Wifi…..A blessing or a Curse??

So now…..uuuum…..Wi-Fi…..what a necessity it has become (well in my house anyway). With two teens and now young adults in the house, this was always a prickly issue. From as far back as I can remember, there was never ”enough data”, ”fast enough upload and/or download”, ”let’s just get uncapped”, ”let’s just get fibre”, ”lets just change the service provider/contract”, blah blah f****ng blah!!!!!

Until COVID (sigh…so tired of that word now being part of our daily vocabulary), I was the fuddy duddy Grumpy Mummy who was not feeling the whole unlimited, uncapped, fastest upload and download thing. I had quite enough for my emails and messages on my phone, and these children just needed to deal with the unfair and ”torturous hardships” of our always ”worst Wi-Fi of anyone we know”. To make matters worse, we have a bit of a dodgy signal residence, and there are certain rooms in the house that battled with signal more than others….even with an extender.

So there were negligible upgrades over time. Of Course with upgrades always comes higher costs. So my long held personal mantra that our lives would not revolve around Wi-Fi, and I would not be selling my soul to afford it, started showing cracks a while ago. But still, we actually were the people with the ”worst Wi-Fi of anyone we know.” So all in all, my ”underprivileged” children (you know….the ones WITH WI-FI AT ALL) had to endure these tortures themselves. I was happy…that was all that counted.

Then COVID struck (words which have literally become predictive text on my keyboard), and life changed. We had had paid T.V for a gazillion years, and from the time that my children had started to speak for themselves (why did I let that happen), they tried to convince me that it was a total waste of money. They argued that everything gets repeated continuously (100% true), that I was just in a comfort zone with it (100% true), and that actually I could be SAVING money by cancelling it and upgrading our Wi-Fi.

Now these little swines just KNOW, when they say ”saving money”, they have my attention. So, I listened….. They (well Pepper was the main culprit….always up to no good that child), explained that if I subscribed to Netflix, get a Smart TV and have access to YouTube, I will be more than happy with the variety of viewing. ”BUT WE HAVE TO UPGRADE OUR Wi-Fi TO DO THAT”, he stressed. So obviously, all I heard was, ”Smart TV” and ”upgrade Wi-Fi”, and I totally dismissed his argument that I would be saving money!!

Now my T.V comes first, then it is a photo finish between my children and everything else. I do not read (attention span of a guppie), I do not go out and about often (retarded social skills) and I do not have any hobbies (nothing interests me). So when it is time for me to get into bed at the end of the day………my T.V viewing I must have!!! If not, sleep bad, feel bad and become worse.

However, on going to work the next day, I was telling a colleague (closer to Pepper’s age than mine), of what a swine bastard Pepper was for trying to MANIPULATE me into upgrading our Wi-Fi. She mentioned that it would not be necessary for me to purchase a Smart TV, I could just purchase a ”Smart Box” to convert my stupid TV into a smart one. On explaining the costs, and how it works, I was most sceptical, as it just seemed to be too good to be true!! Essentially, by cancelling my monthly (exorbitant) paid T.V subscription, purchasing a ”Smart Box””, and upgrading my Wi-Fi to a fibre package, I would INDEED be saving a couple bucks.

Needless to say when I told Pepper of the plan, his jaw nearly shattered as it tumbled to the ground. Salt took it in his stride, but think he was internally jumping for joy, as he is the YOUTUBE King!! So as fast as you can say “I might just have been duped”, pay TV cancelled, Smart Box ordered (online….as one does with everything since the “”C”” word), and fibre requested, with new Wi-Fi, uncapped…..like ”everyone else’s we know”. Working remotely a fair amount since COVID, kind of would have had me needing to upgrade anyway….but wasn’t going to tell Pepper that…..just felt he needed to bask in his triumph. 

For the most part, the last year has been fairly seamless. Well other than the few times my f****ing Smart Box was not so smart, and had moments where it would not connect to the Wi-Fi.
However, two very pertinent issues reared their ugly heads in the last few months.

