Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Just The 5 Problems But A Twitch Ain't One

Today was a day I never want repeated in a billion decades as, drip by drip, I was shat on from above by a vindictive diahorretic deity that doesn't exist.

It's very hard for me in my white male middle-class world to bandy about words like 'unfair' as all of the above makes me pretty damn privileged from the off. I'm also not comfortable sulking about my bullshit when you consider The Biggies; cancer, cot death, Rwanda, Gok Wan.

And of course from a personal perspective, my Mum's got MS. No reason, she just got it and hasn't stood up unaided much less walked for several years now.

So it's hard for me to feel 100% comfortable sulking and pouting, but today took the biscuit, because:

1 ~ My boss and I came to a decision, after consulting our insurers. With our van full of scratches, and a man saying I scratched a thumbnail-sized scar into his sports car, I'm not confident in the slightest, much less keen, to risk an already out-of-control incident going to court. I simply can't predict our chances.

The worst-case scenario, I concluded, will be a wage cut of £50 p/month over the next two fucking years.
"And that still puts me out," my boss reminded me, "because we won't be allowed to build up a No-Claims discount for some time, and... (a number of other factors I can't recall now but the upshot being he loses out too)"

I'm still hoping I won't actually be deducted approx £1,200 of my wages to pay for a £200 paint job, yet I had to tell my boss that my morale would be significantly depleted if I had to do the Day Job knowing I was being paid less thanks to an incident largely thrust upon me, and despite agreeing a few days earlier to pay outright the original 'normal' quote.

So that was a nice start to the day, discovering that I could possibly get a wage cut through no fault of my own, which may ultimately lead to my furious resignation.

2 ~ I was still brooding over this when my Dad walked in unannounced. Although he doesn't do it very often, it does piss me off. My office is not unlike an estate agents. You can walk in off the street and there I am, sat at my desk, scowling and wishing I was in Corfu. And he always makes me feel guilty, because I feel honour-bound to pay him a requisite amount of attention because he's my father and he's come to see me, but I can't because I'm at fucking work Dad, and you didn't warn me you were coming.
So I was curt, I'm ashamed to say, and didn't want to fanny about.
'I'm busy Dad, what's the matter?'
He grinned at me, sheepishly. 'Is it your new iPhone?' I asked. 'I'll set it up soon.'
'Yes,' he muttered, 'If you could just pop round one day and show...'
'Yes, yes, yes, okay. Is that it? I've had a bit of a shitty day and I'm kinda busy,' I said as I tapped my desk, slightly ashamed that I will one day live to regret being blunt to my elderly progenitor.
'It's just,' he leant in to whisper as I turned to see my boss on a phone call, 'I want you to (inaudible)'
'What?' I grimaced, 'You want me to do what?'
'Cut my toenails...'
'Jesus Christ, Dad.'
'Susan can't do it you see. They've got very hard and she can't...'
'Yes, yes, alright, alright. Just... I'll do it,' I added as I shooed him out.

Despite it being lunchtime having not eaten all day, he actually made me lose my appetite. I didn't nip out for a sandwich for another two hours.

I have since been informed by my sources that he can book a chiropodist's appointment with the NHS, but dare I burden the system because I'm squeamish about holding a pensioner's grey foot and crowbarring a scissorblade underneath a filthy, elongated... fuck it, NO WAY. The State can do it.

3 ~ But good news ahoy! I'm back in touch with my Lovely American ex-Girlfriend (again), following her downgrade to 'Ex-girlfriend (American)'. We're swapping emails once more, and photos, and I've even phoned her a couple of times. It's just like it used to be.

And in keeping with old times, it's all gone to shit again. I'm not known for my patience, plus she's developed this annoying habit of appearing to not give a damn in the slightest. A lethal combination.
So we'd reached this impasse where I'd invited her to Jolly Old England and my new flat, and she'd upped the ante by not agreeing, but inviting me to her new apartment instead.

Now I'm not stupid - alright, I'm a fucking idiot - but I'm not so fucking idiotic as to travel back to New York to meet a girl who relished the opportunity to be aloof and indifferent to me 4 years ago. I'd been there before, and it was SHIT.

