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Saturday, January 20, 2007

A Fallen Woman

On the whole, my campaigns start with great enthusiasm. I think this stems from my goldfish mentality, in that I always forget that most campaigns are pointless, fruitless and ultimately, a failure. Does this do anything to dampen my resolve? Not initially, but that’s because of the goldfish memory. I always think that this time it will be better, we will succeed and surprise ourselves.

I await such surprises with caution. Nevertheless, despite my impending surgery, I collar spouse to share my latest brilliant idea. I need his input to confirm that this time we are surely onto a winner. I wait until all small people are asleep, whip out the carrier bag and insert the batteries. I have to wait many hour until he returns from work in the wee hours of the morning. I try and remember that he is awake and alert and I am……..neither particularly.

“What do you think?” I beam, waggling the device before him.
“What do I think about what?”
“This! Look! Let me show you. You pass your hand under the magic eye and voila!” An annoying little tune accompanies the dispensation of a large dollop of soap into the palm of my hand. “Here, smell! It’s ‘Tangerine’ scented! Can you tell?”
“Pooh, what a niff! It certainly honks something cronic. What’s it for?”
“It’s a natty little automatic soap dispenser to encourage them to wash their hands. I think they’ll like the tune.”
“Exactly how much did you spend on this natty little device, or the putrid soap for that matter? What a colour! It looks like baby barf!” I pout, a gesture that is difficult with the new all super powerful braces wires. “You’re not impressed then?”

I ask rhetorically and unnecessarily.
“Well. It’s a bit of a gimmick, isn’t it?”
"It will pay for itself is saved soap!"
"In about 349 year and 25 days!"
"Did you do that in your head?"
"Ignoring the battery isssue!" [translation = number one household crime against the environment]
"It's therapeutic."
"Acclimatize them to different smells?"
"Just means that they'll never go near and never wash their hands again."
“You don’t think they’ll like it?”
“Depends how you define ‘like?’”
“A five minute wonder?”
“Five second! If you’re lucky.”
“I’m an advertisers dream aren’t I?”
“Don’t be too hard on yourself old girl, you’re just collateral damage to a diagnoses or possibly just normal or frivolous, take your pick?”
“Financially challenged.”
“Well in the red!”

60 minutes

I am so full of zip and zing, I am ready to conquer the world. [translation = black coffee and antibiotics] It’s a lot to ask but with less than 2 days before surgery, I need to make up for lost time. [translation = stop being a sickly wimp] It used to be one minute and that was a struggle. We progressed to minutes, a plural, but it took us the longest time to get into double digits. Three years ago I honestly thought that something like 10 was impossible, but now, here I am asking them to play with me for a whole hour. I gird my loins. I wonder where they are, ‘loins’ that is to say. I repeat my mantra, ‘new, fun, exciting, different.’

I prepare myself for the transition, namely ‘stop doing that and start doing this,’ because that’s the main flaw in attempting anything, the transition. I ensure that the new toy is free of tape, ties and any other extraneous matter that will cause delay which in turn will cause more meltdowns. I arrange my face and rally the troops.

“Ta dah! This is going to be great!” I tell myself, ………I tell them.
“It is boring and stoopid!”
“It is dumb!”
“Isn’t it for little kids?”
she asks,
the only one managing eye contact.
“Actually it’s none of those things, it is a toy that we can all enjoy together, now lets see what we can make?” I think fine motor skills and sequencing. I dither over task completion and frustration levels. I fumble with pieces to try and make something that looks like something. I notice that everyone’s fingers are fiddling with something too and that the vocal protest has become silent. I cast a beady eye on each of them, and catch a flicker of eye contact here and there. I do not attempt conversation as I don’t want to break the spell. I watch the timer tick down.

“You are better?”
“Better? Better than what dear?”
“Better than ill?”
“Yes! I’m much better. Thank you for asking………..why are you asking? I mean, er……how did you know?”
“Because your cough is going silent.”
“Gosh, how very observant of you dear!” The other one chimes in.
“I was knowing that you were betterer because you are coloured again.”
“Coloured? You mean not so pale and wane?”
“’Wane?’ What is ‘wane’? No, I am meaning that your body is coloured.” I look down at my red T-shirt, purple socks and brown jeans. I recall that I have been in a white, now slightly grubby, toweling dressing gown for days. Now my energy reserves are revived I am actually dressed.

“I like you in dah cloves bestest.” It is not until much later, at night, when I am hunting for my dressing gown, to wash it before my hospital visit, that I eventually find it, in the rubbish bin. [translation = trash]

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