Firstly, I have now become informed about the fact that ”uncapped” does not mean ”unthrottled”. Ever the cynic when it comes to service providers in my part of the world, I inadvertently learnt about this thing they call ”unthrottled” data. I have found that at various intervals, I was having to reboot my router at least once every day. The Wi-Fi slowed down during those periods too. Each time, I would phone my service provider to request a reason, and they would have me switching on, off, unplugging, plugging, pooping and farting, all the while doing something on their side. Then, for a few weeks after that, perfect signal, life was good!

After a few months, I made what had by then become the customary call, but inquired why it is that after I have spoken to them, it seems to sort the problem out. 

Perhaps there is a fault with my router,” I naively offered forth. “should you not send a technician out to see if there is a problem?”

”No, your data is being throttled, so we unthrottle it when you call”,  said the naïve call centre lady, not realising that she was revealing the little known abuse we as customers endure.

”Throttled??” I asked.

”Yes, when your line has used too much data for the month, we throttle it so that it slows everything down until the end of the month”, she unashamedly continued.

”Oh, but you must be mistaken, I have uncapped Wi-Fi,” I said calmly, totally convinced she was not in the least bit correct.

”Yes”, she continued, ”but uncapped does not mean unthrottled”.

”Well why are we not told about THROTTLING when we sign up?” I said, a little less calmly. ”Is that not deceptive, misleading, and false advertising?”

”Well yes, but…….” she said, going on to explain in some or other Wi-Fi dialect, why they do that.

” So if I upgrade my package, will that stop you from UNILATERALLY THROTTLING MY Wi-Fi?” I asked, a tad more irritated by then.

”It might help, but it is not guaranteed. How many devices are used in your household?”

WHAT DIFFERENCE DOES THAT MAKE?? I AM PAYING FOR UNCAPPED WI-FI, NOT WI-FI PER DEVICE”, I screamed, while going purple in the neck and jaw area.

”Well….” she continued CALMLY, and started speaking that other techno rot lingo again.

So here we sit, still having uncapped, but still being THROTTLED!!

Next issue reared it’s ugly head up a couple of weeks ago…..thank goodness for all the little puppies, Pepper was not at home during that week. There I was, on my Sunday afternoon…so involved in Episode 9087 of Season 643 of Outlander…and poof…….those dreaded words….”Netflix cannot connect to the internet” pop up. Now I was totally calm (well maybe not totally), and off I skipped (stomped) to restart the router. Nothing. Again…nothing!!! Salt then piped up that the internet light was flashing. Now that does not normally happen.

Anyway the condensed version is that there were countless calls to the Call Centre over the next few days, and it took 4 days to realise that the problem was not with the service provider, but with the fibre provider!!

Once the weekend ended, I needed to stress about the fact that I would not be able to do my work remotely. You see, I am working off a 1932 PC which connects me to the shared server at work via a …..wait for it….phone cable, which is plugged in from my motherboard to my router. So there I was scuttling off to get some gadget to make my motherboard Wi-Fi compliant, so that I could hotspot off my phone data. Wow!! Look at me being so techno literate and all!!

The only reason I became so exceptionally techno literate, is because my IMMEDIATE concern was HOW AM I GOING TO WATCH T.V?? In my old life, no Wi-Fi…no problem. My T.V viewing was not reliant on Wi-Fi.

So Sunday night I was squealing like a pot bellied pig about the fact that I could not watch my T.V that night, when Salt casually mentioned that for 12 bucks, there was an option of buying 1 gigabyte for 1 hour with my service provider, and then I could watch Netflix by hot spotting off my phone, so that my now totally dumb box could have the Wi-Fi it, well I, so desperately needed!!! 

To be fair I did ask the question as to what happens when the one hour runs out, and he seemed to think it ”probably” would cut off.

So cut to me getting into bed, all chuffed with myself, technology and the fact that it was only costing me 12 Bucks for 1 gigabyte of data.

As always, after two-and-a-half minutes of watching television I fell asleep. Now you might ask yourself why is it so important for me to have my viewing time, when I fall asleep so quickly? But that’s not when it is desperately required. No it is desperately needed for the 8 times I wake up during the night, and need to lull myself back to sleep by watching TV. 

