Friday, 27 April 2012

I'm getting a new discount card!

It's been a good week. Several things have happened to make me proud and I'll cut to the chase on the most important one. yesterday, I, aged 44 and a bit, mother of four, and blonde, got an unconditional offer of a place at university. It's day release, not full-time, but in two years I'll have a BA and, more importantly, for the next two years I get that fantastic excuse to save even more by shopping more - a student discount card! Siggy is worried already.

But then, I'm really a little worried about Siggy. When a middle-aged man begins giggling whilst in the bathroom, I think it's time to consider getting in some professional help. He, as usual, had some mildly-believable explanation, but honestly what do you think of this one - he was laughing, first thing on a Sunday morning, at the thought of me taking drugs! I have never, ever tried drugs (and apparently that makes me a bit unusual, but I've just never fancied it) and Siggy just thought how funny I'd be because he reckons I'd become very calm, quiet and rational compared to those he call "normal people" who, apparently, tend to get a bit manic, noisy and completely irrational. 

Anyway, his reason for these musings was that I had recounted to him a conversation I'd had on Saturday with Gordon about drugs. This came about because he was telling me that two of his friends had apparently been "stoned". As you can imagine, my first reaction (internally at least) was not in the slightest calm, quiet or, indeed, rational. Gordon, however, was pretty matter-of-fact about the whole thing. According to him, and I have no reason not to believe him, drugs are probably easier to get hold of than booze. This confused me considerably, as Ive always found it very easy to get hold of booze - I just ask Siggy to get me a wine/cider/vodka and as if by magic, it appears. Wine/cider/vodka isn't, of course, my favourite cocktail, but it's OK on a weeknight.

Back to Gordon's story - the only bit he was concerned about was that I might have known the parents of the boys who were stoned and would tell them. Moral dilemma right there, but as I don't know the parents, it's only hypothetical. Overall, we had a very sensible and mature conversation about why using drugs is wrong, even if it is only a bit of cannabis, why booze is also not good for 16 year-olds (or 44 year olds when the amount of wine is measured closer to gallons than millilitres, which Is why I had to give it up for almost a week recently) and why it's important that the boys talk to us as parents. I'm occasionally both surprised and worried to find that there may actually at least four proper adults living in our house, but generally it doesn't take long for one of the twins to do something so spectacularly stupid and infantile, that I can feel better again.

At the moment, though, I'm trying to enjoy the possibilities and last Saturday we passed another milestone - Peter made his "babysitting" debut with his girlfriend by being allowed to watch Scott for a few hours while we went out to a show. This was, we thought, a good test because we would only be out for few hours, Siggy would be driving so we could get home quick if needed and at the same time, we'd have a show to watch  and occupy us rather than just go for a meal and spend all the time talking about the babysitting and worrying about it. In the event, though it was all fine. We even made it easier on ourselves by grounding Donald in the afternoon because he went out and left his mate, Calvin, in the garage with Erin, Calvin's girlfriend. Donald, true to form, tells us nothing so you can imagine my shock to go out to put a washing on and find two teenagers snogging on the couch. So to cover our embarassment, Donald got a bawling out and grounded. 

The bawling out also meant we were cutting it fine for the theatre as usual and it's just lucky that Siggy is, without exception, the luckiest man I have ever known at finding car parking spaces. I should qualify that statement by just noting that I dont actually get in cars with a lot of men, but if anyone is luckier than Siggy they'd been in the papers. Siggy actually gets upset if there's more than about three cars between him and the nearest possible space at the supermarket but on Saturday he has accepted that, being late, we'd need to go to the overpriced multi-storey car park behind the theatre, so he drove down the street next to the theatre and, surprise, surprise, a car started to pull out of the second closest space to the theatre door just as he was about to pass. Thank God for seatbelts! he hit the brakes so hard, nearly went through the windscreen, but i didn't say anything as I'm so used to him spotting spaces and taking what he calls "appropriate action" that I barely notice now.

And so into the theatre. "Tickets, please", says the usher as we get in.I looked at Siggy, who is responsible for these things.

