EDIT: When I sat down to write this, I planned to bring it round to some inspiring conclusion about doing what you fancy rather than what looks flash, but I forgot about that bit. Sorry.
There’s another tricky thing to negotiate in the office. Or at least it feels that way to me.
It’s the Monday morning question: So, how was your weekend?
Colleagues take turns to tell each other what kind of impressive things they got up to during their action-packed two-day respite from the hamster wheel. You know?
‘Me? Yeah. Well, we went out for noms (yes, me too!) on Friday and, crazy, didn’t get home til waaay late. Then I painted the porch, played a quick game of five-a-side, bought a new outfit and went to a party. Then, yesterday, let me see, oh yes, it was off to the olds for a feed and a couple of games of Cards Against Humanity It was hilair.’
‘Well. I kicked things off with a few lines of epsom salts and then did a couple of half marathons and a park run with the kids. Then it was Bill’s mum’s aunty’s new boyfriend’s birthday so we all piled over to their’s for cake and, you’ll never guess, (nope, probably not) but Bill’s sister’s pal only announced she was expecting and then her man proposed, so we got wired into the bev big time.’
‘Nice one. Bill’s sister’s pal who won all that cash last month?’
‘That’s the one.’
‘Mad. Partied in Ikea and then it was the Match which pretty much wiped out the whole of the rest of the weekend. Apart from getting a huge new pair of trainers and a snowglobe at the Christmas market. No. Not that one, the one at the other end of the town.’
‘Sick.’ (Young people say this to show approval)
Over the years, I’ve learned that neither flurry of activity, tea making, nor any other avoidance tactic will work indefinitely and, sooner or later, it’ll be my turn.
Often a nondescript ‘yeah, just a quiet one, you know?’ will suffice, although the look on the askee’s face will be dreadful. Their request batted back with the blandest and boringest reply ever… that’ll teach them. You can see how painful the ‘oh, nice’, was to squeeze out in the face of such overt tedium.
I’ve thought about joining the others on the hang-gliding, life-improving, and alcohol unit guzzling extravaganza but there’s always a chance that they’d catch me out and that’d be worse.
‘Yeah. It was wild. We went on safari and little Timmy got bitten by a shark’
‘Nah. It was mild, we went on the sofa and little Timmy lost a mitten in the park. No, not the huge, beautiful national park, the tiny one with the dog poo behind our house.’
There is another possibility. The truth. Unedited and raw. Perhaps they can handle it… there’s only one way to find out.
‘I found the scissors in the wrong drawer and was all set to cut my toenails, but then there was this thing on the internet and I got sidetracked. We moseyed to Aldi and I get a roasting tin – not just any roasting tin but a blue cast iron one. Then I roasted something. Can’t remember what. We might have gone for a walk, yeah, we did. Then we came back and I remembered about my toenails, only the scissors had gone. There were some children and some animals in the house, I’m sure of that because I made my weekly effort to erase the mess they make. Then I gave up. Again. The scissors? I found them this morning, under a magazine. Can you believe it? Brilliant. Can’t wait til next week. How was your weekend? Hello… wait…’