I had by this time reconciled myself to the fact that for that evening I would not have access to TV viewing the entire night, and would just enjoy the hour so graciously granted. I had accepted that I would just have to toss and turn, poop and fart until I fell back to sleep for the rest of the evening, almost proud of myself that I had managed to be so flexible!!

Anyway next morning I wake up to find that my new little “nifty portable router” (aka my phone) has been depleted of all its data, airtime, oxygen and blood supply levels, and was completely useless to me for the remaining three weeks of the month. So then I was required to buy more airtime, which I would then be able to convert into data in order to have a phone that works for the rest of the month. 

After 4 days of arguments, screaming and making myself mental, I wondered is this bloody Wi-Fi a blessing or a curse??? Maybe the answer would be to try and actually get a life, and not rely on Wi-Fi to give me a life.

But once the situation is restored, one forgets how lost we were without the cursed Wi-Fi………so probably not gonna happen …

The Emancipation of Pepper

Of course everyone knows that a parent’s job is to prepare their children to go out into the big bad world and fend for themselves. I have come to terms with the fact that I am not that parent ….. so a bad parent then? Probably

So now due to COVID, Pepper had been locked down by his Grumpy Mummy for the first five months of the plague’s appearance. Thereafter, and when said Mummy allowed him to, Pepper ventured out and interacted socially. However, it was never enough for the one they call Pepper (and always too much for the one they call Grumpy Mummy)! So what with studying remotely last year, and working remotely this year, Pepper had had literally had enough of myself, Salt and the four walls of our house.

Poor Pepper, someone who relies so heavily on social interaction, had been virtually house bound for one and a half years.

So finally, and granted, it took a lot longer than I thought, Pepper decided as he so eloquently mentioned, he was ”outta here”. Of course, I did not totally take him seriously, as, among other things, he was not on leave, and had never taken such a bold leap. However, one day I walked in from work, and there he was, on his laptop booking himself a getaway. He had decided he needed to be working in another environment for 10 days…..”away from everything” ….aka Grumpy Mummy and Salt.

Needless to say, I refrained from asking the gazillion questions that entered my turmoiled head within the first three seconds. Pepper really needed this for his sanity, and perhaps he would love his family again on his return.

Now something that you need to understand about my children Salt and Pepper, is that they have done very little traveling in their lifetime. They have done even less flying, and they have NEVER travelled on their own! ”Why”, you may ask? Well, when in my right mind would I have allowed my children to venture forth without another adult….child….emotional support dog (for their mother) in tow?? NO unaccompanied travelling was going to take place on my watch….until now that is.

So naturally, I immediately go into complete anxiety mode, feel sick to my stomach, have in the first five minutes imagined absolutely everything that could possibly (and impossibly) go wrong….. on the way to the airport….. at the airport…..on the plane at the airport on the other side….getting to his new improved work space…..but through gritted teeth I tell him that it will be good for him and I hope that he enjoys himself.

So for the next couple of days, I pretended not to give a rat’ a** about his decision. But, being human….well, being me….I obviously CANNOT refrain from mentioning that I had hoped that both him and his belongings would be safe. To be fair, you need to understand how many times my Pepper loses his belongings………IN THE HOUSE!! So surely I cannot be blamed for having this miniscule concern??

Of Course there was the obligatory rooooollllllling of the eyeballs all the way back into his brain cavity, and the obligatory ”Oh Mommmmmmmmm”, followed by the new and improved ”can you see why I gotta get outta here so bad?”

Once I had picked my shattered feelings off the floor, I told him that I would not be worrying about him, would not be phoning him on a daily basis, and just wanted him to check in here and there so I know he was safe.

”Thank you,” he snarkily replied.

It was at that stage that I wanted to send him an Invoice for his board, lodging, education and emotional damages (self imposed admittedly) that I had endured over the previous 24 years!!

Anyway….I managed to behave as best I could, and said not another thing!!

