I think I need to talk about the day that I had yesterday. It was a day of frustrations, disappointments, extreme stress, a fleeting moment of extraordinary good cheer, and then earth shattering awkwardness. Are you ready?... let's delve.
I woke up much earlier than I was ready for, in the dark, and the chilly winter morn, to walk my dog. When I got home I had to bring in the day's firewood, which I dropped on my bare foot. Don't worry it only tickled. Of course it didn't, it hurt like blazes. For goodness sake!
It was Wednesday so that meant it was grocery day, and it was very people-y out there and I Eleven-Out-of-Ten do not recommend. After completing my shop with the speed and efficiency of a well oiled machine, I sat in the car for over an hour waiting for my mother to finish her shop. Then we staggered home to COVID clean our groceries and fall on some muffins to save our lives. The muffins were okay-ish.
Now get ready, if you are one of my overseas readers, I am about to shatter some of the illusions you have about living in Australia.
What people imagine my life in Australia is like:
I live on a massive property, the kind it takes a day to drive across, and there are kangaroos hopping around everywhere, and I have Koala Butlers, and we eat wattle seed ice cream melting over lamingtons and shout out Coo-eee! to help lost people find their way to safety. Then we all go swimming at Bondi Beach and play cricket and call in sick from work the next day even though we're just hung over. And when we prank call people we say "G-day mate!"
What my life in Australia is actually like:
Sometimes a kangaroo swims across the river and gets lost in my suburb and panic hops at high speeds into culdesacs and frightens the living shit out of my dog who tears my arm out of the socket as we run away. A patron of the drug dealer across the road drove their car into my house, I was inhospitable (I didn't crack open a cold one and wait for the police, I screamed "I am going to fucking kill you!") I hate cricket. And football. And my house is so close to my neighbour's patio that when I'm in my toilet yelling at my family to bring me some toilet paper, I can hear him laughing.
Which is to say, yesterday I had to repeatedly yell out for someone to please, for the love of God, bring me some fucking toilet paper. I really fantasised hard about having a butler koala at that time.
But to shatter another of your Aussie illusions... koalas are fucking lazy bastards. They sleep nearly all the time because they have barely adequate nutrition from eating only eucalyptus leaves and when they are awake they are mostly disagreeable, grumpy bastards. But we deserve it because we are destroying their habitat. Sorry about that. You have to know actual Australian people care very deeply about this, we just have really shitty government.
But still, I couldn't let go of the idea of a Butler Koala.
Until my Dad wore his $8000 hearing aids in the shower. That was the cause of the extreme stress mentioned in the intro of this post. I can't even talk about this - which is really telling because I never shut up about anything. This was really unbelievably bad.
Then I took my dog for his afternoon walk, and was absolutely cheered to see my niece's husband driving the van used to drop off elderly clients after a social day, he was waving, and I had one hand bound in several loops of dog lead, and the other hand was carrying something. Okay it was dog poo. I waved a bag of dog poo with a massive smile on my face.
After dinner I messaged my niece's husband and said "you're not really my friend until I've waved a bag of dog poo at you"
A couple of hours later I was messaged by my niece (not his wife, my other niece, who works with him) and she said "I waved at you today, but I don't think you knew who it was, based on the way you were waving"
WHAT THE FUCK!!!
The van has tinted windows, and I had dark sunglasses on, and I have shitty vision, and I thought I was waving at Stuart and I was actually waving at Amber, and to make things worse, although they work together, Stuart was not even in the van.
So... the first private message I sent Stuart in two years, (the last one was welcoming him into the family the night before his wedding) and that came in after... well... my niece and he might be (but probably are) separating was to say "you're not really my friend until I've waved a bag of dog poo at you" AND I HADN'T WAVED A BAG OF DOG POO AT HIM sounds like goodbye, you weren't even thought highly enough to have me wave a bag of excrement at you. Which is not the truth Stuart. I promise.
The one thing that cheered me up about this whole craptastrophe (crap catastrophe) is thinking Amber would have seen me when she was driving the van and said, "Hey, there's my Aun- [sees me waving a bag of poo] never mind, I don't know that person"
Amber tells me she totally would have still claimed me as her own, even waving a bag of dog poo at a van of senior citizens, and I believe her.
Because we are truly kindreds.
And Stuart is a mighty calm man, because when I did send him that, unfortunate message, his reply was not "what the heck are you talking about?" it was "I didn't notice" like he totally had seen me, just hadn't seen the poo. What a champ.
And I am sitting here feeling a lot of love right now, for everyone in this story (except the druggie who drove into my house) and that is why talking about this stuff helps. Thanks for listening. Or reading. You know what I mean.
So how was your day?