Saturday, 10 January 2009

I Can Do Positive Spin, Too!

Part One

Those of you who read my post of 17 December, will already know that I get slightly peed off, every year, when I receive a round robin from an acquaintance on whom the sun always shines - according to her, anyway. I have never sent her a round robin, in return, but I'm beginning to feel tempted. I feel that I could probably start my December 2009 round robin, to my acquaintance, with a blow by blow account of my personal, festive experiences in late 2008/early 2009, which would run along similar lines to the missive below. As my true blogging friends, you will, of course, be privvy to the truth, or extra details, which I would not choose to share with her, in italics, as well as to the positive spin, in bold.

December 2009

Dear Wilhelmina, Walter and Winifred

Thanks so much for your numerous missives over the past few years. It seemed about time for me to return the compliment, so here is a lengthy and tedious summary of our experiences over the past 12 months or so, beginning with December 2008.

We began our annual festive spend, in the middle of December, by refurbishing the family bathroom to a high standard, so that our invited guests could enjoy the use of our superior facilities, over the New Year period.

We were expecting my husband's family to stay with us, over New Year, as usual, so I was forced into finding someone, quickly, with the necessary expertise, to carry out much needed repairs to our family bathroom, after a fairly disastrous installation by * & * (diy chain, rhyming with 'Me & You'). I won't bore you with the painful details, but it had something to do with a dodgy fitter on contract, a repeatedly broken seal around the shower tray, a supposedly 'independent' inspector and investigating body, who decided against us and a near nervous breakdown (MINE!).

After paying out £360, a few days before Christmas, to have the damaged bathroom walls repaired and re-tiled etc, we discovered that the shower cartridge needed replacing, due to lack of regular use, which added another £112 to the total bill.

A week before Christmas, I went out with more friends than you did, Wilhelmina, to the most renowned and expensive restaurant in our affluent locality, where we enjoyed our usual Christmas feast.

A week before Christmas, I went out to the local pub, with some of my friends, for our usual Christmas lunch. I had no paper hat in my cracker and the friend sitting opposite me, coughed and shivered throughout lunch, even though it was hotter than the caverns of hell, in the pub. 2 days later, I was suffering in the same way. I'm pretty sure that it was flu, because it knocked me off my feet and, 3 weeks later, I'm still feeling the effects.

I am constantly amazed by the increasing amount of Christmas cards, we receive each year. There were so many this year, that I grew tired of trying to find places to put them.

I was so ill in the days leading up to Christmas, that I didn't have the energy to put up this year's Christmas cards.

Student son put up the Christmas tree and lights in the house, as he does every year. He likes to make a contribution and is helpful and thoughtful, by nature.

Student son knows that I wouldn't put up the tree until Christmas Eve, so he puts it up earlier, himself. He sellotapes Christmas lights around all of the windows, every year, leaving me to get rid of the sticky patches left behind, when the lights are taken down.

I enjoyed a deliberately late, last minute expedition to the shops on Christmas Eve, so that I could admire the colourful Christmas lights, illuminating the velvety darkness in our small country town and so that I could treat the whole family to some extra little luxuries for the Christmas period.

I forced myself to crawl to the shops, just before they closed, on Christmas Eve, whilst I was still feeling ill, as I was in desperate need of several essential food items.

I was so busy dashing around, in the days just before Christmas, that I shed 4 lbs, which, strictly speaking, I couldn't really afford to lose!

I couldn't eat when I was ill, so I lost 4 lbs. I put it back on again, as soon as I was feeling better.

We had lots to fit in, on Christmas day. We leapt out of bed, early, opened our mountain of presents, went to eldest sons for lunch, drove to pick up my aunt, in the Midlands, late afternoon and arrived at my parents' house in time for tea. It was a tremendously busy, but fun-filled day.

I was over the worst of my illness and no longer contagious, by Christmas day, so we were able to fit in everything we had planned, even though I would have preferred to spend the time in bed. I spent the whole day coughing and couldn't finish my Christmas lunch. I had to drink water instead of port, because of my cough.

The luxury crackers we splashed out on and took over to my son's house to pull before Christmas lunch, were very much appreciated and very well received.

My husband bought some luxury crackers from Asda and everyone complained that they were crap.

My 3 sons were exceptionally thrilled with the rhythm sticks we bought them for one of their surprise presents, this year.

We could only afford one surprise present for our sons, this year. Unfortunately, I had no idea that my middle son had bought a more sophisticated version of the same sort of thing, for his elder and younger brothers, which resulted in elder brother being a bit incredulous and grumpy. (He's only 25. He hasn't yet learned how to cope with crap Christmas presents in a diplomatic fashion.)

I received some wonderful Christmas presents, including a beautiful, hardback, glossy book about dollshouses and miniatures, some lovely soaps, expensive perfume, a very large box of chocolates and some luxury shower cream.

I did have some lovely presents, but I never eat chocolates, due to my past dental problems and any shower lotion, other than Sanex, brings me out in a rash. I've hidden the chocolates in the bedroom, hoping that middle son will forget he bought them for me, but he keeps asking if I've opened them yet. I've put the shower gel with the other 3 bottles that my husband has bought me in the past, which I am also unable to use, because I haven't yet found the words to remind him that I can only use one particular brand.

