New(ish) mum Samantha Dooey-Miles is charting her life in doodles. This week, she’s got a new enemy on her enemy list.

When my husband and I first lived together, we’d stroll around the aisles of the supermarket like they were the pavements of Paris. Picking which brand of tinned tomatoes we should be buying was as romantic as drinking red wine in a chic Montmartre bistro.

Except it was continually blighted by this one guy who was always on the same bit of his shop as us. Every Sunday we’d be wanting to pick up hummus or beans or ice cream and this same man would be looking for the exact same products, but 10 seconds before us. He was ever-present, blocking the way, taking the sheen off our grocery shopping.

This man was the human equivalent of going to view the Eiffel Tower and discovering they’d built a skyscraper KFC in front of it. It goes without saying, this man was my enemy.

My list of enemies is not limited to the supermarket pest. People who post overly saccharine posts declaring undying love to their partners on Facebook when you know they are next to each other in the house and could say these nice things to each other’s faces are on there.

As are people (and reader, we know when I’m saying ‘people’ I really mean ‘men’) who think they are due a third of your seat on the train even though you paid as much for your ticket as them.

Add to that folks who walk to work holding their paper coffee cups an arm’s length away from their torsos so that they and their coffee take up the width of entire pavement.

Additions to the list became rare after I had a kid. I still noticed when people irritated me but I didn’t have the brain capacity to hold onto my annoyance. I almost allowed myself to believe I needed my energy for more positive, life-affirming activities.

That is, until I added a new person to the list: an annoying parent at nursery. We have seen each other three days a week for the last seven months. Regardless of when I come to do pick-up, there he is.

He ignores my cheery (well, as cheery as I ever am) hellos, never holds any of the many gates to the building for me if he sees me coming and has more than once shut the door in my face when I’ve been directly behind him.

At first I had him down as overzealous about his child’s safety, which I understood. However, after seven months of seeing my face, shutting the door on it seems inexcusably rude. Onto the list he went.

As we are thrown together regularly and he irks me so, I have begun to actively avoid him. If I see him enter the building I wait outside for a few minutes to eradicate the risk of him trying to shut me out. If he appears after I do, I talk for 20 minutes to the caregivers so he will have left with his child and we won’t bump into each other while we strap our kids into their prams.

There’s one habit I can’t drop: saying hello. But I do it in my least cheery voice. Which in fairness, is not dissimilar to my most cheery one.

See Samantha’s other doodles here.


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Written by Samantha Dooey-Miles

Sam is a first-time mum doodling and blogging her way through teething, nappies and the constant struggle of never quite being sure whether she lives in Essex or London. Find her blog at anewessexgirl.com.