Yes, I know we're almost halfway through December already. But I'm writing about November - deal with it.
As all three of you - my loyal readers - know, (Hi Ma, Cat, Kate...) I was alone for the month of November, while my hubby took the kids on holiday to South Africa.
Before they left, I had visions of redecorating the flat, baking stuff, getting organized and writing lots. What I ended up doing instead is watching the first series of Desperate Housewives a few times, getting drunk often and (on separate occasions) going for long drives in the wee hours because I couldn't sleep. Much of this time was spent thinking about the kind of things you think about when you're on your own for the first time in so long that being on your own is an alien concept, and it's either too scary or too late to go back, and there are too many other people involved now. Things like How the flying fuck did I end up here? and When did my Life Plan change so completely? or Is this what I planned for myself six years ago? or Why the fuck didn't I listen to anyone when they told me to start planning my life? and How is it that one person could be so goddamned selfish?
I began to share some of these thoughts with various people over the course of the month, and was reminded by their responses that people generally want to believe that other people are not the arseholes they really are. It seems other people are far more comfortable with giving me the benefit of the doubt than they should be. It seems my thinking thoughts like What kind of life could I have if I just quietly emptied out the bank accounts and disappeared for a few years? doesn't set off any alarm bells. People smile, shake their heads sympathetically(?) and tell me that it's normal to think about doing crazy things sometimes. Maybe it is. Maybe every wife and mother looks around upon finding herself "single" after five years, and starts looking for the exit in every room, every building, every anything that looks vaguely as though it is made to contain anything. Maybe every other wife and mother in the world packs her toothbrush, a clean pair of jeans and a change of underwear in a backpack and marches to the nearest ATM at 3 in the morning at one point or another, not knowing where she's going to go from there, but trembling, exhilarated throughout every terrifying second as she inserts Hubby's card into the machine, keys in his PIN and types in an amount equal to the entire account balance, right up to the moment she presses the "Cancel" button and goes back home again. Right up until she unlocks the front door and lets herself in and promises herself that not going through with it has got to feel good on some level, sometime; that being there, even when she's semi-psychotic and aching for vodka, gives her children a better chance at growing up close to normal than they would without her; that staying means not giving away exactly how selfish she is.
Some people talk about November blues. Me? I'm hoping they're right.