Small children are running in an out (not all of them mine), some of them carrying kittens (not all of them mine) and it's all a bit surreal even for my liking.
Relate lady: 'Well I think you should feel immensely proud Stickhead (she doesn't really call me Stickhead, that would be 'odd'), the way you have managed to process and handle these very powerful emotions and move forward in such a positive way in the mere 48 hours since you left that desperate and crazed sounding message on our answermachine (OK she didn't quite put it like that but I'm quite used to cutting through the fluff and figuring out what counsellors really mean. I've had enough practice at it. My favourite ever was the Community Psychiatic Nurse who became obsessed with the fact I seemed to have a lot of black jumpers. She seemed to think this was linked to some kind of obsessive compulsion for buying idential black jumpers and would ask cryptic questions about my 'needs' and 'desires'. What it actually linked to was having a small baby and living in one jumper and one pair of jeans for longer than would normally be appropriate.....but as she never asked me direct questions I kept her guessing for weeks)'.
Me: 'Yeah, I guess, PUT THE CAT DOWN!'.
Relate lady: 'Sorry?'.
Me: 'Sorry I'm trying to stop the kids killing anything. Can I just put the phone down a minute, I can't get the wrapper off the pizza?'.
Relate lady: 'So how are you feeling right now?' (I'm thinking 'is this the bit where they have to tick a box to say that I wasn't sounding like I was about to have 48 paracetomal and a bottle of vodka for tea?).
Me: 'Err, hungry? Yeah fine really. Like I could do with a bottle of wine and a week in a sleepbag (brittle laugh). Just another week in paradise and all that......'
Relate lady: 'And you're coping? With everything?' (This is the bit where they're ticking a box to say that they checked I wasn't about to tell the kids they were the Sons of God before building a large crucifix out of Lego and nailing them to it).
Me: 'Well yeah, that's what you do isn't it? Just get on with it? TOUCH THOSE BAMBOO CANES AGAIN AND YOU'LL REGRET IT. THEY'RE TO STAY IN THE GRO-BAGS GOT IT!'
Relate lady: 'So you are really OK? I think we need to focus in our next session on next steps, moving this forward....'.
Me: 'Yeah so do I. PUT THE STICKS DOOOOOWWWWNNNN!' (and with that the gas in the oven finally lights with an almighty BOOM and I emit a small squeal), 'Look,I think I'd better go but thank you so much for your time, I didn't really know what to do you see, I thought if I didn't talk to someone I might do something a bit, errrr, 'unhelpful to future positive relations' so that's why I left that message but 48 hours is a long time in my life and I feel differently now. Sometimes, when you're getting sucked down the rabbit hole you've just got to fight it and rise above it. Act with dignity and all that. But I really appreciate you calling me but I've really got to go. They're doing something with cat biscuits. And it doesn't involve actual cats'.
Relate lady: 'Ok but I think you should feel proud of yourself'.
Put phone down.
Put pizza in.
Fear it's Relate lady with another question she needs to ask in order to tick another box. Maybe this one's to do with the safety of pets?
'Hello EX-BEST FRIEND!'.
'Oh, hello Badger Girl!'
'3 foot hair extensions? Spray tans? Shop that sells clothes to people on drugs or for sex acts or both?'.
'You found my blog then?'.
'Well my shop assistant found it. I found him with tears of hysterical laughter rolling down his face. I thought he was having a fit but it turns out he was reading about Badger Girl'.
'Well you've got nothing to moan about. Firstly I've made you world famous and secondly it's all true'.
'I'm not speaking to you anymore because you'll probably just making a note of it to put it on the internet'.
'Errr. Yeah. Probably'.
'But don't worry I'm going to get my revenge. I've got a job for you (this comment is followed by wicked peels of laughter)'.
'Errr what job? I've got enough jobs thanks'.
'We're running the cloakroom at a rave in July'.
'Errr exactly how many people wear a coat to a rave in July?'.
'Well not many but we're selling stuff too. Like fluffies and glo-sticks'.
'Yeah and you have to wear whatever I put you in - for 'promotional purposes' (que more hysterical wicked laughter)'.
'We might have a Bumble Bee outfit for you'.
'I've seen the size of your fancy dress outfits. They wouldn't fit round my thigh. Do they do a special 'curvaceous bumble bee range'?'.
'No (more cackling laughter) and whatsmore you'll have to wear a thong'.
'A thong? I have a never seen a Bumble Bee in a thong. Ever. Or anything even approaching a thong'.
'Yes. A thong. And we're going to write 'House of Fashion' across your bum cheeks in glitter paint'.
'House of Fashion? More like House of Horror......'.
The only image that flashes before me is of the sad girl from the Blind Melon 'No Rain' video:
I click the phone off, go to retrieve my bamboo canes from being used as cat torture devices, and ponder quite what the Relate Lady would make of all this and whether or not this counts as 'moving forward with dignity'?
It's a question I can't really answer but, for the record, whatever I wear, it won't be a thong....