Ding-dong, the New Year’s Here…

Well, the Xmas and New Year’s break has been odd, and it’s not over for me yet because i’ve invested my three days carry-over vacation into keeping me on break until Jan 7th.

Why it is that I am in work, therefore, eludes me. Bandwidth, probably.

The holiday started with a funeral – a cremation, one of which I’ve never attended before, and which made me wonder just who it was that I could smell on the wind, but the service was nice and so was the reception afterwards – browsing memorabilia.

One day, a colleague threw a piss-up throughout which I stayed sober (driving) and spent the evening as usual, listening to other people wanting solutions to their love lives. I got home about 0230, and was up again at 0530 to go shopping and beat the crowds. I was pooped.

Xmas Eve and Day were family affairs; I got a bit bored and fraught what with being taxi-driver for two solid days, so actually getting-away from my family came as something of a relief. Being on my own was a bit of a pisser in certain respects, but at least you weren’t beholden to other people. Boxing Day was spent watching Morris Dancing and a Mummers’ Play with friends, and then off for a quick game of kickabout, and vegging on a beanbag with friends. Nice.

Since then, I have been working through a ticklist that covers 5 sides of A4, of all the fiddly little domestic and organisational chores that need doing – spring-cleaning, moving shower curtains, odd bits of DIY, hedge trimming and disposal, surveying, etc. It’s quite chuffing to be crossing-off so many of the little tasks I have amassed, part of which I ascribe to having consolidated several lists into a single big folder.

New Years Eve was spent sorting the kitchen, bathroom and storage cupboards and toolboxes so that things were sensibly organised; this was a horrendous 10-hour task but means that I now have an operational downstairs loo for the first time, without using it to store lumber.

It was a wry feeling, being on my own on New Years, especially as I had been told I would have been welcome at a friend’s New Year Party, but for the minor detail that the party was also to be attended by another person to whom the party-thrower was obliged, and who (cutting a long story short) hates my guts.

Hence I was sort-of metainvited to a New Year’s Party.

This is the second time that this has happened, and I must admit that I am starting to consider it a serious nuisance; the person concerned is, or was once a very good friend of mine, but after an altercation she has put out the message that she no longer can stand to be in my presence.

Stopping liking someone is fair enough in my books, but the situation has now advanced to the point where our mutual friends are imposing a sort of neurotic self-censorship on party invitations and public communications, lest she or I learn things about each other, or otherwise feel excluded from their lives in some way – which is ironic really, because exclusion is precisely what is going-on here.

If they’re going to do it, they might as well have the courage to stand up and admit it, preferably beforehand. One person has managed to do this and admit this to-date, but seems to have not liked being obligated to keep us separate. Ideally, people would invite us all, and let God sort it out.

Even intelligent friends are prey to propping-up this situation; one party-thrower has gone so far as to propose a mediation service by which some entity would arrange that my ex-friend and I could alternate party attendance, one-on, one-off; I consider this to be patently absurd as well as unfair, not the least because:

  1. it’s hideously complicated

  2. it implies a greater level of communication and organisation than the matter warrants – throwing good communication after bad.

  3. i am already two parties down from parity

  4. said person could declare to opt-out of any situation to which I had been invited even if she couldn’t go anyway, and thereby gain a Muffett-free party for zero cost.

I feel that there is a – maybe subconcious or unintended – power-game going on here; the person who is upset with me is the person that is putting our friends through the emotional wringer, without having to lift a finger to do it. People buy-in to her “situation” and do painful, co-dependent things in order to satisfy her needs.

The truly ironic twist is that my views regarding such manipulation, subconcious or otherwise, were a major part of the reason we originally fell-out; I refuse to participate in burdening my friends with pandering to my neuroses because (a) to do so would do nothing for my self-esteem, and (b) being as I am not cute, nor have an apparently fragile personality, I suspect that it wouldn’t have quite the same effect.

Hohum. Let the flames begin. It’s deja-vu all over again.

On a different topic: Camberley Central Sainsburys has been totally overhauled, as if Jamie Oliver went in and restocked the shelves personally – the place is lovely, selling deli olives by volume, fresh meats and salamis, interesting legumes… I went a bit mad in there and was surprised to have spent less than 20 quid.

The comely young lady behind the till did quiz me as to why I was buying all this “exotic” stuff; she seemed a bit amazed when I told her that it was prettymuch “my usual”. It did make me wonder quite how few people take food seriously, even in these days with more TV celebrity chefs than gameshow hosts.

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