Pregnancy has made me grumpy.
Like, really, really grumpy.
Well, grumpIER, I guess. I mean, let’s face it, everyone who knows me is reading this and thinking, “Er, you’re already a grumpy sod, don’t try to pretend this is a new thing,” and yup, that’s totally true, not gonna lie. But pregnancy hormones have made me EVEN MORE GRUMPY, like, OMG, WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE WALKING SO SLOWLY, DO THEY HAVE NOTHING BETTER TO DO WITH THEIR TIME, AND WAIT, IS THAT TAP DRIPPING AGAIN, BECAUSE I THINK I’MA JUST RIP IT OFF THE WALL IF SO, OK?
Wow, it felt good to get that off my chest.
Here are some other things I would like to get off my chest, in the form of a short (OK, long) list of some of the little things that have nevertheless annoyed the crap out of me lately:
People who keep trying to spoil my excitement over the baby/nursery,
All of those “You’ll never sleep again!” comments, plus the tendency, whenever I show someone something we’ve bought, for them to instantly go, “Er, you DO realise he’s just going to throw up on that, don’t you?” So, according to Other People, my baby will essentially be a constant, overflowing fountain of pee/poop/vomit, and I shouldn’t buy ANYTHING for him AT ALL because it’ll all just get ruined anyway. BRB, just wrapping the nursery in plastic, like a Dexter murder room – I feel like that’s the only way they’ll all be satisfied!
And don’t even get me started on people trying to scare me about stuff I hadn’t even been worrying about…
Brands who persistently try to get me to not disclose sponsorships, or work for free/a reduced rate.
This week I had a lengthy email conversation that went a bit like this:
ME: So, my rate is £XXX for a sponsored post, and that would be a no-follow link, fully disclosed as “sponsored”. I also only feature items I’ve used myself, so would have to actually try the product first.
THEM: So, we’d like to offer you £XX for a do-follow link, and it’s really important to us that it not be disclosed, as we think that looks cheap. Oh, and we can’t send the product. How do we proceed?
ME: Er, we don’t, because, as I said, my rate is £XXX plus product, not £XX, and I always disclose sponsored posts.
THEM: We think that makes our brand look cheap, though, so how about £XX for a non-disclosed post, without the product?
And it just kept going on and on like this in an endless loop, until I finally started to feel really patronised by their attempts to convince me that it was like, TOTALLY ETHICAL for me to hide a sponsorship, and that my readers would just LOVE hearing about some random product that I hadn’t even tried, at which point I told them, sorry, this isn’t going to work for me. And THEN they replied and said, “Sorry, this isn’t going to work for us,” as if THEY were the ones dumping ME: the cheek!
Guest post requests. SO MANY guest post requests
I get at least a dozen of these every day – although it can be significantly more than that – all from people wanting to write a post for my blog about some subject that’s totally unrelated to my blog. I have a note on my contact page stating that I don’t accept guest content, and can’t reply to emails about it (Or it would be ALL I’d ever do, seriously…), but still they come, and when I don’t reply, they’ll just start emailing me every single day to ask WHY I haven’t replied, and do I “still” want to see their awesome article about online gambling? Most of the people who send these requests can’t spell, and refer to me as either, “Dear Sir,” or “Dear Forever,” and they all claim to be HUGE fans of my blog, which is how they know y’all are coming here every day thinking, “Gosh, I wish good ol’ Forever would post something about car insurance, written by a random “freelance writer”: that IS why I come here, after all!” Hmmmm.
The way delivery people knock on my door and then run away
This week the doorbell rang while I was sitting at my desk. By the time I’d gotten out of my chair (Which, OK, took me a little longer than usual, on account of the bump slowing me down, but still just a few seconds), the delivery guy was literally pounding on the door, and by the time I got downstairs (not prepared to run downstairs while pregnant, but it still only took a few seconds), he was in the process of shoving his “Sorry we missed you, we’re going to hold your parcel hostage now!” card through the door. And this happens every single time, without fail. PATIENCE, delivery people, PATIENCE!
