreckage of the last few years and wonder if it's possible to salvage an independent life from it. And I hate myself for my self-conscious posturing. 'Get a life' I say to myself, but the second question is always 'how?'.