But I did want to see her again, so I emailed her in my usual tactful way; 'How mental would you be on a scale of 1 to 10 if I were to come visit you?'
She wondered in reply if there was an insult therein, but I reassured her that I was 'testing the water by being deliberately provocative.'
She replied by saying I was being passive aggressive, a concept I've never fucking understood, alright? I reaffirmed that I just wanted a sincere answer, to save us all wasting our time. Perfectly reasonable, blunt, and specific, and eventually, she tells me that 'there's more I want to say and I am simmering the words trying to figure out how to best convey the emotions.'

'Oh?' I enquire.

And then, silence, fuckin' me-killing silence.

4 ~ 'John'. For those who can remember, I wrote a post, since deleted, about an old schoolfriend called 'John' who came back into my life 5 years ago after vanishing for 15 years. We'd grown up as best friends but he disappeared in our mid-teens to get up to no good and fuck as many women as possible. This was, of course, at odds with my life at that time, which was spent home alone, eating myself senseless and crying myself to sleep (I no longer cry that much).

So John reappears, it takes a few years to finally be repulsed by his character and morality, so I'd spent the better part of 2 months avoiding him; replying to one out of every four of his texts and ignoring his calls, because I'd like him to go away.

Now here's where I join everything together.

I decided, after 3 days of silence proceeding Lovely American ex-Girlfriend's ambiguous last email, to write to her.
It was about 'John'. I described our childhood, his disappearance, his reappearance then my slow realisation that I wanted him out of my life.
'The bottom line,' I told her, 'is I'm not replying for a reason. I just want him to take the hint and leave me alone.'

I thought this was a none too subtle way of seeing if - perhaps - she might want to be left alone herself.

Lovely American ex-Girlfriend replied pretty quickly. 'Continue to ignore him. He'll eventually get the hint.'

I grimaced. She hadn't got the hint, so I replied with this picture:

This didn't go down at all well, for some reason. I hadn't realised that her delay in replying was down to her moving apartments that weekend, and in the 3 more days of silence that have passed my badly misjudged picture missive, I can only conclude that whatever words she's "simmering" to tell me aren't going to boil over into actual communication any time soon. Not being told what's on her mind is irritating enough. Imagine what it would be like if I actually went to see her.


5 ~ So I'm sat at work today, pretty fucking livid with everyone and everything and, with all this shit cluttering my head, I'd decided to text the sports car owner, the formerly decent guy who I'd kept in touch with since the accident who'd understood the insurance implications and promised he wouldn't let things spiral out of control.
I was just typing, 'Thanks for letting this spiral out of control. I'm now getting my wages reduced, AS I'D SAID WOULD HAPPEN,' when my phone rang.

I didn't recognise the number and, out of curiosity, I'd answered. The phone was, after all, in my hand.
'Aw'ite mate?' said John.
Oh fuck.
'Ow's it goin'? Yer not answerin' yer calls.'
He sounded put out. Obviously. I'd been ignoring him for the last two months.
I ran out of the office and kept it light. Fortunately, I'd already spoken to my sister about him, and she'd given me some particularly good advice. 'Do NOT', she said, 'tell him to fuck off and leave you alone.'

Although I am very much of the opinion that you should man up and tell people straight, however unpalatable, this was one situation where I realised there'd be little to gain, other than a broken jaw. And my sister was right; There's something unwary about John. He told me in our conversation that after 20 years, he could tell something was up (that'll be all that ignoring, John). I told him about the whole sports car/van/insurance/wage cut debacle, and said I'd had enough with humanity and wanted to keep my head down.

Luckily, he bought it. Unluckily, he bought it. He said he wanted to meet up in February.
I said no. I was writing.
He said he had some pictures he wanted to give me.
I grimaced.
I really wish he's stop being so friendly.
And we hung up, with me certain now that I would see him again, and not because I would've reluctantly given in.

I can see this getting nasty. I can see it getting stalkery. I can see me getting the living shit kicked out of me by the hardcase formerly known as my Very Best Friend while my Lovely American ex-Girlfriend continues to ignore me and I get my wages cut to pay for a superficial scratch on the car of a prick.

Suffice to say, I could've done without a day like today. But my left eyelid twitch has gone.