"What are you looking at me for?" he says.

"Ha ha, get the tickets out," I say

"i've not got them" 

"They were on the table" 

"I know they were on the table," he says, "but I didn't pick them up"

" Well why not, you always pick them up"

At this point, I realised that we were beginning to attract a lot of attention and not in a positive way. It must have been like watching one of those bloody Direct Line adverts being filmed and it was time to take action. I went to the box office, explained loudly that "My husband is a registered idiot, but it's his weekend out without his regular carer, can you lease help me out here and check if our tickets can be re-issued." Then just for effect, "I am a friend of the theatre, you know. " Hyacinth Bouquet would have been proud.Anyway, the tickets got re-issued, we watched The Monkees musical, sang Daydream Believer and were home to the house still standing by just after 10pm. Result. Peter can now babysit more regularly and we start to get a proper life back.

Sunday also saw another proud moment when I watched Scott and his team win their first Rugby tournament of the year. Siggy, as usual, had to point out to the ref where he had slipped up and Donald is following in his father bootsteps, getting three penalties against him for, you guessed it, talking back at the ref. Not that it mattered to Donald. His view is that if the ref is wrong he should be told he's wrong. He'll never learn because his coach doesn't set the best example. Yes, Siggy is the coach. But offside decisions going against them or not, they still won the final, so I had a good day. Of course, it was made an even better day by the look on Siggy's face every time he caught sight of me with his worst nightmare - a three week old baby in my arms!

Maybe I am getting a little broody. Maybe I just haven't known anyone with such a young child for a long time. Maybe it was because it was a boy called Gordon. Maybe it was another of the 34 signs of the menopause (I've got up to 14, my friend Toni is at 18 and Phoebe wont even tell us where she has got to - and she's only 40!)

I'm not sure what it was, but it broad a huge grin to my face every time I had that tiny little bundle of joy in my arms. Even the fact that he's ginger didn't matter a jot to me.It was just lovely.

Maybe it was just that I knew Siggy would be supportive as well as he could do with something to make him feel younger too. Ultimately, though, I suspect the biggest attraction was the fact I could hand him back. But Granny's do that and NO WAY do i want to be a granny.

Let me just repeat - NO WAY do I want to be a granny. Not yet at any rate, but I guess there are worse things than a beautiful new life coming into the world. I wonder if there is some way of getting Siggy unfixed? I should probably ask Phoebe because she and Siggy had definitely got it going on genetically. Let me just explain that, but first I'll need to tell just a little more about Phoebe.
Phoebe already has one of those magic discount cards as she is taking a course in animal psychology. Well, something to do with animals and something to do with psychology, but at the moment she's been studying like heel for the genetics bits. Now I did biology, I really loved genetics but Phoebe and Siggy have taken to holding long BBM convos about genetics problems which go way beyond anything the rest of us can hold any interest in. It's so in-depth, at times, that I'm beginning to think that they have some secret code and its got bugger all to do with passing a genetics exam. Would any of you be worried if your hubby suggested to one of your best friends that "perhaps a good blob of some protein on your sticky ends would get things going?" 

All  in all - if you set aside Donald serving up dinner for the six people in the house to just three of them, because he assumed everyone else was eating out (I was particularly peeved at that one as it was corned beef pie and I had had my usual 6 failed attempts to open the corned beef tins with that stupid little key thing, why dont they make them ring pull cans?), me having to prepare for the twins exams by buying new white shirts because I know my mum - whose an invigilator in the exams - goes around with one of those little cards to check how white your teeth are to see which kids have the whitest shirts and me having had to listen to ANOTHER lecture on why its actually quite important to put the petrol cap back on (He wouldn't need to give that lecture if he did his job properly and filled my car up when I obviously leave it in the right place in the driveway for him to take it and fill it for me instead of leaving me to put ANOTHER £5 in it) - it's not been a bad week at all.

I'm off to look up what discounts you get with these new cards, just as soon as I've checked why Siggy appears to be giggling in the bathroom again....... 

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