With the apocalypse imminent, Dotty Winters is damned if she’s going to save things for best. So if you need her she’ll be having a teddy bears’ picnic. Alone. In a wedding dress. On the front lawn.
Today I went to the supermarket in my cocktail dress and bought myself flowers. I looked at the flowers as I drank a cup of tea out of the one proper cup and saucer I own while listening to the soundtrack to Grease 2 (the greatest movie ever made, probably). I was supposed to be writing a report. I think this is the new me.
Over the past few months it’s started to feel a little bit like the world is on fire. I’ve had some health stuff, hubby’s had some health stuff, celebrities kept dying, then we had a family bereavement, Brexit, violent attacks in all sort of places, racism, terrorism, and politics and on and on and on. Of all the national treasures that 2016 has taken from us, I think I’ll miss hope, compassion and Victoria Wood the most.
One day I came downstairs and there was a solitary poo on the floor of my bathroom. A tiny, anonymous turd, with no QR code to help me work out whether it had been left by a family member, a pet, a stranger or a critic.
Normally I bloody love a mystery. On any other day an unclaimed poo would have been both intriguing and hilarious. I’d have had that bugger up on Facebook before you could light a match for the smell.
This day I sat on the bottom stair, and laughed/cried helplessly. When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Jobbyade is much less popular. I decided I needed to look after myself a little.
I Googled “radical self-care” because I’m sure that’s a thing I read about once, but the pictures on Pinterest confused me and it looked a lot like I’d need fake tan to play and I am THE WORST at fake tan. But I am a trier, not a crier, so here is my very own guide to making things better when they are a bit shit:
Stop saving things for best.
I’ve chatted to some of my pals about this and saving things for best means different things to different people; here are a few suggestions to get you started.
• Throw a Christmas party, in July. Why wait till it’s cold and the shops are busy? Invite the people you love to eat slightly dry poultry and criticise the monarchy with you this weekend.
• Eat the crispy bits of your lasagne first. Even better, smear your lasagne into a very thin layer before cooking, so it’s only crispy bits.
• Wear a cocktail dress (or whatever makes you feel brilliant) to the supermarket, to work, wherever. Style that bastard out.
• Blow bubbles in the park. Alone.
• Eat dessert before dinner. Or instead of dinner. And breakfast.
• Watch The Thick of It instead of the news.
• Spend three days obsessively practising the egg and spoon race. Invite your friends round for an ‘impromptu’ grown-up sports day, then whoop their asses at egg and spoon. Act surprised and humble. If anyone asks why your name is already engraved on the trophy, glare at them.
“When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade. Jobbyade is much less popular.”
• Buy a newspaper. Draw glasses and moustaches on everyone. Don’t read it. Use it to make a papier-mâché pig. No reason.
• Use that bloody tea set you’ve been saving (if you have).
• Make cheese on toast.
• Choose your three favourite people that you don’t know very well on Facebook and message them to tell them how much you enjoy their posts and why you think they are awesome. Don’t forget to also tell them they are a dick, otherwise they’ll think you’ve gone soft.
• Sell your iron on eBay. Don’t replace it.
• Have a teddy bears’ picnic. Alone. In a wedding dress. On the front lawn.
• Watch all of the High School Musical trilogy. If it doesn’t make you believe in youth, love, and hope, watch it again.
• Write rude words in chalk on your garden path.
And if none of that works, make lemonade until you are all out of lemons. Oh, and clean up that mess in the bathroom will ya?
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Nascent stand-up, fan of fancy words, purveyor of occasional wrongness, haphazard but enthusiastic parent, science-fan, apprentice-feminist.