Monday, 17 December 2007

So much to do, so little time..

Hubby it transpires does not like examinations. This is a great pity given that he is presently sitting a week’s worth for his MSc. Every telephone call has been along the lines of,
“Oh Alice. This is the worst week of my life. I feel sick. There’s a gnawing sensation in the pit of my stomach”, or, “Oh Alice. The exam this morning was horrific, I mean truly horrific” and then he regales me in great detail of why said exam was such a trial to him. Of course, with the subject matter being what it is, I find it oh, so very hard to sound interested as it is oh, so very, very boring. Acronyms and algebraic equations fly over my head as I desperately try to make all the right soothing noises. There is a limit though to how many times one can convincingly sound sincere and this afternoon Hubby caught me out.
As he told me once again about how all the other guys on the course are engineers and thus eat mathematics for breakfast (his metaphor not mine) and who thus flew through the exam whilst he almost cried, I attempted to fix the dishwasher, which was resolutely refusing to be fixed. I swore loudly when, at the third attempt, the dishwasher did less than it had the previous time. I turned its knob again and blasphemed.
With the phone under my chin and my hands in the filter system, sitting on my haunches with the Red-head between my legs, I had been comfier.
“Alice? Why did you swear?” Think, Alice, think quickly.
“Darling, I was just thinking of you sitting there, your biro in your sweaty palm, struggling away at some heinous applied mathematical conundrum, surrounded by other men with their tongues sticking out in earnest contemplation.”
“But I’d just told you that I was wrapping my hand in for a couple of hours and going for lunch. You weren’t even listening to me were you?”
Oh boy, was it best to come clean and admit that I hadn’t the faintest idea about maths and management science and therefore, no interest and to be honest, the fact that my dishwasher had given up the ghost a week before Christmas was vying for my attention. I lied instead.
“Of course I was listening to you sweetie”, I said breezily, “You said that you felt very tired and needed a break which I think is a very good idea. I swore because I felt for you”.
“You are lying through your backside Alice Band”, he muttered, obviously not convinced that my attentions were solely dedicated to his woes. My thighs were killing me squatting on the kitchen floor and the Red-Head was now inside the dishwasher. My patience had worn thin.
“Ok”, I admitted, “I wasn’t listening to you and I don’t wish to be mean, but really darling this is all you’ve gone on about for weeks, your pathos reaching a zenith now that you are actually sitting the exams. Look”, I went on, “ at least you’ve got some time away to concentrate solely on them, hell when I did my degree, I had two small children and you were away. Try swotting under those conditions”.
“But yours was only a B.A”, he added, rather foolishly in my opinion.
“What the hell do you mean only a B.A?”, I barked down the phone, clutching onto the kitchen counter to pull my ceased up body from the floor.
“Well, you’ve never done anything with it have you? Never earned any serious money. I’m doing this so that, when her Majesty kicks me out of the RN, I’ll be a little more marketable on the job front and thus capable of continuing to pay our crippling mortgage and the continuing education of four bloody kids”. The phone line went dead.
I called him several terrible names which seriously questioned his parentage and lobbed the phone across the room. Mags, as if by magic, walked in. Without saying a word she picked up the phone and replaced it in its cradle, took the Red-Head out of the dishwasher and into the other room where she flicked a switch and C-beebies came to life. Walking back into the kitchen, she then flicked the switch on the kettle and said “So what was all that about?”
“Oh the usual. He thinks I should be grateful to him for putting himself through this academic hell for the benefit of his family, is stressed because the exams are very, very hard and the age old nugget of my not earning an income is adding to that good mood”.
“Well, how do you feel?”
“I’m in thrall to his genius, but really Mags there’s a week to go before Christmas, he’s absent, I am up to here with PTA commitments, nativity plays, dance concerts, nursery parties and a hundred and one other things on my to do list. The dishwasher has gone tits up and the internet has followed suit, which means that I cannot check on Santa’s deliveries, especially now that he’s decamped from Lapland to the Amazon”.
“D’you mean Amazon dot co dot uk?”, she asked carefully.
“The very one”, I replied.
“Ha, ha. Look, I came around to see if I could persuade you out of your Marigolds and pinny and into a party frock? I thought I might throw a little festive soiree tonight.”
There were times when Mags sounded so much like Margot Ledbetter, it was uncanny. Unfortunately the only thing I had in common with Barbara Good was exhaustion, dirty fingernails and a penchant for Richard Briers.
I looked around me. There were dirty dishes stacked a mile high. Upstairs, the equivalent of Dingles gift department needed wrapping and my Christmas cards needed licking and mailing.
“What the hell”, I said, throwing caution and Hubby’s angst to the wind, “Count me in”.

11 comments:

Sally Lomax said...

I would make you cringe... I haven't even written my Christmas cards yet, have got to make a cake, sort out the house and get the tree up. I am about a month behind on my normal schedule.

But I have now written a blog telling why.....

And I guess the cake will still taste fine. I'll just give it a crash brandy feeeding course.....

Alice Band said...

Sally - Come to us!

It's just me said...

Good for you - a night off is just what we all need.

I need to stop having a night off as all my family (AP's included) arrive on Friday, and all I have done is order the turkey.


ARGGG!!!!!!

enidd said...

hope it was fun, alice!

Mary Alice said...

Alice Band. My finals were so awful, I am still so mad at my family, and is such a long story, that I had to send you an e-mail. Blogger comments can't take anything that long and vile.

Alice Band said...

it's just me - have a lovely time, even with AP's family!

enidd - dearest girl. Hope you find a way to be jolly..

Mary Alice - Woouldn;t it just be lovely for once to actually be appreciated, instead of landing either literally or metaphorically on our asses on the ice?!

Roads said...

Well, as long as it's an MSc in dishwasher maintenance, it'll be well worth the domestic angst ...

Alice Band said...

Roads - dishwasher sorted! There was a spare one in the basement. Not as posh as it sounds - we moved in here and there was one already plumbed so ours was put away. Now it is out of mothballs and doing a fine job whilst the other goes rusty in the garden!

Mopsa said...

Alice, it's time you told hubby you are doing your PhD and socked it to him. It'll take years, and you can whinge and moan and get right up his nose. You don't actually have to DO the degree, obviously!

Alice Band said...

Mopsa- sounds like a very good idea! I could do with some letters after name!

rosneath said...

Happy Christmas!!