A few days before he was departing, he asked if it was okay that I needed to have him at the airport by 4h45.

”Am I dropping you?” I asked, just assuming that now he had become all adult and independent, the trip to the airport would be handled by adult him.

”Well can you?” he icily retorted, with a tone that suggested I was a shocking excuse of a mother.

”Ummmmm, I suppose”, I replied, not entirely ecstatic about the fact that I would have to get up at sparrow’s fart to drop the soon to be emancipated Pepper at the airport.

Now the operative word here is ”drop”. Yes, I was intending to be dropping him off at the Drop Off Zone, as I was not about to be parking, getting out of the car on a faaaareeeezing Sunday morning at 4h45, seeing him to the check in counter, and getting my parking ticket at 4h55 in the amount of R 850 000. No…you want to be emancipated…I hereby release you!!

Again, a gazillion scenarios played basketball in my head about his lack of knowledge of the infrastructure of our airport. So I meekly mentioned that once he enters the airport, there are information kiosks that are there if he needs to know where he should be going. Reason being that on the very few occasions I have needed to be at an airport to pick someone up or drop them off, I get totally bamboozled every time. One might argue it is because I do not frequent the airport regularly, but if I drop someone off, and need to collect a week later…….still get lost. Not to the airport mind you. I know exactly how to get there. It is only once I am there, that I get horribly confused and lost. So yes….transferring my own angst onto my child……alright……got it…….nope cannot for the life of me imagine why my spices are anxious condiments.

So for the next Few days, I did not sleep very well. Knowing that I would have to get Pepper up and at it on time, which is virtually impossible, as he gets up, but not so much ”at it”….. drive him to the airport at sparrow’s fart, hopefully not get lost………leave him on his own, and then start worrying about him getting lost, and literally every scenario that could take place thereafter.

In the meantime I had. Sheepishly recruited Salt to come with me. Salt…..you know…….the only one with any sense of direction. In fact he could never have been somewhere, and he would find it a whole lot better than myself or Pepper.

So the night before, Pepper confidently informs me that he is going to get up half an hour before we need to leave for the airport. Mad child!! Generally it takes him half an hour to decide to go and shower.

Salt is different….he gets in and out..…you know..…like a normal person. So strategies were beginning to take place in my head……virtual worksheets were being drawn up!! Most importantly, Pepper needed to shower FIRST, so that we could be assured he was ready on time!

The night before I had instructed him to have his bags packed and READY, boarding pass, Identity Document and wallet needed to be all in one place, and with his bags. Other than us searching high and low for the boarding pass (NOT left with everything else as instructed), he for the most part did the rest.

Anyhoo we actually got into the car timeously, Salt was in a relatively good mood due to the fact that he’s done us this MASSIVE favour, which would normally involve a reminder from him every 5 minutes for, well…..ever, and off we went.

Approaching the airport I was so grateful that we had Salt with us, as too much information coupled with anxiety causes my brain to become complete porridge. I literally would have driven through the airport and got back on the freeway, if Salt was not there to restore calm and common sense.

After parking at the International Departures (as this is the first parking one comes across, and I always park there, so that I know I have parked, and there would be no further opportunity for me to get lost or confused), we walked a day and a half to the Domestic Departures. Once there, Salt told Pepper to go ask someone at the Information Kiosk where we needed to go.

“I think I know where to go from here,” I said proudly.

”No mom, let Pepper go and ask, he needs to learn,” said Salt authoritatively.

So, to my surprise, off trotted Pepper to go ask at the Kiosk. Never mind that he left his suitcase and WORK laptop bag lying unattended. Luckily Salt and I realised this, and went to stand guard! On his merry and more informed return, he pointed at his baggage and laptop, and with the facial expression one would have when pointing to dog poop, said ”what do I do with that??”

Now I am still not sure if that was his way of saying that he had carried the bag for long enough, and it was now someone else’s turn, or he genuinely was inquiring about checking the bag in. Be that as it may….Pepper cannot but look like he is disgusted with any ”menial” task he is ever required to do.

