First World Problems

Item – H’s place of employment doesn’t finally fold its tents and silently steal away until after the New Year. So until then, H and his colleagues have to Sort Things Out and Finish Projects Properly and Hand Over and Sign Off and, you know, behave like responsible adults.

Item – I keep telling him he should booby-trap every website and database that’s being handed over with random pop-up messages pointing out that the Powers That Be are, variously, berks, trolls, lickspittles, Judases, dissembling cod-pieces, ridiculously bad in bed, morons, despoilers, pigeon-lickers, toad-eaters, urine-scented, and wearing pink frilly nylon suspenders, and pointing out there’s no more faith in them than in a stewed prune. H laughs immoderately at all these suggestions, but says ‘no’. I suppose he wishes to remain employable.

Item – So, yes, we do have a fair while to job-hunt and plan and think and lament and carry on and cuss and get a grip in. I say get a grip, because, given that H will get redundancy pay, and given that I have savings (I checked. I have saved nearly a year’s wages. Go me!), this whole situation is totally a First World Problem.

Item – H is wildly suggesting moving to Yorkshire and buying a yarn shop. He has never run a shop in his life. Yes, OK, so living with me is very much like living in a hallucinatory cross between a second-hand bookshop and the haberdashery department at John Lewis after a reasonably sturdy earthquake, but still. He has in the past also suggested crofting with chickens, crofting with ducks, sponging off my mother, building a house from scratch out of hay-bales and mud, emigrating, and me becoming a bestselling author à la J.K. Rowling, so I am assuming he isn’t serious. Bless the man.

Item – A few days after we got That News, I wrung my hands and asked H if he thought we should, maybe, you know, what with the uncertainty, stop trying to have a child right now. ‘God, no!’ he said. ‘We don’t have time to take a break any more. And anyway,’ he added, smiling seraphically, ‘Even if we did have a kid, we’d be fine.’ So I felt better. Also, sad that even H gets that I’m 36 and my remaining eggs are going stale. But mostly better. I think.

Item – To return to the ever-fascinating subject of meeeee, the first two days back at work this week, I garnered NINE separate remarks, from nine separate people, on my pallid (or ‘peaky'(TM)) complexion. I took my allegedly sugar-white face back home to H, and asked him if I really did look that remarkably ill. He peered at me, and said I looked much the same as ever. I think I must be allergic to my office. Or H is depressingly used to me looking like a boiled tea-towel. Both? Anyway, he insisted on cooking me a steak earlier this evening, as a precaution. We shall see how many people I render snow-blind with the dazzle from my cheekbones over the weekend.

Item – I feel like I ought to be doing something energetic and useful. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t feel like doing something energetic and useful at all. I just feel like I ought to be.


23 responses to “First World Problems

  • Quiet Dreams

    Being energetic and useful is overrated.

  • a

    So H was the one who crashed Al Queda’s website? 😉

  • katyboo1

    So sorry to hear about H’s job. I like your suggestions to him. It’s the sort of thing I would suggest, and the sort of reaction J would have if I suggested it! I am also impressed by H’s suggestions re future jobs. I have suggested to Jason that we relocate to Canada and start a pig farm, despite the fact that neither of us have ever owned a pig in our lives. Maybe thinking in general about living with livestock is just something we do at this time of life? I think it calls for some funded research by a government body so the statistics can be printed in the Daily Mail. Perhaps H could do this? xxx

    • May

      I grew up on a farm, and so I want NOTHING WHATSOEVER to do with livestock. So H can look wistfully at Buff Orpingtons and Muscovy ducks all he likes. Though if he does it with a spreadsheet and a contract, all the better.

  • twangy

    Oh! Crofting with ducks! Crofting with ducks! I am not exactly sure what it entails but it sounds like Highland fun.

    Good on you two for keeping the sense of humour alive. Love the pop-up insults idea.

    • May

      Yes! And we shall raise cabers! For tossing! Or is it flinging, with cabers? Or am I thinking of capers?

      I still hope to convince H to commit some tiny act of mayhem. Maybe a prawn in the Capo de Capi’s glove-box… No? No. OK. Huh.