Oh for fuck's sake, it's just come back.


i am not your freud said...

i think you should quit your job. all of this would make sense if you did. then you can say "yeah everything happens for a reason" etc.

let the american girl go!!!!

Anonymous said...

You need to get some other quotes for that paint job on the Porsche. He is taking the piss. As is your boss.

Act with your feet and walk away form your job, it seems like your boss just walks all over you anyway.

looby said...

Oh dear oh dear oh dear Fweng - what a terrible day.

The car thing is ridiculous. It's just a cost to the firm - they can't reclaim it off you. These things happen, that's why they pay insurance. It's getting surreal now. I hope you contest the claim and refuse it. I'm sure if it went to court you'd get a fairer hearing there than wither Porsche chancer and your boss is giving you.

American gf saying those things then leaving you in limbo is torture. I have to say it does seem quite a specialism of women. Happened to me several times. Why they do it I've no idea. If you've got something you're dying to say, just say it, never mind spending three months getting it to sound like a discarded brilliant fragment from Nabokov. I hate it when they do that. And you can't pump them for it in case you sound needy.

Keep putting John off. It was almost like he was almost beginning to get a fragment of a hint through his thick head for a minute there.

Z said...

Hang on, either the insurance pays and they lose their no-claims, or there isn't a claim and they don't. Getting fucked without asking for it is one thing, but fore and aft at the same time is quite another. This is quite apart from the unreasonableness of the claim in the first place.

I don't think your American ex is good enough for you. But if she's really the one, then don't be humble. It doesn't engender respect.

I was a bit the same with my mother as you with your father. Actually, I was worse. On the other hand, I looked after her until she died and I was genuinely kind those last six months. Getting old is a bugger and you can't see when you're being unreasonable. Do it and think of Jesus washing people's feet (allegedly and not in a wannabegodlike way at all). But clumsily, so he won't ask you again. Retching helps.

If you meet John (bad idea, but maybe unavoidable) go to a pub near where he lives. Don't, for fuck's sake, drink too much and don't take drugs or I'll be the one stalking you. I mean it. Well, a bit.

Um, I think that's it. Be seeing you

Anonymous said...

never thought i'd see the day dawn when I'd agree with your mate Looby but there it is: I agree with him.

asking your insurance is like asking the butcher for his opinion on veganism:hardly impartial is it?
The porsche idiot probably works in insurance.

You are panicking therefore cannot see clearly.It's time to involve an independant 3d party to help you out of this silly rigmarole.

have you looked up your local CAB, do they offer a free service of adjudication/conciliation whateverit's called, find out the bod and leave it all to him.
It's his job to sort out stupid petty disputes like this one.

(No doubt Pratthead will tone it down in front of him.)

He might even have a useful word with the rapacious cardealer, who's probably at the origin of it all anyway.

Nothing's been lost yet: you still have a job, still ahve your pennies, now keep your sanity too.

Smug Married said...

I have every sympathy over the Porsche.

I have nil sympathy for the Not That Lovely, Quite Obviously Just Keeping You Dangling To Boost Her Self Esteem American Ex Girlfriend. For fuck's sake Fweng, just admit to yourself that she's not interested. It's taken you what, 5 years to pull this particular band-aid off? Don't you think she would have given you a more concrete indication if she wanted you back? You analyse every tiny thing she says or does to the nth degree and all it does it get your hopes up. Seriously, no woman plays it *that* hard to get.

luna said...

Face the facts: you two can't communicate and that's that.
You tried to be direct, you tried to be subtle, you used metaphors: nothing works.

Noone has to strive that hard for their relationship.

It's ironic really, that you've plenty of time and patience for her and none for your parents- who DO care for you.You've got your priorities wrong, I'm afraid.

COCHLEAR IMPLANTS.That's what they want (maybe)

and phones paid by the council that come with a red blinking light.

Tired Dad said...

Anyone advised you to 'grow a pair' yet? No? Ok.

Lpeg said...

I have no idea as to the back story with the American Ex, but I'm not a fan of her at the moment. Brought over here via Soupy, I definitely liked the sketch of her missing the point :)

Sorry you had such a shit day! I hope the rest of your week got better!