On my way home, while reflecting about the unnecessary anxiety I had placed on myself the previous few days, and contemplating the unnecessary anxiety I would surely be placing on myself for the following ten days, I was wondering how this child can be so confused when he becomes anxious or does something he is unfamiliar with. While reflecting, I missed the turn for home, and had to make a detour to get back on track.

Anyway, back to the question as to why Pepper is like that……..it is a total mystery I tell you….a total bloody mystery.

Economic Disparity and Contentment

There is economic disparity everywhere in the world, but in some places more than others. South Africa is most certainly one of the places with a bigger gap between those that have and those that don’t have.

Of course the larger the separation, the larger the lack of respect for those that have less. We all know how those with more look down upon those with less. Some might display outward empathy, compassion or tolerance, but truth be told, those with more do believe that they are superior to those with less. Those with less are treated with less respect and less dignity, even disdain. I personally have heard people discuss those with less, automatically assuming they are criminals, untrustworthy and unhygienic. Why? Because they have less? Because they live differently from you? 

However, at the risk of me sounding devoid of any empathy or compassion for the socio economic conditions that many are faced with, I got to wondering recently, are there those that just don’t desire more?

We often see on social media (and I myself am guilty of it), people posting memes about running away from the madness they call life, and living on a hilltop all off the grid, isolated and quiet like. Many of us have those thoughts regularly. Of course, whether we would actually be happy and content like that, we do not know. We have tasted the life of luxuries, excess and convenience. Perhaps this isolated off the grid type of life would not be as great as we imagine. But what of the people that have never had more? 

As mentioned in my previous blogs, I am very selfishly selective of whom I allow to destroy my soul with feelings of empathy and compassion. So, the 16 year old standing at the robot looking for free hand outs to buy the next tube of glue to sniff, while in all probability, his mother sits at home feeling distraught and totally helpless in being able to assist her child, does not qualify as someone who I allow to take residence in the destruction of my soul.

I am fully cognisant of the fact that he would probably have grown up without the privileges and opportunities that so many (including myself) had. I would not even pretend to understand what his life was like growing up. But there is a huge possibility that his mother and/or father worked their fingers to the bone, in order to try and create more opportunities for him. But he preferred to live a stress free life. Not a great life. Not a comfortable life. A STRESS FREE LIFE. 

Now the people who I do allow to take residence in the destruction of my soul, are the people who do want more, but who never had the opportunity to get more, who constantly try to improve their lives, despite the fact that they are faced with immense obstacles on a daily basis. These are the people who have the responsibilities, even if on a smaller scale compared to the middle and upper class. They have the home loans, the school fees, the utility accounts, the children and themselves to feed and clothe. These are the people, who to be honest, in their entire lifetime, will never have anything more than the bare minimum. They go out there every day, and do what needs to be done, just to live in the life that has become our norm. These are the people who never had the opportunities so many more had. These are the people who would have had more, had they been gifted with more opportunities. These are the people that I would love to save. These are the people who WANT to be saved. These are also the people that want the respect, that deserve the respect, but don’t receive the respect.

But then, I was wondering about another class of people. These are the people who might actually not want to be saved. Rather than seek employment, they live their lives on the streets. There are so many of them. It is like a whole community. They socialize, share their stories of the day, discuss the weather and so on.

What got me thinking about this was when I moved out of my White privileged environment one Sunday morning, to accompany my son Salt, who is coaching Little League soccer, to one of his matches. I am not going to delve into why (helicopter mom) I chose to accompany him (helicopter mom), as that is not relevant (helicopter mom) to this blog….HELICOPTER MOM!! Be that as it may, we drove through areas that we do not regularly get to see, especially at 7am on a freezing winter morning. We drove past many people, more particularly groups of people, who were huddled around fires they had lit for warmth. Some were eating, some were drinking…..pretty much having started their Sunday morning like everyone else….just on the streets. They had blankets wrapped around them, and seemed quite content with their lives. They had a lot less to worry about at the start of their day, than I had to worry about.

