What is wrong with people?
It is like a mental assault on a daily basis.
When did mugging someone’s privacy become conventional in idle chitchat?
It is happening at the moment, All. Of. The. Damn. Time!
Picture the scene.
I’m stood in the lift, it is 7am and I am busy minding my own business.
I am bleary eyed and trying to re-focus my mind before the day ahead.
I am barely awake myself but being a mother, even at this early hour, I feel like I have already lived a full day of emotions, having just abandoned a distraught baby at nursery, nearly ran over a woman at the bus stop while screaming at the baby in the back to stop hitting himself, spilling coffee all over my only work shirt because I’m now wobbly on sky scraper heels that seemed like a good idea pre child but now I am precariously tottering on, like a hippo on stilts, all the while clutching on to the remains of said coffee like a 2 year old to an Ice pop wrapper that used to be an airplane. (?!)
And in they come, one by one.
Which one will it be today?
I try to avoid eye contact.
Stare at the floor. Stare at the floor.
Nope never works.
‘Morning Lexy! How are you?’
(Obligatory head cock of course if they know I went stark raving mental, and in a normal chirpy voice with no head tilt if they don’t.)
‘I haven’t seen you in ages!!! How old is your little one now? What is his name again?’
‘Oh, Hi person I have spoken to 3 times in my entire life and only in the lift’ I will respond politely ‘Nice to see you too. Wow it is so early!’ (HINT – Stop talking to me!) ‘He is 2. Addison.’
The lift by now has began to fill up, the doors refusing to close as more people press the PING BUTTON (official name) just as we are about to depart upwards, thus ensuring we have now been joined by an uncomfortable audience of morning zombies trying to stifle yawns and checking their watches, and we are inadvertently shoved backward and pressed against the wall.
‘Wow 2!’ the person will expectedly gawp head bent at an awkward angle so they can continue the conversation over the top of another strangers head. ‘WOW! That has flown by!’
I of course, respond by sticking a slight smile on my face and widening my eyes obediently before nodding back as if I cant quite believe it myself.
I totally fucking can. I haven’t slept in 728 nights. (I just had to do 2 x 364 on my calculator to work that out! Before realising there are actually 365 days in a year and having to re-calculate!! That’s how tired I am!)
But of course, ever the people pleaser in case someone decides they don’t like me, or considers me rude (my worst nightmare), I will nod in agreement as I am supposed to, and maybe murmur a non committal ‘Mmmm’ or sometimes depending on which number coffee I am on, if I am buzzing my boobs off ‘Oh it really has! LIKE TOTALLY!! SO NICE TO SEE YOU!!!’
I do this in a usually failed attempt to avoid, escape or drown out the inevitable next question which always, always, feels like a massive intrusion of my privacy.
‘So, are you trying for anymore?’
‘So, do you think you will have another?’
‘OOOO shall we expect number 2 soon then?
And then the cheeky bastards ALWAYS glance down at my uterus, as if checking to make sure it is still there, and then I ALWAYS end up briefly sucking my stomach in and firing off a warning look, just in case they think I already am up the duff and have the audacity to ask when I am due.
At this point, after we have jumped the hurdle of my uterus never fully retracting (that’s my excuse and I’m sticking to it!) I usually sigh internally and wish I had the balls to be more like Roxy. My evil twin.
(I just TOTALLY decided I totally need an evil twin!!)
‘Yes actually,’ Roxy would respond for me ‘in fact the Irish one and I just had sex this morning but unfortunately the sperm splurted and glooped down my leg in the shower not long after. I’m devastated of course! But what is a girl to do? I said a little prayer.’
Ok, maybe an evil twin is a bad idea.
But come on!! Surely unless you are engaging in a full conversation with somebody you are relatively good friends with, then this question is a little personal, no?
What is the best policy for answering?
IS honesty always the best policy?
‘Look I just don’t fucking know ok? The thing is actually, my vagina is still pretty sore from the episiotomy I endured after a 68 hour labour, just over 2 years ago. I’m a little bit worried sex will always be painful now, and of course, what with all that nasty business of me being sectioned and almost going mad and killing myself, I am just not sure if I am ready yet you know?’
Pause to get my breath.