BlackLOG said...

Put John in touch with your American ex - sounds like she will soon become an ex American while John will be out of your life for about 20 years.....

Sort out your dads iphone it is bound to have an app for cutting pensioners toenails.

As for Mr Posh and his sad excuse for Penis extension - I'm not convinced it is not a 50/50 claim. Counter with all the van scratches - use the companies he used for his quotes and you could probably ask for between 12k to 15k.

McTodd said...

Try to divert John into kneecapping Sports Car Cunt.

fwengebola said...

IANYF ~ 1. Yes. Some problems there though as a) the job market's shit and, b) my CV ain't particularly sparkling anymore. 2. There has been some progress on that front.
Perp ~ Yes, I do rather feel as if I am caught in between a pair of people looking out for themselves - not that I blame them, but it's pretty unpleasant being spit-roasted.
And yes, re: Job. I think I will be leaving this year, a better position elsewhere not withstanding.
Loob ~ Indeed; although the costs aren't confirmed - I don't even know if the car's been repaired yet - it's how my firm choose to handle the increased insurance that'll dictate my next move.
And it's a shame but I don't know why she was leaving all those frustrating enticements. Suffice to say I've been deliberately offensive in my reply. I've been boringly middle-of-the-road with her for too long.
I'll have to keep putting John off. I've no other choice. It's yet another shame, but there we go.
Z ~ You swore! Anyway, there will be a claim, and my bosses will want recompence, which I both implicitly agree with on one level, and totally object on another (all those working through lunches for 5 years being one example). I took your advice and wasn't humble (in the end). In fact I was a little angry. But then I'd realised I was on a hiding to nothing so I went for broke. And I can't bear to think about Dad; he's basically all there but he's all doddery.
Just don't let him talk to you when he's eaten filo pastry, that's all I'm saying. And I'm hoping to avoid John, although I suspect he'll come down here and hammer on my door.
Anon ~ Luna? That is you, isn't it? Anyway, Looby's got it pretty spot on, but at those prices I have to let the insurance route travel its course. I just want this to end.
SM ~ Oh hello, smug. The formerly lovely ex has been dealt with. She isn't interested, I know now (hard to tell with all that interest of hers mixed up with a hearty dose of disinterest. Yes, it's been 5 years, thanks. And thus, I'm out; extracated.
Luna ~ Ah, there you are. Okay, the ex is an Ex-ex. Even if she's more fucked up than I could ever imagine and she replies, I won't bite. I'm done. And yes, there is an irony that I've time for her yet not my parents, although I've always found it amusing that you spend years in the company of people you have very little in common (work colleagues), and can spend months trying to arrange a catch-up with your closest friends. And I'm not suggesting cochlear impants for my Dad. He won't even buy a proper iPhone.
Tired ~ I have taken that fucking advice, and done something with it.
Lpeg ~ Oh hello there, and welcome. There isn't any real backstory other than we met on a website (which I've never felt comfortable about), she fell in LIKE very quickly, I got scared off, but the distance moreover was crippline me financially. I ended it, we kept in touch, leaving me plenty of time to eventually fall in LIKE, by which time Hell hath no fury, etc.
The rest of my week was SHIT!
But thanks for wishing.
BL ~ Jesus, you've not been here for yeeears. I'm not setting up a woman hater with my ex. Plus the flaw is he'll be back.
In addition, my vehicle was moving, his wasn't (he'd stopped expecting me to pass) hence in liability terms, I did all the alleged damage.
McT ~ Yes, thank you Rog, that's tremendously helpful.

Z said...

Swear? I was using a sexual metaphor.

Anonymous said...

I so so love the way you write. Don't waste what you've got. Hurry up already and finish writing the first installment of Life of Fweng and get published will ya?

Then come to Sydney for the Writer's Festival and i'll buy you that beer.

Linda J.

fwengebola said...

Z ~ But you had to swear to get there :p etc
Linda ~ I've currently started my 2nd draft after a year's absence, which is regrettably now gearing up to be a new fresh 1st draft.
Which is annoying.
But yes, I'll meet you in Sydney and have that beer, thanks (I'm so unlikely to ever get there, much less be a writer at a writer's festival *sob*)