I was anxious to get back in time to attend to the one of three jobs that I hold down. Of course one has to work 3 jobs to pay for the nice house. Naturally, what comes with the nice house, is insurance to protect the house, security so no one takes your nice things out of the nice house, sky high utility bills, petrol costs to get to and back from the 3 jobs for the nice house, nice food for the fully stocked fridge in the nice house and everything else that goes with having a nice house!  

What I saw that Sunday morning, were people who had a huge sense of community, as opposed to us privileged lot, who honestly just stand on the shoulders of others to get where we need to get. Who are so stressed in maintaining a certain lifestyle that, not only do we not ”love thy neighbour”, we don’t even know thy neighbour! 

With people such as these, there is no such thing as eating alone. Whatever they have they share. Honestly, they have nothing, so there is nothing that the next person envies, nothing that the next person can take from them. Their only concern (which is a major concern, granted), is where they will get their next meal.

Now I might sound devoid of any compassion, but on that drive, I just saw a different picture! These people do very little to contribute to society, or the upliftment of a country’s poor socioeconomic conditions. However, I truly do suspect that given the opportunity to improve their situation, by working or being proactive in finding employment, having responsibilities and bills to pay….. they would decline. These are not the criminals. These are not the people coveting the possessions and lifestyles of the privileged. No, these are the people who are actually content with their lives.

So perhaps before judging and labelling all people that have no roof over their heads, think about the fact that maybe we have it all wrong. In all probability, many are judging us!! 

Only a Few People Care……The Rest are Just Curious.

Now the reason for writing this gloomy, bleak and cynical Blog (so unlike me), is to try save you some time in realising who people really are….a Public Service Announcement if you will. Yes, there are better and worse, nicer and nastier and many different types of people, but the common thread running through many people in your life, is that they don’t really want what’s best for you, and they don’t truly ‘have your back”. Sorry, but if it looks like a cat and meows like a cat…..well…..”here kitty kitty”.

So, on realising this, the key is to sift through all your people, and realise who actually does want what’s best for you. Either discard those that don’t, or if that is not possible, just be aware of who you are dealing with, and behave accordingly. Alternatively, you can be all kumbaya, and believe that everyone just wants the best for you…….said me so wishing I was all kumbaya!!

I must say I really did, for most of my naive little existence, truly believe that if someone was making a concerted or regular effort to inquire about my life, they were doing so because they had wanted to hear that my life was rainbows and sparkles. I kind of reasoned (understandably), if they didn’t care they wouldn’t ask….. period. 

I get that everyone has their own lives, and their own issues, and very rarely actually give a rat’s a** about what is happening in other peoples’ lives. That is fine. To be brutally honest, that is human. That is how I operate at least. I just need to know that my people are generally fine, and that nothing earth shattering has happened, or is going to happen to them. I do not need to know the finer details, and do not need to be kept in the loop about the normal day to day ups ‘n downs. If I am not told, I certainly will not ask, and I am certainly not going to be waiting in the wings to feed off bad news that has occurred to some or other person, or more disturbingly a friend of mine. That would just make me vermin, surely?

I also get that, if we are really honest with ourselves, we are all a little verminesque. When we hear that someone else’s life is less than perfect on some or other front, do we not all appreciate our lives and ourselves that much more? Obviously we can then pat ourselves on our backs, congratulate ourselves for getting this thing called life right, and move on with our imperfect lives.

But surely no one spends their days waiting to hear the bad news about other peoples’ lives…..or do they??? Well, the short answer is ”yes”, but that would not a Blog make. So here is the slightly lengthier answer…….

I have come to realise, and it becomes more apparent to me as life goes on, that there are very few people who genuinely have your back, want what’s best for you and are happy for you when your life is going swimmingly.

I have seen this so clearly in my situation, where being a single mother, people have waited in anticipation for over 15 years to see the fruits of my failure. Oh, in the beginning, I was awe struck by peoples” concern and interest. But after a while, I realised that for the most part, that ”interested” and ”concerned” behaviour, was in fact condescending, and that they were actually on their tip toes, with binoculars, looking ahead into my future to see where and when it was all going to fall apart. 

