You know, with all good things in life, must come bad. Like a bottle of wine is a glorious thing. Until it finishes. And your skinny white jeans may rock your entire world to its very core. Until your maid gets hold of them. Because then they become baggy off-cream rods with flecks of dirty grey. And my job, another case in point, is truly a magnificent one. Can I hear you all say, "10 weeks leave a year" please? To which I respond, "Ah, but you forget! My salary! And of course, exams."
We're in the pre-exam space at the moment - kind of like a community of sitting ducks. Except the only way to deal with exam marking (the first wave of which floods my humble abode imminently) is to have all the non-exam stuff marked prior to aforementioned exam marking arrives. Easy, no?
Oh contraire, little ones. Because the pre-exam marking is the tough stuff. And it coincides with the setting of papers and typing and retyping them until your fingers bleed from their individual pads. (I'd always far preferred other methods for rubbing away one's fingertips.) Plus the teaching of young minds cannot cease. Neither can the parenting of small humans. Or the desire to sit around the dinner table with The BF.
In fact, the desire to do all of the above (bar, of course, the marking) increases threefold. The parenting that's been going down in The Liner Household, or Chateaux de Liner as it has been fondly dubbed, has been happening with such fervent commitment, that I've even got The Daughter saying things like, "Mom, let's sit down and communicate" and, "Don't you think candle light in the dark makes such an interesting effect on the walls?" (She also said, as she woke up this morning, "Mom, you're special but I love you very much." I resisted the urge to lean forward and clip her on the ear. I decided, rather, that she just had a bad case of Conjunction Confusion and had intended to say 'and' instead of 'but'. But to make sure, I whipped out the black board and delivered a two hour lesson on appropriate conjunctions and conjuctive phrases this afternoon. She's currently bandying around words like 'notwithstanding' and 'consequently' with the ease of very few adults.)
It's true: I am the Princess of Procrastination. So because I had a small forest in paper to mark the other night, do you know what I did? I invited The BF down. And boy oh boy, did I prolong the visit.
The initiating bbm read: Dinner in 5.
And after she arrived, some three minutes later and began digging in the cutlery drawer for knives and forks, I quipped...
The Pant: What are you doing?
The BF: Getting things ready for dinner.
TBF: Because you said dinner in 5.
TP: Oh. About that. What I meant was "dinner in an hour and five."
TBF: Oh, okay. Thought it was a little early to eat - I'll just pop back upstairs and finish wh-
TP: Noooooooo! (I dropped to the floor and held tight around her ankles.) Don't leave me!!
TBF: Oh, fuck! You've heard from him again, haven't you?
TP: (confused, but still with her ankles in a vice grip and my nose dangerously close to the opening of her left sheepskin slipper) Who?
TBF: Barry? Has he called? Wait, no - has he emailed?
TP: Oh, God, no.
TBF: Oooo! Was it Hot Mama's Beef Pot?
TBF: Sexy Sexy Mindgames.
TP: Yes, but that's not the reason. I mean, we did have a little text conversation but that's not why-
TBF: Don't stop there. I want details. Tell me everything.
The BF was, at this stage, sallivating.
So, upon The BF's instruction, we sat down for a quick cup of tea to talk about Sexy Sexy Mindgames, then she'd pop back home, finish what she'd been doing, I'd roll out the pastry and finish off the pie (I know, I've even abbreviated Domestic Goddess to 'DG' when I am required to initial things.). Then she'd come back for dinner and we wouldn't have wine.
The Pant: Please can you get your drill out this weekend - I really want to hang that cross of mine.
The BF: Who's going to do the drilling?
TBF: No, you're not.
TBF: Because you're a girl.
TP: Oh, so now I can't drill?
TP: So what am I supposed to do? Wait for Carlos to get back? You know I'm only as committed to hanging this cross as the amount of work I have. And this week I have tons.
TBF: I don't care. You're not drilling.
TP: So who's going to do it for me?
TBF: Um... Sexy Sexy Mindgames?
TP: How can I? Port? (Not wine, therefore no rules broken.)
TBF: Yes please.
(Glug glug glug sip sip sip sip sip.)
TP: What? Am I supposed to phone him and say (miming holding phone - although whoever talks into a pinkie and listens through a thumb is a bit of an arsehole), "Hi Sexy Sexy Mindgames-"
TBF: Make the voice huskier.
TP: (dropping an octave or six) "Would you mind coming over? I've got a wall - it needs drilling."
TBF: No, say, "Sexy Sexy Mindgames. I really need your help. Please could you pop round and drill-"
(Giggle giggle giggle)
TBF: Or how about say, "Hi Sexy Sexy Mindgames, my back's against the wall-"
TP: "And I'd like you to be up against me?"
(Giggle giggle giggle.)
Oh, how we killed the 'drill' sexual innuendo. And that bottle of port.
But not the marking.
(And if you must know, the cross remains leaning against the wall. And not a drill in sight.)