OK. I'm leaving it there, for today, because I can hear some of you snoring. Part 2 is ready to publish, but you obviously need a little rest. You're not dribbling, on my blog, are you? You know that I have a thing about that! Don't forget to come back when you can face part 2!

To be continued.........


Working mum said...

I love it, I giggled away at the spin you managed to put on all that stuff (but obviously I'm sorry you had all that to deal with). Can't wait for instalment two!

Frankofile said...

Glad you're feeling better ;-)

Mean Mom said...

I can do the positive spin thing, can't I? But, seriously, why would I? I wouldn't get anything out of presenting a false picture.

Christmas and New Year was a bit tough, at times. Am I just unlucky, in my life, or do a lot of people simply concentrate on the positive? I like to tell it how it is and share a laugh with everyone!

Mean Mom said...

Working Mum - Sorry, I forgot to address my first comment to you.

Frankofile - Thanks. I finally am, but it's been a bit of long road. Other people, who have suffered it, have also complained that it last for 3 weeks, though.

auntiegwen said...

Dearest Mean Mom, Please don't ever change, I love reading about your life xxx

Mean Mom said...

auntiegwen - So glad that you find the tragedy which is my life entertaining - I think.(?) Sob! ;0)

menopausaloldbag (MOB) said...

I get one of these round robin bits of crap every year from a woman I dumped as a friend 12 years ago. She is the biggest name dropper, bragger, selfish old toad that I know and she bores me to death. I dare you to send her one back full of stuff that will make her eyes pop out! X

Mean Mom said...

MOB - LOL lots and lots! Ah, I could try, but no matter how much positive spin I put on the events in my life, I fear that I could never make her eyes pop out. If she thought for a moment that I could outdo her, I don't think that she would write to me in the first place.

I have considered simply putting on my Christmas card 'Glad you're having a good time', in the hope of making a subtle point, but she's so full of herself, that I think it would go right over her head!

Jennysmith said...

Brilliant writing once again. Im sorry you had a rough time of it at xmas. If only you could have just sat on the sofa on xmas day as part of a convelsence.

Have always wanted to do one of those joke round robin leters - you know; Daughter's pregnant (she's 12) and Son (10) gets his first ASBO and we're very proud of him - all that sort of thing. remind me next year ...

Glad you like your award xxxx

Mean Mom said...

Jennysmith - Thanks for that. An extra day on the sofa would have been great.

Unfortunately, I would only have to tell the truth about my year, in a round robin letter, to have everyone falling about thinking I was joking about unlikely events!!

Grit said...

a splendidly miserable and sickly time of it, mean mom. well done!

now please don't sneeze in my direction since we are all just feeling better too!


I wonder these people who sent them think that you are actually interested in their lives. They are the sort of people you dread bumping into in town. You know that you are about to lose at least 30 mins of your life as they immediately started babbling all about their wonderful life and about people who you have never even heard of.

Maggie May said...

Sorry to hear you have been so ill but glad you managed to get away on Christmas day as planned.
Had a little chuckle at the Whilhelmina letter.

Mean Mom said...

Grit - I heard on the radio that lots of people were going to be ill over Christmas. I didn't realise that I was going to be one of them!

DARWEN REPORTER - Yes, we all know at least one person like Wilhelmina. She will exploit any opportunity to 'show off'. Thanks for calling by!

Maggie May - I don't know how I got through, at times, but I did. Yes, I think that it's about time Wilhelmina was brought down a peg or 2. I wonder if anyone ever replies to her?

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

I'm looking forward to part 2 as well. Great to see that you found the funny side of "round robin" in spite of being unwell - it is good to laugh. Hope you are improving daily. A x

Rose said...

I think our new President might need a Press Secretary--I think you would perfect for the job, Mean Mom! If not, the governor of our state has been arrested for corruption--he could use some positive spin to cover up all he's done.

That sounds like a terrible virus; glad you are feeling better.

Mean Mom said...

Strawberry Jam Anne - Our annual round robin does cause a bit of incredulity, followed by laughter, every time. I am still recovering from the virus - just a bit of a cough. I can hardly believe it, but I have another sore throat. I'm getting fed up, now!

Rose - You are right, of course. I think that I've finally discovered something that I'm good at! I wonder if I'm too late to make a career out of it?

Well, yes, I am almost recovered from the virus, but see my reply to Strawberry's comment - I have another sore throat! Oh, no!

blogthatmama said...

Go for it Mean Mom - you show that Wilhelmina what a glam life you lead. I think you ought to contact Alistair Campbell and ask him for a job, you're a natural...

Anonymous said...

Are you a politician in disguise?

Mean Mom said...

blogthatmama - You're so right, of course. I am a natural born liar. I feel that I've missed by vocation, in life.

Mud - Oh, you've sussed me out, then. Can't imagine how I gave myself away!

wakeupandsmellthecoffee said...

You can send me that round robin letter anytime. It was hilarious.

Mean Mom said...

wakeup - Oooh, thanks! I'll add you to my list of unfortunates, then!