I would probably have had the same attitude if I had not been a single mother, as on my worst days I sometimes question if my pear-shaped moments would have ended differently, had I not been a single mother.

But I digress, the fact remains that there are hungry people lurking in the cracks ready to spring up as soon as they hear bad news. It’s almost as if they feed off it….. thrive off it……you know…..all vermin like!!

Realising this quite late in life, a lot of things that had happened in my past started falling into place. What initially opened my eyes to this a few years ago, was when a ”good” friend of mine…..always the first one on the phone if there had been mutterings that things might not be going splendidly…..became very scarce when things appeared to be running smoothly. Please do not interpret this as me feeling all lonely and rejected because someone has not been phoning me…..hell no….that is my definition of bliss. However, I ”tolerated” her private calls, as I believed that her concern was genuine, and that perhaps she had felt that I had needed her shoulder to cry on, or to have a sounding board. Oh bless…how special is she, I would always think, hoping the next call would not be too soon in the future.

Sure, you are probably thinking about what a prize b**** I am for believing otherwise. But know this, I have the genuine people in my life…….. those are the quiet people, the people who make a call or text me just to say ”hiya”, as they know or suspect that I am going through something, the people who do not need to know what, why or when…. they need no finer details (that they can rush off and discuss with others, or use to make themselves feel better about themselves). No, these are the people who just quietly let me know that they have my back. Me, I am those people too!

So things cooled down between myself and this ”friend” a while ago, initiated by me I admit, as it just takes one ”see” for me never to be able to ”unsee”. However, once ”seen” I do sometimes think maybe I had been wrong, but whatttaya know….the gut never lies.

I never heard from her privately for a few years. We were still in regular contact, as we are part of the same group of friends, but that was just surface and inauthentic (my pet hate). However, whenever the pear shaped police alerted her, I would get “the call”. To make it even more irritating, the tone was one of sympathy and concern. Thank all cute puppies and kittens, the pear shaped Police were mostly misinformed, but still….

Now the obvious question to me was what the f*** is this woman phoning me for when we haven’t had a private conversation for yonks? And then, unfortunately, the only fraction of naivety that was left in my bones quickly slipped away.

Then of course I became an absolute master at judging whether people were being sincere about expressing concern or interest, or whether they were not… And moved on with my little jaded existence.

Recently such behaviour happened in such a cluster, that it was almost comical. A friend of mine, who is not active on Facebook, decided to clean out her kitchen cupboards. She asked if I would mind trying to sell these items for her on Facebook. So there I went, listing a gazillion little pieces of cutlery and crockery in an attempt to assist her.

Within the hour, ”ping”……I received a What’s App message from a ”friend” who had relocated 3 years ago, and who I had only been in contact with twice since then…..and only because both times she had reason to believe that my sky might have been falling. Just a ”hi, this has happened in my life in the last three years….blah blah……and how about yours?” I was so pleased to hear from her, and told her about the non eventful previous three years in my life….and then….crickets. 
To be honest, I did not connect the dots at that stage, and had still doubted my scepticism about the two previous times she had contacted me.

Shortly thereafter…. ”ping”…….I received a private message on Facebook from another friend from the distant past. You know, one of those people that you even forgot you had as a friend on Facebook. There she was, private messaging me to ask me if everything was okay. She thought I was selling all my belongings because I was in some kind of trouble, or was leaving the country.

Only when I heard the third ”ping”, and it was ”my person” sending me a message in jest about my posts, that I put two and two together.

So to the vermin I say….worry less about what is going wrong in my life, and more about why you need to to know what is going wrong in my life!!

If I was prepared to risk making my children all bitter and twisted like me, I would probably tell them to trust no-one, rely on no-one and seek comfort from no-one. I would tell them, they are on their own in the world, and whatever comes after that is a bonus.

But becoming bitter and twisted like me doesn’t just happen overnight!! Nope….it is all a lengthy process which they will unfortunately have to learn for themselves. Cos ain’t no sprogs of mine going to be any kind of kumbaya in life!!