The Ongoing Shed-Man Saga
I just… I can’t even, you guys. For reasons too complicated – and also dull – to go into here, the Shed Man basically owes us a shed at this point otherwise we’d definitely have gone elsewhere by now. As things stand, though, we’re stuck with this particular Shed Man… which means we’re stuck without a shed, as it turns out that building sheds isn’t top of the Shed Man’s priority list.
Terry is “handling it”, apparently. I’m not allowed to “handle it,” because, in an analogy that will only make sense to Game of Thrones fans, in this scenario (and pretty much EVERY scenario, really), Terry is Jon Snow, and I’m Daenerys. So, basically, he’s all, “Look, guys, there must be a reasonable way to handle this,” while I’m just like, “BRING ME MY DRAGONS, I WILL BURN ALL YOUR CITIES!” And I will, too. I can’t, though, because, like I said, Terry’s at the wheel with this one. He tells me he’s “in daily contact” with Shed Man, and that he “has a contingency plan,” but I’m not allowed to know what it is, because in the event that Shed Man fails to deliver on this, I will stop being Daenerys, and will basically BE the dragon. And no one wants that, do they?
People who complain about people who complain about Instagram
Always in this very smug, “I am better than you, because I don’t complain about Instagram, I just complain about you complaining about it!” kinda way. Yeah, and I just complain about you complaining about me complaining about it, OK? Want to complain about THAT now? Because I sure do. #ILLCOMPLAINABOUTWHATEVERILIKETHANKS
I actually started writing this post early last week, thinking it would just be one of those light-hearted, hopefully semi-relatable things – because, let’s face it, we ALL have those little daily annoyances that don’t really matter in the great scheme of things, but which nevertheless get on our last nerve. I mean, we DO, don’t we?
Then Vegas happened.
And now it seems kind of weird and awkward to be complaining about my leaky tap when we live in a world in which someone will gun down over 500 people at a concert, doesn’t it?
But that IS the world we live in, unfortunately, and I don’t know about you, but that scares the crap out of me. And, I mean, I know I shouldn’t say it, but things like Vegas hit just a little closer to home to me, because, well, I’ve been there. I’ve been in that hotel, walked down that sidewalk. I once spent a week in the Luxor, right next door to it, and because I never did get over the jetlag on that trip, every morning I’d wake up early and watch the morning sun glinting off the glass windows of the Mandalay Bay, and I’d think how beautiful it was, in a very ‘Vegas’ kind of way. So, when I saw the news this week, my first thought was that it could so, so easily have been me, or a member of my family. My next thought, meanwhile, was that I bet many of those 500+ people woke up that morning, looked at the sun rising over the desert, and thought how beautiful it all was, just like I did. They were just like me, or you, and now some of them are dead, and the rest will possibly never get over what happened to them. And this is the world we live in now.
I’m not going to re-write the start of this post, because while it would be nice to think that events like this would make nothing else matter, EVER, the fact is that life goes on, and that allowing life to go on as normal is one of the few things we can do in the fact of these terrible atrocities that seem to be becoming depressingly commonplace. In a bid to end this post on a more positive note, though, and to balance out all of the whining at the start of it, here are some of the small things that have cheered me up lately, just a little bit. Things like…
Terry’s mum getting out of hospital
OK, so this is actually a really BIG thing, obviously, but it’s on this list because, guys, TERRY’S MUM IS OUT OF HOSPITAL! She got out yesterday morning, after almost two weeks. This was her third hospital stay in the last few months, and it was a pretty bad one, but she’s strong, and she’s determined to meet this baby of ours, and while it absolutely breaks my heart to think that the likelihood of that happening is even in question, right now we’re just glad to have her home, and are hoping to keep her there for as long as possible. Thankfully, the NHS have been pretty on the ball this time around, and have managed to arrange some extra help at home for her: she was already getting visits from the nursing service a few times a week, but they’ve stepped it up to two times a day, and there are plenty of friends and family members on hand to sit with her during the day, and stay the night if necessary. It’s all unutterably hard, of course, and there’s really nothing I can write here that will sum up just HOW hard it is, but, for now, she’s over yet another hurdle, and that’s good news, indeed.