‘The thing is, person in the lift, and 4 other strangers in the lift wishing they could shove their breakfast butty’s in their ears, the Thing is, we are only having sex at the moment on a Sunday, because the rest of the time I’m just too damn busy trying to sleep, and also really, cos I’m still trying to figure out how to work the pelvic floor muscles pregnancy left behind and to be honest, I only have sex at all on a Sunday cos I feel guilty that if I don’t, he will go mad over the credit card bill or start expecting blow jobs.. yeah, like that is ever gonna happen again! Haha!So another baby? Jaysus. I just don’t know.’
Pause for breath.
‘Also, Addison is a handful. He just started saying ‘For fucks sake!’ a lot, and very loud. I mean, I know it’s not funny but it’s hard not to laugh, could I put up with that in stereo and not lose my marbles again? What do you think I should do stranger in the lift? What are you going to do? Yes, what about you semi stranger? Have you abandoned condoms yet? How are your pelvic floor muscles? Husband’s swimmers ok? Does he like blow jobs? What is your sunday schedule?’
It’s just too long an answer for a lift ride. Isn’t it?
Yes, that’s whats wrong with that answer. Its too long.
But you know why I really really hate this question more than anything?
Because, I don’t actually have an answer to be honest.
(Ok. We do have sex more than on a Sunday…. Honest. (He told me to put that in here as a slight amenddendadum. Yeah I can’t spell it, but you know what I mean. Notice there is no amendadedendam on the blowys. Ahem.)
It is just all so complicated.
I just don’t know.
If I won the lottery, yeah I would be barefoot and pregnant constantly somewhere across the Atlantic taking my brood on fabulous holidays all the time, and I’d have all their names tattooed on my toes, but in reality? I’m not sure we could afford it.
I don’t mean that just from a money perspective either, although that obviously does massively come in to it , what I also mean is, we can’t really afford it from an Irish perspective.
‘What if you go freaking mental again?’ He will balk when I bring the subject up. ‘Then I’d be responsible for a feet shuffling, god mumbling, suicidal pill popping wife, a ferocious 2 year old and a baby! Anyway why are we discussing this now?’
‘Some woman in the lift wants to know.’ I will respond munching on square crisps and swatting the child away ‘’Wait, hang on… Wife? I’ll be your wife? WHEN? You know I want a square diamond right?’
And that is usually as far as we get before he heaves himself off the sofa and wanders off muttering about priorities and medication.
What if the minute the sperm made contact with the egg I lost the plot again?
What if I wanted to die again?
What if I couldn’t afford square crisps?
What if my belly flopped back down to my ankles?
What if I can’t get pregnant?
What if I deserve to be punished because I tried to die when my baby was relying on me, and I die during labour and never get to see Addison grow up?
What if one day I want to die again and never get to cuddle Addison again or the new baby? What if the illness grabs me again and tears my soul out and I lose my little boy again, the baby, and myself, but forever?
What if I end up in hospital again and miss out on all the bits I yearned to feel the first time around?
What if my heart breaks open again?
Why am I even thinking of this?
I am happy at the moment!!
Oh yeah that’s right, it’s the seemingly dangerous after effects of idle chitchat with semi zombie stranger’s!!!!
I think on Monday I will respond;
‘Another one? No I couldn’t you see because, basically my vagina was so badly torn with Addison, right from chuff to anus..’
At which point I will bend over and show them a cutting hand movement from front to back, for effect.
‘So I had this gaping, flapping hole where my bits should have been, for ages!’
At which point I will pause again, and proceed to mime a gaping, wide flapping hole that lives between my legs.
I may even add in a ‘swoosh’ and an echo for affect.
‘So basically when the doctor eventually did get round to stitching it back up again, which took hours by the way, he ended up having to re route my birth canal out of my arse, so essentially if I do get pregnant again, i’d have to poo the baby out while squatting. That scares me a bit to be honest. Big poo’s hurt.’
At which point I may or may not imitate a giving birth squat, depending on my mood and the time of day.
Then, just as the lift doors open, I will stand up and grin before strutting out with a fabulous Timotei toss of my hair.
‘Have a great day!” I will shout. ‘Enjoy your bagel!’
Bloody intrusive lift folk.
Another baby indeed.
Like it is that simple!
It is true though, my gaping hole is none of their business.