If you follow me on Facebook you would have heard me mention that the neighbours are circling like gulls trying to ascertain WTF the new living arrangements at my gaff are.
If this is your first ever post, I’ll fill you in quickly – My marriage just ended and I’m doing a remarkable job of pretending it’s business as usual. I wear bright lipstick and stick a smile on my face and I drink a lot of wine.
This shituation is under control.
As I step out of my front gate I get swooped upon by curious suburban neighbourly types fishing for information to which I’m infuriatingly schtum.
My bestie suggested we build a man-sized mound of dirt in the back yard to really ‘fuck with them’. I personally thought that was pure gold. I could make it the new naughty corner and really look like the Mansons had moved in.
I explained the sitch to my direct neighbours because they’re home a lot. Now on my own in the house I thought having some neighbourhood watch was a sound plan. They’re a nice enough young fam bam. We say hi over the fence and it has real warmth but that warmth has not extended to backyard BBQS or key parties.
I’m good with that.
There is one particular Mrs Mangle nosey neighbour a few doors down whom I have avoided for about a year because I don’t dig her swag. Neighbourhood gossip ain’t my bag, and although pleasant enough, there’s not enough time for the peeps I’m crazy about let alone ones I’m lukewarm on.
So, the nice young Fam Bam was having a pretend picnic with their dinosaurs and teddies on a lovely rug in the gentle winter sun, and I stepped onto my back deck (which in awesome suburban style looks straight onto their greying knickers on the Hills Hoist), I gave them a ‘nice day for it’ salute and we all felt fuzzy for a moment and went about our business, until I heard my name being yelled across two gardens and a couple of fences by Mrs Mangle.
“Danieeeeeellle, where’s your husband? I haven’t seen him lately. Is he here? I saw him packing boxes into the car a couple of months ago.”
It was like a punch in the face to be honest. I could see the fam bam slowly sinking into the ground as they wish for invisibility and I did that thing where your tummy drops and your wee nearly squeezes out like silent tear from your urethra.
“He doesn’t live here anymore” I yelled back ” but perhaps over two fences and two gardens and a teddy bear’s picnic isn’t the best way to chat about it.”
And I stalked in, slamming the sliding door enough to shatter the glass into a million pieces – At least in my head I did. I really just politely closed it grumbling to myself because even though I never want to speak to her again I still want her to like me.
The other one I’m loving at the moment is “Wow, you have we very second weekend off from your kids. You’re so lucky.”
Yes, I am lucky. Because my marriage didn’t work out how we planned and I’m a single mum struggling to keep my shit together I get two days a fortnight to try and regain sanity. It’s awesomesauce. Everyone should have a crack at it.
In truth, the weekend thing is nice, but in an ideal world everything works out swell and you get a little ‘me’ time and family time is balanced and everything is shiny and life is played to the ‘Family Ties’ theme song…..
“I bet we’ve been together for a million years, I bet we’ll be together for a million more…. sha la la laaa.”
*earworm alert – you’re welcome.
I’d also like to say if you have a distant acquaintance going through this, asking them about their financial status is actually rude. Asking me how I’m getting along financially is a little bit like asking me if my bowels are regular, and what’s the consistency.
Actually, you know, I’ll take the scat chat, please.
But I’m not immune to putting my foot in my mouth. No, sireeeee, Bob.
In fact, I’ve put my foot so far in my mouth on occasion, it was easier to remove it rectally than it was to cough that shit up, so I’m not judging anyone for their lack of tact….. however, if you’d care to express concern or curiosity buy me some goddamned $5 flowers and invite yourself over for a cup of tea.
Like I would do.
Or simply grab my hand, look me in the eye, and ask me,
“Are you cool? Can I do anything?”
I’ll say “yes, I’m cool”, and “no you can’t” so you’re off the hook but at least you weren’t a thoughtless dick.