4 years ago
Saturday, 13 June 2009
Oh crap. What a day.
Woke at 5am (as I've done all this week, since Brixton Man and I parted company) with a hideous, twisting turning sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. Couldn't go back to sleep partly because my head was throbbing quite dramatically, having successfully quaffed an entire bottle of Pinot Grigio. All. On my own.
I'm fairly confident that contravenes the government guidelines re. healthy consumption but what the hoo. I was home alone (the cat doesn't count, although I vaguely recall towards the end of the evening attempting to engage her in an in-depth conversation re. the merits of wet vs dry cat food) and I am nursing a broken a heart.
I lay in bed, feeling really really awful. Ghastly sense of impending doom. Wondered if I might be dying. Thought how dreadful it would be for my gorgeous girls to come home on Sunday night to discover me dead in bed, reeking of booze and cigarettes. I must get my act together one of these days. Ideally, I should stop drinking altogether and I really, really must quit smoking. It's a truly dreadful habit and as far as my girls know I kicked the habit 10 years ago. I hate the fact that I'm deceiving them. At the same time, I'm convinced that I'm doing the right thing by not smoking in front of them. I would hate it if either of them ever smoked. I would feel guilty as hell if it was because they'd seen me at it. So I pretend that I don't and I've managed to get away with it, so far.
My eldest would be especially horrified. Though she was only five at the time, she clearly remembers her beloved Grandma dying of ovarian cancer and in her mind smoking = cancer. The smoking = cancer idea was initially foist upon her by an uber-enthusiastic Year 1 child whose father was an oncologist. Dad allowed daughter to bring into school a blackened 'pretend' lung for show-and-tell. Daughter neglected to mention that it was 'pretend' and thus traumatised an entire class of six-year olds plus one very inexperienced South African supply teacher. The smoking = cancer idea has been further reinforced over the years by heart-wrenching anti-smoking TV adverts depicting wizzened, oxygen-deprived ex-smokers gasping for breath while surrounded by attractive, weeping children who're telling them how much they love them and how much they wish they'd never smoked.
Though it now seems that my mom's cancer was in all likelihood the result of faulty genes (her sister died of breast cancer a year later and a whole raft of first cousins went and go it, too) Eldest Daughter now thinks that everyone who smokes will die a ghastly death.
Good thing. But it makes the need for subterfuge on my part all the more imperative.
So I didn't die in my bed this morning (though, given the choice, I'd like to die there one day. As opposed to in a filthy NHS hospital or under the wheels of the 74 bus or at the hands of a demented serial killer.)
I got up. I plodded about. I wished I were someone else, living a less complicated life which didn't include self-medicating with wine and cigarettes on a far-too regular basis. Tried very hard to think optimistic thoughts about all the people who love me and who think I'm completely fabulous. But it didn't work. I kept remembering how Brixton Man didn't want me anymore (prefering 'novelty' and 'the need to be stretched' to the love and devotion on offer from me). WTF. Is he completely mad? How could he not want me? I am totally and utterly fabulous.
See. I'm trying to do the happy thoughts thing again. But again, it's not working.
I'm not fabulous. I'm forty-five (how did that happen?) and today I feel one hundred and fifty. My hair is definitely thinning and I've got lines on my face which are unrelated to laughing. I have two gorgeous girls but one failed marriage, no job to speak of and as of Monday, no Brixton Man. I'm a mess.
And this afternoon, just as my hangover had dulled to a gentle ache, my telephone rang. It was my ex-husband. 'Hello,' he said, sounding brisk and business-like. 'I'm just ringing to tell you that Much Younger Girlfriend and I got engaged this afternoon.'