Why do you insist on tormenting me?
While the rest of the world (it appears) is basking in the Mediterranean sun in the Northern Hemisphere, we freeze (our nuts off) in unseasonably cold weather down south, yet you force me to gaze on the exotic and ‘perfect’ holiday photos of people I once knew to be friends, on a daily basis.
I am not an envious person and do not covet what others have, generally, yet I am also not a fucking saint. Which is why I am finding it increasingly hard on these chilly winter mornings to feel happy for my so-called friends while they rub suntan lotion into their sun-kissed bodies, languish on exotic beaches, frolic in the ocean, sup on cocktails and enjoy those pivotal family moments that only holidays in the sun can capture.
Frankly, I don’t want to see how much better my friends are ageing or look in a bikini and I certainly don’t need to be reminded about how successfully they’ve parented their children, before my first coffee of the day. Especially when my children would rather kill themselves than pose in a ‘happy family’ photo with us. Does that make me a really shit parent? Is that what you’re trying to tell me?
Even worse are the photos of my old stomping ground in London, where so many of my Aussie friends have migrated for winter. There’s only so much I can take of them waxing lyrical about what a wonderful a city it is and their question as to why on earth I moved away in the first place.
I know that in reality, golden, tanned skin is more symptomatic of skin cancer than glowing health and that in the long term binge-gorging on food and alcohol is not the secret to happiness, but after two arduous months of wearing boots and lip balm, I am ready to risk it and chafe my skin, burn my toes in hot sand and add a few extra crows feet to my alabaster face for the sake of some precious vitamin D. I think I could forget all my troubles via a chilled Mojito or eight, served by a Greek Adonis, too.
There are only so many happy underwater family snorkelling shots I can stomach as I toil through exam time back here in the cold with a teenager who is hell-bent on failing life, self-destruction and taking me with him in the process. If I see one more photo of iridescent, tropical fish swimming in crystal clear waters, (presumably unaware that their fate will be sealed in the fishing net of some chirpy Ketut-type tour guide later that day, who feigns to like working for over-pampered tourists for the minimum wage, while his own family starve), or lavish beachside barbies full of grilled, iridescent fish, I will vomit into my flu remedy.
I know that I don’t HAVE TO torment myself mercilessly by subjecting myself to this daily torture, and that you have kindly given me the option to change my Facebook settings, but I am a weak and vulnerable person whose only latent talent in life seems to be the ability to live vicariously through my old friends. And you prey on that talent.
Bitter and Twisted, Sydney