1. Waiting for an email response that Is. Not. Coming. Once I got confirmation of the shortlist placing yesterday, I emailed the agent who’s still got the full MS with what I hoped was an enticing little update as well as a subtle reminder of my lowly existence. Ever since I’ve been checking my email account with the dogged obsessiveness of a gambling addict plugging a hostile poker machine. STILL NOTHING. It can’t be good. It just can’t be good. Were it remotely going to be good, wouldn’t she email back and say, ‘Hey, good for you, I’ll get back to you re. your MS ASAP!’ or something equally perky? She would, I wager, if she wanted to. But no. There’s still nothing. And yes, she’s definitely there. Just ignoring me.
2. Waiting for Llew to get home before I eat my dinner. You know, I spend all day by myself as it is, so I kind of like sharing at least one meal a day with someone else, namely Llew. Last night, I sent a text pretty early on saying something like, ‘Should I be planning to eat alone?’ Nothing. That’s usually an unintended hint that the answer is yes. Llew really doesn’t like acknowledging this, so often he just won’t respond, as a warped and completely ineffectual way of delaying the inevitable. But I guess that’s partially my own fault, because even knowing how to read the warning signs, still I persist in playing along. So of course I put in a call at some point last night, and he said he was “leaving in about twenty minutes.” An hour passed. I ate a banana and a fistful of peanuts to stave off my Where-the-Hell’s-My-Dinner hunger pains. Then I called again.
“You were leaving in twenty minutes an hour ago. How does that happen?”
“Sorry. Nearly out the door. I’ll call you when I’m on my way.”
I waited. And waited. And then I just snapped and couldn’t wait anymore. I’d made dinner, there was still no call, so I sat down at the table and ate my dinner alone. Still no call. I was done eating and was reading my book on the couch when my phone finally buzzed. Too late, she cried! It was just after ten o’clock when Llew walked in the door.
“Hello stranger,” he said. “My name’s Llew.”
“Who?” I sniffed.
Wow, someone’s ears must have been burning. Llew just called to say he has to work back tonight. I told him he had a starring role in today’s blog post, since waiting for him is one of my prime Shortcuts to Crazy. I don’t really know how to tackle this increasingly common situation for a number of reasons, but I realise writing this that waiting, in general, is not a state that sits well with me. I don’t like waiting. Waiting makes me feel passive. Powerless. Waiting rarely delivers.
And maybe that’s the lesson I’ve been so unwilling to learn: there’s no point waiting. Waiting is just another name for a waste of time.
Postscipt: Stations of the Blog
So it’s later now, and I’m back from a run. Always very clarifying. I do fear these things I rant about above will just flare periodically, as it’s certainly not the first time I’ve had a dummy spit about being left home alone. It happens sometimes. And as happened just now, then I have a bit of a think about it, and realise – always the same thing, so when oh when will I know it true? – that my contentment is not Llew’s nor anyone else’s responsibility. If I am lonely, then it is up to me to do something about it. Leave the house. Phone a friend. Make some plans. Llew’s not forcing me to sit here alone – no one is. The other thing I forgot to mention before (well, it was chief among the ‘number of reasons’) is that Llew’s working really hard, and I’m sure my whining about eating by myself is simply adding to his load. I’m sure – I absolutely don’t doubt – he listens to me gripe, looks at my set-up, compares it with his own, and then thinks, Fuck you! Why don’t you try this on for size and see how you like it?! And that’s a fair response. I can see that. Frankly I’d think the exact same thing myself.
I just fall into that trap, that’s all. It’s an oldie but a goodie. All I need now is a rolling pin and a copy of Good Housekeeping.
By the way, I finally spoke to Nana this morning. Not that I caught her in her room, oh no, the RN had to track her down. Maybe next time I should take a leaf out of Lady Alzheimer’s book. She still knows a thing or two.