Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Another day another dollar. I went to bed at 10.30 last night, no alcohol, and I still couldn’t get up till 7.45. Suppose waking up at 2.30 and eating a bunch of stirfry out of the fridge didn’t help.

Also I am so completely broke at the moment. This is mostly, in fact entirely, because I haven’t been paid for weeks, because I forgot to submit an invoice one week, there was a problem the next week, you know, and suddenly there’s no more money :(

Either way I won’t get paid till next Monday so a week of sobriety and self control beckons. Plus I’m supposed to be going to Dr Heartbreak’s birthday tomorrow, which always ends up being quite expensive & going Salsa dancing (of all things) with Claire Chappie on Thurs. Will have to do that, I guess, as is all for charidee. I have never ‘salsa-ed’ in my life and don’t intend to start now. Maybe my sister would like to come . . . she can salsa.

Here’s a depressing thought. Xmas is only 1 month away. I suppose that to people under 11 the thought of Christmas is not an immediately depressing one, but I’m sure it is for most other people. Let’s face it if you’re an adult and the prospect of Christmas fills you with a happy glow of expectant excitement you are either freakishly lucky or just a freak. Either way you’re part of the problem not the solution. The Captain is, I believe, actually hiding this year to avoid having to go to his in-laws, and who can blame him. I’m dreading it more than anything – I don’t know why, it just fills me with horror.

I think part of the problem is that if you spend it with your family you are willy-nilly forced back into some former role that has been redundant for years, and so is everyone else, so this bizarre uncomfortable ritual is acted out that becomes increasingly surreal and frankly creepy as the years go by – a bit like the state opening of parliament. About every 30 years there is some major sea change upheaval and everything starts round again.

And as for those fecking Xmas adverts on the telly.. Horrible happy 30/40 something families with 2.4 grinning brats with shiny bowl cuts and a couple of be-slippered grey haired septagenarians simpering in the background. I really resent this portrayal of the 70+ generation as some sort of tag-along universally grinning pocket money machines whose major functions in life is to produce slightly amusing but heart warming pieces of homespun wisdom and consume jumpers. In my experience typical grandparently conversation gambits are just as likely to be along the lines of :- ‘died after taking ecstasy – good!’ or ‘Send ‘em all back – that’s what I say’ or ‘and then I had to have all my teeth pulled out in one go. My gums were just rotting away, see. Rotting away they were. Look!’ as they are to be ‘So tell me about being Captain of the football team, Timmy’. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. After all I think we’d probably all rather have a bad-tempered shouting match about government immigration policy or The Metropolitan Police’ drug tolerance program than listen to little Timmy bang on about the under-8s goal difference.

Am I Scrooge (if you are American insert ‘The Grinch’ (whatever that is) here)? I just don’t like Christmas because I think the way it is promoted and force-fed to us by our media institutions is such a distorted travesty of what it should or could be that it would be better to just do away with the whole thing and return to a simpler and more equitable age :- A half day off for the under-7s and enforced church for everyone.

In fact I think Americans have a better idea. They seem to get most of their family trauma out of the way at Thanksgiving so that Christmas can be spent as it was intended – shopping. Actually I spent Thanksgiving 2000 in New York. I hardly spoke to a single person all day, just read in my hotel room, wandered the streets for hours and went to the cinema off Times Square. It was brilliant – I felt like Travis Bickel.

I feel so much better for having had a nice sour rant about something. Actually my Christmas plans are well advanced this year in that I have found the perfect gift for my father. This isn’t a joke by the way. I wonder if it helps that my family are, by and large, pretty much teetotal anti-smokers. I must suffer the day sober and without more than the very occasional cigarette but it does help to keep the overall emotional temperature down to something more manageable.

Speaking of ads I hate the ones of blokes who can’t work washing machines / cook while glowing knowing blonde ‘wife’ exchanges ‘aren’t men stupid / loveable’ looks with her best friend. Arrggggghh. Those really make my teeth ache. Equally bad are the ‘Offer women shopping / chocolate / shoes and they lose their senses completely’ Grrrrrrr. Who writes this crap. In fact I have never met anyone who behaved like anyone in an advert ever. Just think – you could be the ad exec who managed to create realistic non-stereotypical people in their ads. You would be feted beyond the dreams of man. Fat chance.

In fact I have to get off this topic before my head explodes.

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