The Only Swinging Going on Here is My Mood

I generally think of myself as the unhinged one in the family.  Not seriously, mind – let’s just say moderately dysfunctional.  Nothing that can’t be treated with a decent prescription and a regular Terry Pratchett fix.  (If you’ve never read any Terry Pratchett, start now.  Any of his books are guaranteed to jumpstart a failing sense of humour.)

But right now the drama being enacted in this house has reached whole new levels.  In fact if I could teach myself not to agonize over everyone else’s stress I’m pretty sure I’d be 15lb lighter and look ten years younger.

First of all, my landscaper husband is gearing up for the season with an imposter using a name confusingly similar to ours.  Having just relocated from another city where they went bankrupt and outstayed their welcome (with suppliers, the trade association and, presumably, customers alike), they seem to be settling in here with the intention of piggybacking on our good name.

I doubt they’ll last long enough to do too much damage to our reputation, but it is still annoying and rather worrying.  Let’s face it, in a city where the growing season is about 10 minutes long, and in an economy not conducive to discretionary spending, we don’t really need this.

Then, as if it wasn’t bad enough watching my daughter get her dreams crushed in January, in February I had to stand by and watch her heart being broken.  I have to say I’m a little nervous about March.

Young love is a cruel and terrible thing, but somehow the wisdom that comes with my unfortunate maturity is little able to console a child who, contrary to all her current expectations, will almost certainly love again.

In fairness to the young man in question I believe that he is as in love as she is.  Unfortunately he is a product of one of the more rigid religions and apparently neither God nor his family approved.  I guess it’s hard to take a stand when you’ve been taught to conform and believe without question, based on the compelling argument that your people have always acted and believed this way.

I’d like to tell you that I am retaining a detached but supportive concern for my suffering loved ones, but in reality I am once again reduced to chocolate almonds and gin as a palliative.  The irony is not lost on me that a bunch of teetotalling extremists have driven me to drink.


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