Try Not to Think About It
September 14, 2012 § 164 Comments
I have been shit at posting of late, other than my Times column, and I can only apologise. I think doing it every day for nearly a year rather did me in, although that is a bit pathetic because when I was actually doing it, most of the time it came easily enough and I enjoyed it.
I still do continue to have plankton-related thoughts each day but decided to rein them in a bit because, according to friends, they probably weren’t doing me much good. To be honest, not writing them down has freed up a bit of time each day but made bugger all difference to me, in my head. I still think them. I am still living and breathing the plankton existence. People – married, usually – say, Stop thinking about it and it will happen. Fuck off. That’s the most annoying fucking thing I have ever heard and I hear it all the fucking time. Do these people not think beyond the end of their own nostril hair? No it won’t. It won’t happen if you are thinking about “it” or if you are not thinking about “it”. Try telling Stop thinking about it to a woman who is trying to conceive and can’t. That is who she is at that point in her life – a woman passionate to have a baby, who can’t. It consumes her. Don’t think of a red bus! Ha! What did you just think about, eh? One of Boris’s shiny all new fuck-off routemasters just formed in your mind’s eye as if it was right there before you in your very own kitchen. Reality check! I am an almost-fifty-year old sad fuck hideous reject failure who can’t get a decent date and probably never will be able to ever again. That is who I am, whether I think about it or not. Thinking – or not – about it doesn’t come into it. I am living and breathing and eating and sleeping it. It is me. Certainly, not thinking about it doesn’t transform me into Zuleika fucking Dobson, does it? It turns me into an almost-fifty-year old sad fuck hideous reject failure who is desperately trying to ignore the fact that she can’t get a decent date and never will be able to ever again. This fact informs my life. It is my status on the census and every other fucking form that wants to humiliate me. It is a truth universally acknowledged that a fifty-year old SFHRF plankton in possession of a decree absolute… It is who I am. Just as a married woman is Mrs X who is wedded to Mr X and has 2.4 kids and drives a Vauxhall Zafira and who 1.5 times a month in the marital bed purchased in Dreams in High Wycombe twenty-three years ago transforms herself into a spitoon for the desultory delectation of her husband who is in middle-management and has periodontitis and forgets to take off his socks between the sheets, and who wonders is this what life is all about?
I cannot NOT think about it. Period.
Yesterday I saw one of my oldest friends who is very happily married (in twenty years or more, she and her husband have never spent one night apart and they are always smiling and laughing). They have just moved – a week ago – with their teenage children to the city after years in the country. She dropped round and was enthusing extravagantly about friends dropping in, spontaneous parties, bumping into people when on her bicycle or popping to the shops. It was a revelation to her. I said, I am an urban girl and could never imagine living more than a one minute walk from a coffee shop, from people, from life. I told her she would wonder how she had survived all those years in rural isolation. She said, “And at our house-warming party we are having four single people; it’s so great!”
“Men as well as women?” I asked, ever hopeful.
WTF was I thinking? Course not. ”So why’s that so great?” I asked.
“Because in the country it was always couples and it’s lovely to have that mix of all different sorts…”
Yeah, fucking marvellous, if you happen to be one of those four “different sorts”. And even if you are not fucking thinking about it.