Monday, 30 April 2012

The Truth about Verity!

After the most recent bombshell, I made sure that I was awake to talk to the OH on Skype when he next called. He was sceptical about the news. "After all, Max was pretty public about his infidelity."
   For those who might have forgotten, he picked the marquee at the village Royal Wedding feast for his display of inappropriate affection, just a year ago. "And didn't you say that Verity had a few flings of her own while she was away over the summer?" Also true, though 'few' may be an understatement. Verity did rather gloss over her activities in the south of France. "You'll probably find they've simply had a meeting to finalise details of selling the house or some other financial thing to do with the divorce."
   I couldn't help but agree with him on this rather disheartening interpretation, but I made a point of checking the various estate agents' windows when I was next in town and couldn't see any sign of Verity's house having gone on the market. And there was no For Sale board outside the house. Eventually, I took the bull by the horns and left a phone message: "Verity, call me, we need to talk."
   Somewhat to my surprise, she did, the following day. And they are back together, as a trial. "Though it's going quite well so far," she admitted. "I don't want to count my chickens or anything, but..." "But after what he did..." I was astonished that she could ignore his behaviour. "Don't worry, I made a point of telling him everything that I did last summer. And I mean, everything." She gave me one of those knowing looks that suggested Max had heard more than I had, and let's face it, I'd heard quite a bit. "So it's not as if I haven't taken my revenge. Quite a lot of it, truth be told." She smirked at the thought of all her revenge and her eyes started to go slightly misty. Who knows who she was thinking about?! I wanted to change the subject before I found out any more snippets concerning how vengeful she had been but I think Verity realised I was rapidly approaching the boundary of my comfort zone. "Anyway, I'd consulted a lawyer and the settlement wasn't going to give me as much as I wanted. This recession is hitting Max where it hurts and the alimony would have just been pathetic."
   "But why didn't you tell me any of this before? And why have you been avoiding me?"
    She didn't deny it. "But you've been so wrapped up in your own things, what with Japan and everything. It's clearly all too much for you - I mean, look at yourself. You've really let yourself go. You've stopped exercising with that lovely looking girl who made you go running last year, you've let your hair go back to that boring mousy colour, judging by your blog you hardly ever go out to yoga or anything anymore, and Joe said.." She stopped abruptly, as though she had said too much.
    "What did Joe say?" I had seen very little of Joe since the OH had lost his previous job and consequently hadn't thought about him much, so I was curious that he had evidently been thinking about me.
    "Just that he hadn't seen you lately," she said airily. Or should that be evasively? "Right, got to go now. We've got an appointment with a marriage counsellor. According to her, I'm still too angry with Max though I always thought he liked that sort of thing. Perhaps some of my new toys are - " "Off you go, then, don't want to make you late," I said hurriedly, interrupting her and practically pushing her out through the door before she told me anything else I didn't want to hear, though realistically I think it was too late. I shall have to drop in on Joe, though.

Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Toilet Paper Usage and other gems

Well, I'm back to being by myself again now - George stayed for over a week and then Celeste took up the challenge, though she spent a lot of her time catching up with old friends who she hadn't seen for a while and making sure that my Facebook settings and everything else were all up to date.  You might have thought that since George is the computer buff, he would have done that, but no.  Instead, George supervised the acquisition of not one but two rescue cats, who emerge from the hiding places they have discovered when they are fed, but otherwise I see very little of them.  Once they are less photophobic, I might be able to take some pictures, but until then you'll just have to make do with your imagination as to what they look like - which is pretty much what I have to do, too.  But they really are cats, not vampires!
George and Celeste also encouraged me to join in a couple of things in the village despite my reservations.  "You'll get a reputation, always answering the door in your pjs, Mum," Celeste said.  "Two of my friends have mentioned it already!"  I suspect they're more concerned about how it will reflect on them than me, but I thought it probably wouldn't do any harm.  Annie seems to have been remarkably absent of late, always dashing off in the opposite direction when I do see her - perhaps she's heard about the pjs.
Anyway, the first thing I took part in was a Ladies' Night - so no need to feel like the spare wheel at a dinner party, part of the reason I accepted the invitation.  I was a little worried that it was going to be an Anne Summers party in disguise, but it was a group of women who work long days and are therefore too tired to socialise most evenings.  Strictly speaking, I don't fall into that category, but there was a widow who had been included in the group already, so they didn't mind extending the invitation to me aswell.  Considerable quantities of wine were consumed so it was a very merry evening even though I only knew a couple of the women by sight and the rest not at all.  They were all very welcoming despite my dubious status as a busy working woman and I have agreed to attend the next dinner, in a month's time.  Quite a lot of the chat was them catching up with each other and their respective families, so I just listened, but as I get to know them more, perhaps the names will mean more to me.  I did, however, learn that we each use 57 sheets of toilet paper a day.  Yes, fifty-seven, not a typo.  Not sure where that particularly gem came from or how they calculated it, but I can only assume that someone somewhere is eating the stuff. While I haven't counted my usage, I'm pretty certain that it doesn't come anywhere near that!  A couple of the ladies are encouraging me to join the village WI but one thing at a time...
Finally, before I head off to get dressed, when I was walking through the rain to the post office yesterday, I saw Max drive past, apparently with Verity in the car.  I stopped and frowned at them (yes, I know, I should have waved really) and then mentioned it in the post office queue, where I ran into Deirdre, in full disguise still underneath her raincoat and scarf.
"Oh yes, he moved back in with her.  Didn't you know?"
No I did not! Could explain why I haven't seen her lately, though..

Monday, 9 April 2012

Going Solo

It has been a very strange couple of weeks.  I have had sporadic conversations with the OH but the time difference and his work schedule don't make it easy.  Plus, I have taken advantage of his absence to vary my own schedule somewhat, which has made bedtime a flexible concept.  Clearing out cupboards without having to stop to cook dinner for anyone has meant that I have seen midnight and later more times recently than I have since the children were very tiny. 
This has had an additional effect on the rest of the village, who have all been terribly concerned for my well-being while I am alone.  Word seems to have got round everyone I know and most of those I don't, and I have been checked up on by a variety of people on a regular basis. Verity started dropping in on an almost daily basis, and Annie, Jenny and Celia appear to have planned a rota for visiting.  Even Fiona has knocked on the door, though less sympathetically.
"Is it true your husband's left you? I thought he probably would."  For a childminder, she looked very smart, with high heels and a fitted pinstripe suit showing off her figure rather too well, in my opinion. I was wearing pyjamas and a dressing gown and my hair was looking less than glamorous, so the smirk as she peered round me into the chaos of a half-cleaned sideboard full of ornaments was partly deserved.
Because of my strange hours, I have slept through a few of these checks and was woken by hammering on the door on Tuesday when I hadn't responded to the two o'clock visit.  I have now explained....  I have also struggled to keep up with the demand for tea and biscuits so I hope that the novelty of checking up on me will wear off and I can stop trying to think of excuses for not going to dinner with people I hardly know.  I am quite capable and happy cooking for one!
More cheerily, George came home for a visit.  "Can't have you alone over Easter," he said, though I don't see why Easter should be any different from any other time of year.  Perhaps he was just hoping I would buy him an Easter egg (I did).  And tomorrow, he has agreed to come with me to the local animal rescue place to choose a cat.  Celeste hoped I would get a dog, but I really can't be bothered to do all the walking that would necessitate.  In this weather in particular, it's something I can do without.