I am feeling sorry for myself. True MM tradition dictates that whatever can go wrong will invariably do so at the wrong time, and my health is no exception to the rule: bugs equipped with their equivalent of blaring music, ice boxes, barbecues and gazebos moved stealthily into their comfy new quarters in my sinuses on Sunday evening and have been partying there ever since. It is a bank holiday weekend: nuff said. MM has a head like a lead balloon. Any tilting movement makes me feel like it is going to fall off and crash to the ground, before rolling along like Marie-Antoinette’s bonce on her worst day ever on the Place de la Revolution.
Having sinusitis is a little like having a massive hangover, but without having had the pleasure of getting drunk first. Let’s just say that my head has been hurting for the last 24 hours. It is sitting on my shoulders, a huge, heavy bowling ball of throbbing pain. My eyes are standing out on sticks like wobbly martian antennae. My nose feels like it is auditioning for a role in Cyrano de Bergerac, and I could swear that my upper teeth are making a bid for freedom, like a herd of enamel horses trying to escape from their reinforced slime enclosure as an out-of tune rendition of Black Beauty is played in the background. I would love to be able to let off some of the pressure in my plumbing, but the taps are welded shut. As my kids would say, “Snot fair”. Quite literally.
Yet this morning, in true MM mode, I was determined not to let my day be wrecked by the lousy bunch of bacteria whooping it up non-stop within my facial piping. I almost imagine them as cute little one-eyed midgets in stripey PJ’s; the evil, bacterial side-kicks of Ken Dodd’s diddy men. Giggling evilly, they are clanging on my twisting facial tubes with miniature, bacteria-sized spanners, and bouncing their offspring up and down on my nerve endings, booting at the inflamed tissue with their bovver boot-clad feet. (I hasten to add at this point that I have only taken aspirin. Honest.)
A shower is a great way to wake up and get your ideas into synch. I shuffled into the bathroom for a shower, determined to make the most out of the beautiful, sunny day that had greeted my puffy eyes when I opened the shutters. I would emerge a new woman: beautiful, germ-ridden and ready for a day in that beautiful sunlight.
Some people sing in the shower, and some people scrape the dead skin off their feet with their finger nails. (Honestly. I saw someone doing this in a public swimming pool, and I didn’t know whether I wanted to drown him or run.) Others dream of their Prince or Princess Charming, winning the pools, writing a block-bluster or walking into the garage to find that someone else has cleaned it up and neatly organised the winter shoes into labelled boxes. (All the aforementioned is true for me – except for the Prince Charming, because I locked him up in the tower years ago and have been exploiting him for attention, beer and chocolate ever since.)
I give myself pep talks in the shower – I coach myself up for my day. Imagine the Rocky equivalent of motherhood with less body hair than Sly Stallone, armed with a bottle of shower gel rather than a machine gun and sporting flabby sidecars on her hips instead of muscle on her arms.
I review everything I need to get ironed out, organised, stopped, started and otherwise dealt with, and for the time that I am under that generous stream of hot water, anything and everything is possible. Life is easy, peasy, lemon squeezy. I am invincible under that shower head, armed with my optimism, my supermarket razor and Bigfoot’s shaving foam. I have even discovered the parallel between washing your hair in the shower and putting on weight. Haven’t you? It’s simple. It’s clearly mentioned on the bottle that the shampoo gives you “extra body”. It cannot be a coincidence – after years of the stuff running down my body on its way to the plug hole, it has worked. My rear end and thighs have slowly progressed to plumper proportions. Think about it, and wash your hair in the sink next time. Or go for the stuff that says it straightens hair instead – the worst that can happen is to end up with a butt flatter than Jane Birkin’s chest.
Anyway. I digress. Back to our sheep, as they say in France. The hot water and I listed all the important and not so important things I would accomplish today. MM in the shower is an unstoppable force who could solve the Isreali-Palestinian conflict with no more than a deftly aimed spurt of shampoo and a lick of supermarket conditioner as the bath toys look on in admiration. Mountains and mole hills were thus put back in their respective places, and the ruffles of life were smoothed away by the beating warm water. A timetable was drawn up for MM’s busy day. Translations, bills, shopping, kids, cars, cleaning…. Although my head remained fuzzy, the day’s horizon cleared in synch with the diminishing velcro on my shins. Things were looking up. The day was promising.
Then someone knocked on the door. The razor slipped. Our mater familias par excellence bent her head to stem the bleeding on her shin, and swore as the blocked piping complained and her head hurt. I looked through puffy eyes out of the window at the sunny weather outside. Hell, things could be worse….. This could at least provide a strange and pointless post for my blog. My readers now know that I wash on a regular basis….. pass the aspirin.