The man who tried to give up his seat for me in a bar
(Er, I hope it goes without saying, but it probably doesn’t, so I’ll just quickly add here that I wasn’t drinking in said bar, just meeting friends there before heading to a restaurant!) This is the first time this has happened, and it took me a few seconds to work out why he was so insistent about it when there were tons of other people standing, too, and then I was all, “Oh yeah, the bump!” Anyway, I didn’t need the seat, but thought it was really nice of him to offer, AND he didn’t try to tell me my life will soon be over, either!
The nurse who got really excited by my bump
While we were visiting Terry’s mum in hospital, one of the nurses came by to take her blood pressure, and her face just lit up at the sight of my belly. She was so happy for us, and it’s just nice to see people who don’t even know us sharing in our excitement right now!
A visit from a puppy
My friend Carol occasionally dog-sits for a family in our street who have a mini Yorkshire terrier puppy. The last time I saw this pup outside Carol’s house (she lives right across the road from us) I just about peed my pants with excitement, so last week she brought her over for a visit. Her name’s Ariel, she’s about five months old, and OMGTHECUTE. Like, I can’t even deal with THE CUTE. This is a really crappy photo, because it was taken in low light, with my phone, but LOOKIT:
(Er, I’m talking about the burger chain, btw, not a literal bunch of five guys…) It’s funny: I’ve eaten in Five Guys a few times over the years, and have always thought it was good, if a little over-priced for a burger chain. When we were in Edinburgh a couple of weeks ago, though, we ended up running a bit late, and it got to that stage where I was just about ready to eat my own arm if I didn’t get some food NOW (Thanks, pregnancy hormones!), so we stopped into Five Guys, and I have no idea if it was just because I was SO HUNGRY when we arrived, but it was basically the best thing I’ve ever eaten. Well, THAT week, at least. “This is the best thing I’ve ever eaten,” I told Terry, as I shovelled fries into my mouth with both hands, so, Five Guys, let me just admit that I mis-judged you in the past: you really DO “know fries”, don’t you?
Candy floss grapes
Have you ever tried these? It’s like, they’re grapes… but they taste like candy floss. (Cotton candy) Terry actually omitted to tell me this fact when he brought me some of them in a bowl earlier this week, so I spent a good five minutes thinking I probably had something wrong with me, until he finally said, “So, notice anything unusual about the grapes? They’re supposed to taste like…” and I was like, “CANDY FLOSS! They taste like candy floss! And thank God they’re supposed to taste like that, because I seriously thought I had a brain tumour or something…”
I’m not sure I’d want to eat a LOT of them, mind you, but still, if you fancy eating grapes, but tasting candy floss, give ’em a go…
A lot of the shows we’ve been binge-watching all ended at the same time recently, so Terry and I have been a bit lost for something to watch lately. We even cancelled our Netflix subscription and everything, which I personally found more traumatic than I probably should have, until Terry pointed out that I hadn’t even noticed it was gone, which, TRUE.
(We’re all about Amazon Prime now, and honestly, as long as I get the new seasons of Outlander and Walking Dead, I’m OK with that…)
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago, my parents recommended Doctor Foster. I initially baulked at this, because it seemed to me that it was going to be about medical stuff, and my health anxiety means I can’t be exposed to medical information without thinking I’m dying, but my parents assured me it was safe, and although there actually WAS some medical info in it that I REALLY could’ve lived without knowing, the recommendation was a good ‘un. So much so that, when Season 1 disappeared from our box-thingy when we were still only halfway through watching it, we actually paid for the DVD, just so we could finish it. We’ll be watching the last episode of season 2 tonight, so no spoilers, but if you enjoy British drama, you might just like it.
OK, I’m going to shut up now, because this was supposed to just be a short-n-sweet diary post, but, oh look, I’ve rambled on for EVER. Feel free to tell me some of the things that have either annoyed you or cheered you up this week, and then we can all be annoyed together…