The old man is making a career change and during the interim period between jobs he will be cohabiting permanently at the block with myself and Kurt, who is also making a transition in life; unfortunately his is one that no longer involves school, education, or any parent-pleasing strategy at all, from what I can see.
*sob* *parent fail*
Meanwhile NC is fretting her way through the next set of exams, and so we all have to tiptoe around the apartment and communicate in hushed tones anywhere within a five metre radius of her room, because she is terrifying during exam period.
Suffice it to say, ‘home’ does not exactly feel ‘where the heart is’ at the moment. And due to heinous menopausal symptoms that continue to dog my sleep patterns and make me over-anxious even when I’m supposed to be relaxing, I’m not my usual happy-go-lucky self nor coping stoically with my raised stress levels. In fact the only way I find any joy at the moment is rather perverse, because it involves imagining my husband as a pin cushion and verbally abusing family for the sake of it, because they’re used to my shit and that’s part of my justification for creating them.
But the old man stirs the bitch-embers the most successfully.
Unfortunately, he chose to book us on a skiing holiday in a few weeks time; a holiday that I have little desire to go on. In my world, the words ‘Skiing holiday’ are an obvious oxymoron, for ‘skiing’ is not a ‘holiday’ if you take the word to suggest a good time. ‘Skiing’ is a sport that one partakes of in bitterly ‘cold’ weather, that doesn’t require sun cream and can’t possibly help you look fabulous, trussed up as you are in layers of unflattering winter thermals.
Which is another reason I’m cranky.
You’re supposed to look forward to a holiday, but the only part of this break I am looking forward to is watching the old man misjudge his leap from the drag lift, like he did last year when he took out five kids with him at the same time. Although, there are those magical après-ski moments when NB knocks up his Jaeger Bombs, justifying a gorging-session on comfort cheese and bikkies because I’m on holiday – and everyone knows that calories don’t count on holiday.
Anyway, I’ll be burning them all off with all that skiing I won’t be doing.
I should also mention that our ski resort must be a retirement village for old ski instructors because they are all middle-aged men; unlike in Europe where you’d follow those tight-assed, young moniteurs in their tight ski suits to the bottom of a glacier if you had to.
I’m also cranky because I’m in that pre-holiday phase at work where you have to work your bollocks off to get everything finished before those precious, paltry five days off, which means my body is so depleted of energy (and well, ‘life’ basically) that by the time I get away I know that the first flu germ to cross my path will knock me sideways.
And it’s winter, it’s cold and it’s so exhausting having to dress in layers and think about the cost of throat lozenges.
So with that much resentment in the air, it seems almost inevitable that the old man and I have reached a stage of ‘passing ships in the night’ in our relationship. He attends alcohol-fuelled ‘leaving dos’ at work every evening, while I work my tits off to bring home the bacon, aided by Kurt at home, who persists in bounding around like a huge fucking puppy celebrating his recent and questionable departure from the incarceration of school.
The old man and I have reached, what I can only describe as, a point of incommunicado in our marriage, (that I hope isn’t temporary), where we can’t actually bear to even look at one another any more.
I nag and he says nothing; I nag again, and he raises his eyes to the ceiling and still says nothing – it’s what you call ‘marriage under pressure’, and neither of us have ever been very good at that.
Which is why I was a little surprised when he dared speak to me the other day.
It happened when we were en route to a lunch that both of us were secretly looking forward to for the intrinsic benefits of drinking our troubles away. Smooth FM was undulating comfortingly in the background, helping to justify the fact in our minds that no conversation was not really THAT awkward, and then Mariah Carey suddenly came on. And we all have OUR songs, right? Those special songs that mean something to us and we know that we nail karaoke-style. And it just so happens that one of my best is ‘I’ll be there,’ which, luckily, Smooth FM play at least ten times a day, and so I’ve had a lot of practice.
But not enough, according to the old man.
For there I was, mouth wide-open in full glass-shattering, mid-howl, steadily climbing the verge to the warbly climax, when he looked over at me disdainfully and said, ‘I hate it when you sing in the car.’
Well, obviously I had to kill him and donate his body parts to Sydney University for research into male stupidity.