To say they are unique would be an understatement. Listing the catalogue of staggering events in the time I have known them, would be a larger task than cataloging the contents of the British library. Whilst I have long acknowledged that some, much, of their behaviour is not entirely normal - it is in fact part of the behaviour that I have had to accept as normal (within the confines of warped).
One of the many benefits of divorce is that I rid myself of this unnecessary abnormal. Despite immense efforts to try and ensure that the children were protected from any unnecessary emotional damage and for Grandparents to visit the children at home, regardless of anything that was going on between parents - efforts were wasted when Mother in Law, true to past history - chose it as yet another opportunity in life to tap into her pleasure zone. Which is generally being vitriolic about others. I am not entirely sure that sharing her feelings with some of the children, or within ear shot - was a wise choice. However, wise people are generally not vitriolic.
Having now been saved of the need to spend anymore of my life keeping the peace has afforded the ability to step back and see how surreal it all is. There is one family member who is utterly lovely and we have been close for nearly 30 years. In their true style of being able to stand up for their beliefs, this family member has refused to be drawn into taking sides. For them, their relationship with me is not dependant on anything other than the fact that we get on and care about each other. This lovely person has also been the only person who will do what is right for the children, regardless.
Despite their loveliness, this family member has had a truly terrible year. Their reward for a terrible year and their kindness and normal thought process? A ban from being seen at Christmas and just to make the message truly clear - not even a call on Christmas Day.
The crime? They had arranged to come and visit me.
This is not love, this is not family and this is certainly not normal. Welcome to the world that was mine. Anyone entering into this world has my utter blessing.
I went to the gym this morning. My new programme had been lost and a different member of staff had to compile a new one. Having looked forward to pulling, running or messing around on a machine whilst plugged into the television - I was met with contempt at all electrical gym machinery.
'You can do it, if you don't want to exercise properly' He said
There really is no answer. I wanted to say that the machines sounded quite appealing but he was having none of it and before I knew it I had been signed up for a whole host of free weights, press ups, pull ups and squats. Suddenly, I feel less excited.
Sometimes feel very self conscious. Trying to perfect the art of the squat with disregard to appearance was tricky. I knew that no matter how good for the recovering knee repair, that I looked like a geriatric trying to get off a commode. I get the weights, I get the pull ups but I draw the line at thrusts, thigh or leg. Thigh thrusts (or whatever you call them) have far too many connotations for me to do without humiliation in a packed gym. I watched someone else doing thrusts down the length of the gym and all I could think of was Monty Python. This was my limit.
Mr Hard Core gym instructor got it. He showed me a secret place to do humiliating exercises. I felt a little disappointed that none of the weights have anything to plug my natty little electronic key into. I may have to sneak off and use an electrical gadget so that I can feel fully immersed in modern gym technology.
Still, he made sense. I will have better muscles, a better body - I will just have to be a little more bored than I anticipated. Apparently I am stronger than I think. I thought I was close to a jellyfish and i fear i am. Mr Hard Core was simply being nice because I got a little tearful.
By the end of it, I had only done completed about 10 press ups and I felt no fitter. I fear a long steep road ahead.
I met up with a friend last night. Then we met someone else. We thought she was really nice until she ordered Diet Coke. Call it irrational (and it is) but I loathe it when people drink Diet Coke.
It is a little like when people order a pudding and say
'Oh, I really shouldn't - I will regret it'
If you really shouldn't, then don't. If you want the pudding, eat it with pleasure and don't look for someone to tell you you don't need to worry about eating it. The fact that you said it, means that you probably should worry.
If you want a coke, order a coke. If you think that drinking a staggeringly unhealthy drink is made healthier by a carcinogenic chemically made sugar substitute you are deluded. If you are worried about your weight, drink water. Ordering a diet coke is unnecessarily girly and irritating.
She was quite nice before she ordered a diet coke.