So, I didn’t blog for about six months, but all that time ideas for blog entries kept drifting across my mind, like clouds flitting across the sky, or some other punchier, less sappy metaphor; I’ve got a cold. A summer cold, sent home from preschool, carefully passed on via dozens of sticky little fingers. I can’t be expected to come up with metaphors when it’s hot and my nose is blocked.
(I love it when bloggers complain about their colds in great detail, especially when I’m feeling healthy. It’s similar to the way I quite enjoy eating dinner while watching the contestants on Survivor starve.)
Anyway, I had lots of ideas for blog entries , like butterflies flitting – no.
I just never caught those ideas on paper.
For example, months back, during the winter, I walked by a group of teenage girls sitting in a circle on the grass. They were talking that way teenagers talk. “So I was like, no way!” And I thought, Actually, I quite like that ‘like’ thing. It’s much more descriptive than, “So I said, no way.” She didn’t just say ‘no way’. She felt it.
I was going to write a blog entry about that. I was thinking, other people my age complain about young people’s language. Not me! I’m so unconventional and hip!
And I was going to mention how much I love ‘whatever’. It’s the perfect withering comeback when you’re losing an argument! It gives you the last word when you don’t have the last word. Used judiciously it can be quite devastating. True, it makes you sound like a teenager. But whatever. It’s not like you ever sound mature when you’re arguing. I think there was a real gap in our vocabularies and ‘whatever’ filled it. I’d like to warmly congratulate whoever first said it.
But then, later that same day I was crammed into a shopping centre lift with a few hundred teenagers, and I thought, if you children use that word ‘like’ one more time I’m going to scream. So then I’m like, I can’t write that blog entry now! I’m just the same as all those other conventional, middle- aged people.
By the time I got home that blog entry had floated away, like a boat.
Yes, like a boat. Seriously. I just sneezed fourteen times in a row.
There was another day, I remember, in spring, and we were at the park near the beach with my sister Jaci and her little boy Charlie. There was a wedding going on right next to us, and all the guests had been handed bongos. Did I just make that word up? As in little drums? No. I googled it. (How did I ever get through the eighties without google or the word ‘whatever’?)
So the wedding guests were obediently drumming away while the bride and groom signed the – whatever it is they sign. (Cold! Very bad cold! Enjoy your ability to breathe freely through both nostrils.)
Jaci and I started dancing to the drum beat. I was carrying the baby and she was laughing as I bounced her on my hip, and it was a beautiful moment in the spring sunshine. But then our sons noticed. Our very small sons. They were dying of embarrassment. “Stop it!” they told us sternly. “But it’s fun!” we cried. They stamped their feet. “Stop that right now!”
We stopped, and as soon as they got distracted pretending to drill a tree with long sticks, we started again. They caught us and went to sit on a park bench with their arms folded, shooting furious looks at us over their shoulders.
They were only 3 and 4 years old! “It’s started already,” we said sadly. It seemed like only yesterday they were babies and now they were miniature teenagers.
But then, a few minutes later they were arguing. “I want it!” shouted George. We finally worked out that he wanted Charlie’s imaginary sword. “Ah,” we said, amused. That’s easy to solve. “Here you go then!” and we pretended to hand George a sword. “NO! It’s mine!” screamed Charlie. And then they were both grabbing at the air for the imaginary sword.
So we ignored them and danced, happy that our children weren’t so grown-up after all.
I was going to blog about that, but then, you see, I was on that slippery slope at the end of my novel, where I could see the end in sight. Every time I sat down at the computer I didn’t want to write anything else except another paragraph that would take me closer to THE END.
I wrote THE END just before Christmas. It’s called THE HYPNOTIST’S LOVE STORY and it will be released in Australia in September.
Now, I’m waiting for the editing, and sniffing, and eating left-over lolly snakes from my daughter’s first birthday and googling ‘calories in a snake’ and remembering all those blog entries I never got around to writing.