Moata's Blog Idle
SAD BRIDES AND GYPSOPHILA
As an engaged person, I am technically in an "in between" state, maritally speaking.
I often have to remind myself that being engaged sort of entails an intent to marry, which means ... a wedding. I think I'm supposed to be in wedding-planning mode but every time I think about doing something even vaguely wedding-related I feel tired. It's not that I don't want to get married. I just don't want to have to do anything to make it happen.
Given the number of drawings of wedding gowns I did as a 14 year old (bows EVERYWHERE), I'm as surprised as anyone about this lack of bridal enthusiasm. I guess when you've already got a mortgage and a toddler there's not a lot of urgency in setting a date. A lot of people feel like they have to get married before they have kids. We're more in "we have to get married before we die" territory.
But a recent discovery while perusing my buddy Consuela's reading material may just be the "gateway drug" to bridal excitement that I haven't been looking for.
It's a long time ago now, but I once worked in hospitality.
It's an unusual industry. Ostensibly you're there to serve food and drinks but a large part of your job is keeping the general atmosphere enjoyable and, for lack of a better word, "jolly". You try to make sure no-one's waiting too long, and if they are waiting they're more or less relaxed enough about it that it's not a problem. Working in a pub, as I did, you were expected to "socialise" with the punters to a degree. To keep them happy. To be friendly and accommodating.
I quite enjoyed this part of the job and I'm sure it helped me a lot in my confidence in interacting with people. Working behind a bar sometimes felt like being on stage in that there's a certain performative aspect to it. At the end of a busy shift you'd feel drained from being "on" the whole time. All the smiling, and the "alright, mate? Another pint?" and pretending to give a crap about the football was tiring. I loved it, but you felt like you earned your money most days.
And then there were the customers. Many of whom were lovely. But every now and then you'd get someone who overstepped boundaries. There's something about the task of serving people food and beverages that somehow invites a certain kind of person to think very little of you. I'm not sure why. I guess because it's low paying and doesn't require much training. Being a barmaid doesn't command the kind of respect that being a neurosurgeon does, for obvious reasons. But there's a world of difference between showing someone less respect than you would a highly trained medical professional ... and showing them none at all.
For my own part, I think I got off lightly. Apart from innumerable unsolicited, often leery comments about my boobs, an occasional misplaced "your eyes remind me of the deserts in my country"*, or the time that guy out of nowhere asked me if I was pregnant, I didn't suffer too badly. But I saw some decidedly uncool behaviour, often from besuited men definitely old enough to know better.
This week I got a flu jab.
I haven't always taken up the opportunity to get vaccinated against the flu in the past. This and conversations I've had with various people over the years leads me to believe a lot of people don't get vaccinated who really should.
Of course your choices are your choices but here's why I've made mine.
Why you should get a yearly flu jab
It's free (for lots of people) - Lots of workplaces (including mine) will provide flu vaccination free of charge. I personally love free stuff even if it's not useful. You know when you come home from a conference with a bunch of branded crap? Did you actually use any of it? Me neither. Flu jabs are also free for pregnant women (who have suppressed immunity) and kids with breathing-related health issues. Woohoo! Everyone knows antibodies you didn't pay for are the best kind. Or was that wine? Who cares? I'll take both!
It is the height of foolishness to fall in love with a literary character.
For one thing, they never call. Nor do they do thoughtful things like put a hot water bottle in your side of the bed and wrap your pyjamas around it on a cold night. The only candlelit dinner you can share with one is the kind you make yourself, and they are downright useless when it comes to heavy lifting or stacking firewood.
The Bachelor may seem greedy with his harem of girlfriends but literary boyfriends are even worse. You have to share them with thousands of people, not to mention the actual heroine of the piece.
I found myself thinking about my favourite literary crush with the news that Jonathan Crombie, who played Gilbert Blythe in the Anne of Green Gables TV series, had recently died at the relatively young age of 48.
Twelve-year-old me was deeply, deeply in love with Mr Crombie/Gilbert. Even now, I put my preference for a man in a nice tweed flat cap down to him.
Late last week it became apparent that current affairs show Campbell Live may be for the chop.
To say that this displeases me would be a major understatement. My 1 year old refusing to eat anything but avocado and toast "displeases" me. Campbell Live facing the axe makes me downright furious.
I probably shouldn't be taking this so hard. I should be used to this kind of thing by now. Stuff I like tends to get canned. Apparently my tastes are bizarre and unattractive to the masses. YOU SUCK, BY THE WAY. Whoever you are. Baby boomers probably. God, you guys are terrible (not you, mum - you're cool).
Where was I? Oh yes, that's right... blind rage.
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