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Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Good Will to All Men (Even The Boy)

Like the soft, hopeless fool I am, I gave The Boy a bit of extra pocket money this month, partly for getting through his mocks without exploding, and partly because I Enjoy Making A Rod For My Own Back. Anyway, two days ago he sidled up to me, and asked if he could have a bit more money to buy me a Christmas present. Right I thundered as uselessly as an elephant with laryngitis, you're getting a job after Christmas. Definitely, he said. Now could I have some money please? I was in the middle of writing something reasonably coherent so gave him a tenner.

Two days later I was off up the shops when The Boy stuck his head over the banisters. As you're going to the shops anyway, if I give you the money could you . . .?

No! Get the presents yourself! Bloody cheek. So he huffed and groaned and set off to the shops to buy two bloody presents for Husband and I which I had given him money for. Did he have no shame?

Clearly not. Because ten minutes later he rang me, sounding very disgruntled.

Mum I'm in MSN.

Don't you mean M&S?

Yeah - whatever. What am I supposed to get dad?

I'd told him three times and written it down.

Hankies, I snapped.

What are they?

You know - things you blow your nose on. Like your sleeve but smaller. And square. And unlike you - not snotty.

But where am I supposed to get them?
I swear to God he can open a fridge but unless what he wants to eat is Right In Front Of Him, it may as well be invisible.

Look at the sign in front of you which says Men's Clothes Third Floor. Go up the escalator. Then ask someone.

What sign?

I hung up.

And a wonderful Christmas to all my lovely mates in Blogland. Let's all reconvene with tales of drunken aunties and simmering family rows very soon!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Crap shoes

A few weeks ago The Boy stomped home from school and barked that the soles of his school shoes were flapping in the wind. And it was raining. My fault on both counts. Especially the rain as it was making his hair stick up like a twat. Yes my flap shoed twatty haired son was Not Happy. And all because I’d bought him cheap school shoes.

The thing was he refused to come shopping with me to buy another pair so I had to guess the sort of shoes he might like. Alas the only pair available in his size were plain black with the words Boys World emblazoned on the inside sole. Not outside for the world to see but on the inside sole where his feet would be unless fashions have changed so much that he is supposed to wear shoes inside out.

As I unpacked the groceries he picked up the new shoes and regarded them as though I had presented him with a pair of freshly deposited dog turds with laces. Muuuuum. I mean are you kidding or what? No No No. He backed off and ran up the stairs as though I’d just suggested he wore ballet tights to school. I honestly couldn’t see what was wrong with them. How wrong can you go with plain black shoes?

Very wrong apparently. The next day I received a phone call from school. He is not allowed to wear trainers. I could hear The Boy in the background moaning But the shoes she got me are crap! Everyone’s been asking me why I’m wearing black cereal boxes on my feet! Then the teacher saying: I’m sorry but you can’t wear trainers. It’s a school rule. Even if your shoes are a bit . . did I hear the word crap?

Later that day he returned from school with a face like Foxe’s Book of Martyrs. I had to whip them off in games and quickly stuff them with socks in case anyone saw Boys World inside them he said mournfully. By this time I was so fed up that I promised to buy him another pair as long as he actually came with me and stopped bloody complaining. He was using the shoe trauma excuse to stop doing any of his chores. Post Traumatic Shoe Syndrome. Finally Husband snapped that if The Boy didn’t empty the damned bins he’d get a white marker pen and write Boys World on the outside of the shoes as well.

I thought this meant Husband was on my side. But later on as I was examining the hated objects and puzzling over what was quite so terrible about them, I caught Husband looking at me with a expression he usually wears when forced by me to watch Extreme Skinny Z list Celebrities. I’m sorry he said but they really are crap shoes.

Are they really that bad (she whines).

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Just keep your gob shut Jane

I really appreciate being freelance when I have to travel a lot on the tube. During the rush hour. While I listen, ear half cocked and an expression of grump as the loudspeaker mumbles something about the circle line . . . limited service . . . under train . . sorry for incon-bleugh, all the poor people who have to listen to this shite every day adopt an expression of blank stoicism. Or maybe it’s just despair. Move down the platform shouts someone official with a loudspeaker as all the passengers squash together four deep like commuter lemmings. So I finally stuff myself onto the tube, listen to another announcement telling us in the ancient language of Incomprehensible Mumble that the train will not be going to Leicester Square after all but will terminate at Earls Court. But no matter. Buses will be laid on which might take us somewhere. Scotland? Or possibly back to Earls Court. And London Transport apologises for the inconvenience. Oh that makes it all better!

Squashing down the kind of helpless rage that eventually turns into cancer, I watch idly as a commuter reads the paper. On the back is a big picture of Liam Gallagher looking sulky (does he have any other expression?) and a headline about how the rift would never be healed. My first thought - I wonder what he’s flogging? And my second - twat. Probably because I bet he never travels by tube. Unfortunately I think I said the second thought out loud, because the owner of the paper looks at me sharply and says: Who me? And jerked out of my tube coma, I say: Oh no no – not you. I meant Liam Gallagher.

He looks at me. Where?

So as well as feeling fed up, and full of repressed rage I'm also feeling foolish. Other normal commuters will look at me pityingly - the mad woman who rants about Mancunian rock stars who aren't actually there. Luckily, a young woman nearby saves the day by saying calmly: I met him once. He is a twat.