Some people say to me, often I just realised, “You’re a bit pessimistic/negative”.
What I might have said to elicit that response, is something along the lines of 1. “Jesus H. Christ my knees hurts. *Age is a big ol’ bitch!” OR 2. “Jesus H. Christ, Monday again, what a c*nt!”, OR 3. “JEHEE-EE-Sus Holy Mother of God alive, I’m perimenopausal and it’s a right pain in my arse!” Well, you know……… And really, (apart from significantly indicating that I enjoy using the Son of God’s name to achieve a satisfying level of drama), it doesn’t really illustrate anything of the sort. In my mind anyway.
I like to call myself, ‘a realist‘. Insert smug face here. The facts are this:
1. my knees do hurt, and it is because I’m in my mid-forties. They didn’t hurt when I was TWENTY-five. I know this because the style of dogs is not so easy these days. Oh! And exercise…
2. Anything that pisses on your weekend chips deserves that monicker
3. I am not being pessimistic if I tell you a medical scienceness
I accept that these are things that happen, and no amount of positive spin or thinking is going to magic it different, and mentioning them does not make me a pessimist. And anyway, I’m not sure that trying to spin it differently is healthy, I’m not really one for flowering things up. And I’m quite positive (ironically), that I would not change my realism in a parallel universe where I was a mother. Imagine the scene. Little Primrose hugs me tight, in an attempt to seek solace after seeing an old person croak on apopular TV medical drama. Don’t judge me! It’s Saturday ‘staying up later than normal treat‘ night. She looks up at me, all doe eyes and says, “Mummy, I don’t want nana to die.” And I say in my best soothing mama voice, “Well sweetheart, she’s going to, so best you get used to the idea.” Snuggle, snuggle, kiss on top of the head. She’s worried about the forthcoming 11+ exam, for entry into one of the new grammar (other ways to be elitist) schools that Prime Minister Theresa May has introduced. I get down to her level – which is not that far actually, five foot nothing – take her hands in mine, look her in the eye and say, “you should be darling, if you don’t get into the school, the chances are you will be discriminated against in the future, when trying to get into university or the world of work.”
My puberty chat would be, “You will bleed from your vagina once a month which is uncomfortable and wreaks havoc on your skin and appetite for chocolate, this will be a sign that you are a healthy woman able to have children should you choose to, this monthly event will last for decades of your life, and then you will go through an equally uncomfortable process at the end of that, that may last another ten whole years – to indicate the end of your fertility – when your body temperature will reach the dizzying heights of Death Valley in Summer, and sometimes you will feel that somewhere inside you there is an actual leaking rusty tap. And you will gain an average of seven kilos and grow a beard to rival Captain Birdseye. You’re welcome.”
Years later she’s waving at me from the train as she heads off to university after achieving the A-level results she needed. I wave back proudly, tears in my eyes. “That’s amAZING!! I’m so proud of you…. Don’t forget to have fun! There’s no guarantee that your degree will get you a good job at the end of your course, so it would be a shame to waste those years of freedom in a new city away from us finding your independence, ONLY studying. I love you! Enjoy! See you when you come back to live with us for the rest of your life, because you can’t get on the housing ladder.” But she’s already too far down the noisy track of youthful hope, to hear me…….
And that gently does it approach is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #55.
*And nooooo, age is not just a number, Rumi meme readers, if my body feels different and it is medically proven to affect your physical abilities <I eye roll at your positivity cliches>