  • Anonymous

    Checkout Indian Runner ducks on youtube – you’ll totally go with the crofting option! Have my fingers crossed for everything working out.

    daisy x

  • bionicbrooklynite

    perhaps a cottage industry of bespoke cod-pieces for ducks? that sounds energetic, anyway, if perhaps not strictly useful.

    awful feeling, that guilty kind of tired. ugh.

    • May

      Duck-cod-pieces would look mighty fine on an Indian Runner Duck, I’m thinking.

      It’s weird, but my first instinct in a crisis seems to be, cull my possessions, pack my suitcases, and sit on them wearing a label attached to my coat buttons reading ‘Please look after this bear. Thank you.’ I have no idea how this would help right now, but can’t think of anything else I could do instead. So I shall have another G&T.

  • Alexa

    Blargh. Jobs are such a bother. As you know, my husband has been laid off twice in the last two years, so I am all too familiar with both the stress and the “why don’t we leave all this behind and open a goat farm/cheesery?”-type fantasies. Patting your hand from afar.

    • May

      And I grew up on a goat farm! My parents took that fantasy all the way. It sucked. It was incredible to move to the city, where people actually dug up potatoes and washed them and put them in a bag in a nice big clean well-lit place for you to look at and then let you take them home and eat them and ALL YOU HAVE TO DO is give them money!

      Appreciating the hand-patting. The first time H got laid off, a year after we first moved in together and I was earning NO MONEY AT ALL, being a student (ohhh, timing!), and we ended up living with my parents for five months, and ohhh, ugh, but it was FINE, we’re all FINE, argh.

  • korechronicles

    Oooh, I’m all for the move to Yorkshire option and most ‘specially like the yarn store bit. Because I may not have mentioned it previously, but your handknitted birthday socks? They rock, big time, in this misery that is our winter. Which is barely a winter compared to yours but, we are pathetic and not used to it after 12 years of drought. I used to suffer constant cold feet but your gorgeous socks inside my boots not only solve that problem but make me smile all day!

    I’m with you on the farming option even if the ducks look like penguins. Especially if the ducks look like penguins. My constant departures on the Redundancy Train have taken me to some very interesting and enjoyable new stations. Hope it’s the same for you.

    • May

      I am chuffed to bits that the socks have fulfilled their purpose!

      H and I spent a brunch-at-local-brunchery discussing Plans. Upshot, we’re both sick of 9-to-5ery (well, in my case, 9:30-5:30-often-6ery with hour long commute each way (bleargh) and in H’s case 10-6ery with half the commute (envy)). Other upshot, I am not in the mood to raise livestock. Hell, I’m not in the mood to raise lettuce. H, who knows nothing whatsoever about raising livestock, is more gung-ho, but acknowledges he’s talking out of his otherwise delightful arse when it comes to pigs and goats and chickens and penguins. Third upshot, H genuinely thinks I can make something of writing. I was so unnerved I had a little weep into my freshly squeezed orange juice. And I made a list. Lists are good.

  • Betty M

    Not sure there is much comfort to this but in a number of sent to the big bonfire quangos it turned out that lo the stuff they did was a) useful and b) necessary (large chorus of duhs from right thinking people) so they have quietly either been brought back to life or the functions and people have reemerged elsewhere. If it is not to be yarn (and yarn seems very now given the no of places devoted to it that are springing up) or livestock then maybe you can have that?

    • May

      I’m not sure right now whether H is hoping to be quietly bought back and/or moved to another branch with same salary and benefits, or whether he’d RATHER be made redundant and be forced to do New! Cool! Fascinating! things. I don’t know what I hope for either. Eeeeeeeeeeep.

  • wombattwo

    Yarn shop in Yorkshire… That sounds good! I’d visit it anyway. Especially if you also sold proper teas and interesting books… *lapses off into daydream of own cake shop/book shop/coffee shop/photography exhibition*…
    Seriously though, I hope that H finds something new and better and better-paid with the minimum of disruption and pain.

    • May

      Oh, but this is EXACTLY what H was daydreaming about! Yarn AND books AND coffee-and-cakes AND art/photography AND craft workshops AND creative writing groups AND at this point I dunked his head into a bucket of iced water.

      Thanks for good wishes.

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