Monday, May 21, 2007

The black sheep bites back ...

Received a charming (err, not …) email in my inbox last night from my cousin – whom incidentally I haven’t heard from in nigh on twenty years – telling me what a bad person I am to not be attending the family get-together in July and what good and holy people the rest of my family are. He also very helpfully pointed out what some of my crimes actually were (goodness, how sweet!) and, as the piece de resistance (sorry, can't be arsed with the accents ...), crowned the whole self-righteous, judgemental load of old twaddle by saying that as he was a parent then this gave him the right to say what he liked.

My, my, and I hadn’t realised that being a parent meant that your sense of humanity and simply politeness were forcibly removed and hung out to dry with the nappies … Thank goodness this household remains a child-free zone indeed!

And while he was on, he also thought it the right time to tell me that my aunt and uncle found A Dangerous Man disturbing and uncomfortable, and that in his opinion my Michael was a thoroughly nasty piece of work. Gosh, thanks, Cousin M – to be honest, I’m not that keen on you either ...

So I’m now even more determined (if such a thing were possible …) to give the family festivities a miss, on the grounds that I really don’t want to spend a single jot of my personal time with such a bunch of narrow-minded, utter twats as they appear to be. I’ve got a million better things to do with my weekend, to be frank.

Hmm. In case you hadn’t realised, I don’t like my family very much and find (as you can see above) that my emotional and physical health is probably a thousand times better without them. Honestly, I have trouble enough in my relationship with my mother (which sometimes I think I keep going purely by cracking jokes and saying as little of importance as possible) without worrying about the rest of the mob.

And then they wonder why every single one of my novels is based on a split family theme, eh?... Err, doh! Still, the good thing is that it does give me so much more material for the next one, tee hee! It would indeed be sooo refreshing if a member of my family one day actually came out in my defence. In anything really! I don’t honestly think it’s happened, with any degree of commitment, since my father died when I was thirteen. The last great champion of his daughter …– should have had that carved on his cemetery plaque, if we could only find where we’d put him, darn it …

What a family indeed! I’m so glad I made the decision to walk away. And go back as little as humanly possible.

Oh and, as you can imagine, my email response to Mr Perfect was short, sharp and ballsy. I don’t think he’ll be back.

This morning, my car was acting strangely, but I managed to get it started at last – just what I needed, eh?! Hope it’s all right for going home tonight. I’m looking forward to my Monday gin for sure.

At work, I find that it must, however, have been a “Let’s Get at Other People When They Least Expect It” weekend (did I miss the announcement somehow??) – as Carol says that she was told off by the woman behind her in the shopping queue for attempting to save plastic bags, and then her neighbour popped round and said how delighted she was to meet a Chav at last. What is wrong with people??!! So we’ve decided that we’re going to designate next weekend as a “Now It’s Our Turn to Be Nasty” weekend, and get our own back on the world, aha!

In the meantime, Ruth is struggling with the new finance system which, for some reason, is giving her all the student names in alphabetical order of first name – which she then has to rejig into surname order before she can check it against our records. Progress is indeed a wonderful thing. So we’ve decided that, in order to make the world a better place, Ruth is going to be V-C, Carol is going for the role of Prime Minister, and Andrea will be the evil mastermind with the white cat. Which leaves me in the position of tea lady. Anyone for a muffin?

Went for a walk at lunchtime, battling through the building works, and checked that my car starts. It does. But whether it will start again at the end of the day is anyone’s guess. Andrea and I have also decided that attempting to get in touch with the university chaplains is much like attempting to get in touch with God; they don’t respond for months and, when they do, their emails are incomprehensible and they’re answering something you didn’t ask in the first place. Hmm, perhaps my cousin should apply for the role of chaplain – it might be a perfect fit.

Talking of which, a huge thank you to all my Writewords ( contacts who have been super-supportive about the trials of horrid family members today, and who have truly terrible tales of their own to share. Thank you, WW gang – you’ve been wonderful. And also thank you to my other friends who've contacted me today - hugs to you all. So yes, the newly-formed Black Sheep Club looks like it will surely be a strong voice for change and the right to say non to family twats, hurrah. Of which there are many. And the general agreement is that all such twats should be smeared in quicklime by the injured party while the rest of us hold them down. Sounds great to me, chaps!

Oh, and I’ve written a poem:

Sometimes it feels as if

in each word I say
something inside is lost
a power bled out
through flesh and bone
into unfeeling air

until one day
all words are gone
no warmth left
skin sucked dry
and when I look

I’m not there.

Cheery little number, but there you go … And the car worked - double hurrah! Tonight, Lord H is out at theology, and I’m going to crack on with doing a proper synopsis and a timeline for The Gifting. I also need to send off the next round of my poetry competition entries, but probably won’t get to that till later in the week.

And mustn’t forget there’s “New Tricks” on TV – something to look forward to indeed!

Today’s nice things:

1. Support from friends …
2. Planning a Revenge Attack Weekend (RAW for short)
3. TV.

Anne Brooke


Anonymous said...

Poor you Anne, with family like that you're probably right about not going.

And then there could be the naughty side saying go, and did they know you'd developed Tourette's!

Glad to hear you've had some comforting words from friends though.

Sue xx

Anne Brooke said...

So tempting, Sue, so very tempting, tee hee - great idea!! You can be my carer, and keep the wolves at bay ...



Cathy said...

((Hugs)) Anne. Families can be unbearable.

Have just been reading your black sheep thread on Writewords...what lovely messages of support you received.


Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Cathy - much appreciated! And yes, - I know - I was really touched. Especially as I'm usually such a cynical old moaner about stuff and they must be fed up with me by now ...


Peter said...

Sue's comment above reminded me of a t-shirt I saw the other day it said..

No, I don't have Tourette's, I really do think you're a c**t

I'll buy you one for your next famliy get togther...

Lord B-I-L

Anne Brooke said...

Oh, that's wonderful, Peter!! That's solved what to buy me for Christmas for sure!!!



Lover of Books, Films and Good Coffee Shops Everywhere! said...

The old saying "you can choose your friends but not your family" couldn't be more true I guess.

I think you are doing the right thing - if they are giving you grief why put yourself attending a tortuous event when you don't have to. Try and not give it another thought – they don’t deserve to use up your time and energy.

Anne Brooke said...

Thanks, Sue! Wise words indeed!